SWLA residents combine to provide relief to OK tornado victims - KPLC 7 News, Lake Charles, Louisiana

SWLA residents combine to provide relief to OK tornado victims

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Ray Doran Ray Doran
CALCASIEU PARISH, LA (KPLC) -

Southwest Louisiana is doing its part in the Oklahoma tornado recovery effort.

In Westlake, people from all over Southwest Louisiana donated items for the tornado victims.

It all started with one man wanting to help the community of Moore, Okla. However, with the help of others and social media, the cause blew up.

"This has snowballed and I've never seen so much community effort," said Ray Doran.

It began with a 12-by-6 trailer and one man.

But the help soon stretched way beyond the borders of Westlake.

"We're going to leave Saturday morning and take everything that we've got in this building and everything that I can load in one or two or three trucks ... however many I've got to have, I'm going to get them and we're going to head to Oklahoma," Doran said.

Doran quit his contracting job to help in Moore, Okla., after the EF-5 tornado hit the area.

Westlake Police Officer Jason Ledet got word and joined the effort.

"I said, I can put that on Facebook and I promise you it's going to blow up," Ledet said.

Not just Westlake, but all of the surrounding areas are pulling together.

People donated items all week at the Westlake Recreation Center.

Some of the items that have been dropped off are items like water, diapers and clothes.

Volunteers packed up the trucks on Friday morning, while donors still dropped off items.

Donor Vicki Devito knew she wanted to help after reading Ledet's Facebook page.

"I know all that I have, that I want to be able to give back and make a difference and to help somebody that's in need," Devito said.

While Doran is out of a job, he said he has gained so much more by seeing the community come together.

"And I've been overwhelmed by, because like I said, I've never done anything like this and people are great. All of this is to help the people in Moore," he said.

The now many trailers and trucks will leave for Moore on Saturday before day breaks.

Volunteers plan to stay and help until Monday. To learn more about local efforts to assist the victims, click HERE.

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