Families of Plaza Tower victims fight for shelters

Posted on: 3:11 pm, August 20, 2013, by , updated on: 06:45pm, August 20, 2013


MOORE, Okla. -  When Mikki Davis dropped her 8-year-old son Kyle off at school on May 20, she thought that was the safest place for him.

When the tornado came through hours later, she and six other families tragically discovered that was not the case.

“It took 18 hours before I found out that I had lost my son, 18 hours,” Davis said. “No parent should have to wait 18 hours to know if their kid is alive or if they’re dead.”

Three months later, the seven families who lost children at Plaza Towers are coming together to publicly speak about their loss.

Working with Shelter Oklahoma Schools, a grassroots movement started days after the Moore tornado, they are raising money to put storm shelters in every school in Oklahoma.

Stephanie Tillman, who works with the organization Raise Some Hope, said “One of the toughest things was the first day of school when there are parents who no longer have kids to go buy backpacks for. Or there are parents who are just buying one backpack.”

Kayla Carmona, 14, survived the Joplin tornado but lost her father and sister.

She gave up her summer to volunteer in Moore and knows firsthand how vital storm shelters can be during a tornado.

“I’m terrified of tornadoes,” Carmona said. “I probably wouldn’t even want to go to a school that didn’t have one. I’d probably want to transfer to one that did. Especially after they’ve just gone through this.”

It is a work of love for these families as they remember their children and work to make sure a tragedy like Plaza Towers never happens again.

“We’re doing this for your children in the future to be protected because ours paid the sacrifice that day,” Davis said. “If they are saving a life in the future because they had to be taken today to start this, then that makes me one proud mom.”

SOS is raising money for their cause by selling t-shirts.

They have all the names of the children who died at Plaza Towers on the back and your choice of logo on the front.

They come in blue, red and gray.

If you want to buy one you, visit the Raise Some Hope website.

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