Tornado victim overwhelmed with blessings


MOORE, Okla. — Some generous news; viewers are coming to the rescue of one particular tornado victim. NewsChannel 4 told you recently about a group of volunteers, building a home for an elderly survivor in Moore.

She had no insurance and needed a miracle. She got one, and after our initial story aired even more blessings came.

You can’t miss it from the Interstate. The small brick house is the first to rise from the devastation of May 20th.

The home belonged to 74-year old Barbara Garcia, an uninsured tornado victim who gained international notoriety when her dog, Bowzer the Schnauzer dug out from beneath the debris, during a live television interview.

“As residents, neighbors, the community drives by, they see this house popping up out of nowhere. They look and say, I have hope. If she can rebuild, I can rebuild,” Jody Gettys, of Operation Blessing, says.

Operation Blessing is a national faith-based group of volunteers. Less than 24 hours after this monster tornado annihilated Barbara’s Moore neighborhood Operation Blessing teamed up with local contractors to rebuild the Elderly woman’s home for free.

“We’ve had every trade donated on this house. What we’re paying for is material to make this dream a reality,” Gettys says.

This house will be ready in about two weeks. Barbara will have just about everything she could ever need. But Operation Rescue was really hoping to add a storm shelter. Because of our report, it looks like they’re going to get one.

The folks at “GroundSafe Shelters” in Moore heard our plea and are offering to donate a $4,000, 10 gauge steel, underground shelter.

“We walked in at the same time and asked, did you see the story? I saw it on Facebook. Mike, the owner saw it on the news. Instantly we both said, let’s call. Let’s see how we can donate,” Amy Stark, with GroundSafe Shelters, says.

The shelter will be custom built to exceed all FEMA guidelines and should be installed in plenty of time for Barbara and Bowzers’ happy homecoming; the first of many new beginnings here.

Barbara Garcia should be able to move back home in the next few weeks.

Operation Blessing is planning a big homecoming celebration and we’ll be there with Barbara and Bowzer.