Central Virginians provide help to tornado victims - NBC12 - WWBT - Richmond, VA News On Your Side

Central Virginians provide help to tornado victims

LOUISVILLE, KY (WWBT)-  Red Cross volunteers from Central Virginia are home after a weeklong trip to help tornado victims in Kentucky. Two weeks ago a tornado ripped through a 95 mile stretch of Indiana, Kentucky and West Virginia, leaving millions of dollars in damage in its wake.

When the Red Cross told Jack O'Regan there was a need for people to help, he was quick to respond. He spent a week serving meals to victims who'd lost everything.

He knows it's not easy for everyone to rush to the scene of a major disaster.

"My lifestyle is flexible enough that I can drop everything and do it," he said.

It was on short notice, that South Boston native and one other volunteer from Virginia took off for Louisville, Kentucky, one of the hardest hit areas.

"They had a big school there, a high school, middle school probably a grammar school," he said. "And the school just got wiped out."

It wasn't just schools and businesses many homes were destroyed as well. It left families without the basics: running water, a roof over their heads, and food.

That is where Jack came in.

"We would drive from location to location. It was completely mobile," he explained. "The only time we stopped was to feed someone."

In most cases it didn't solve the many mounting problems of the victims, but for at least a moment, it gave them one less thing to worry about.

"People are glad to have a warm meal," said Jack.  "You know it's not the biggest of their concerns, their concern ya know is getting back together."

A job that is only beginning, one Jack won't be a part of directly, but played an important role getting started. 

"They're gonna come back, yeah they're already building. They cleaned up real quick," he said.

And when the need arises again, Jack will be back, to offer whatever help he can.

According to the Red Cross, more than 2,000 homes sustained at least some damage as the result of the tornado.

Copyright 2012 WWBT NBC12.  All rights reserved.

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