More than a year later, families are still healing after the deadly EF-3 tornado that struck Reading, KS. Now, one family who lost nearly everything in the storm will get the keys to their brand-new home thanks to volunteer efforts.
The home might be called a labor of love – it was built by volunteers' hands and hammers.
"The power that this little town can have when they need to and pull together as a group," Habitat for Humanity Construction Supervisor Dan Niell said.
Many members of the Emporia United Methodist Church, Habitat for Humanity volunteers and several businesses chipped in to give a father and son a new home.
Many may have donated to the telethon KCTV5 did last year with Cumulus Radio and McCarthy Auto Group.
"We actually raised $58,000," Lauren McCarthy with McCarthy Auto Group said.
McCarthy's father was so moved by the devastation that he offered a Camero to raffle off. KCTV5 teamed up with his business, Habitat for Humanity and Cumulus Radio to raise funds for the family.
"We are really excited to be able to do this and they are very deserving. I can't wait to see their reaction," McCarthy said. "Two days before Joplin was hit by a tornado, Reading KS, was and a lot of people didn't hear about Reading."
Those who did hear about it decided to help.
"They have really worked their tails off to make this little town come back and it's really starting to show. It's really brought the little town together," Niell said. "There is a lot of pride here. People know they've put their hands into this. To walk off with a homeowner smiling, knowing they've got a warm, comfortable home, it makes me feel proud."
Volunteers said the Reading tornado destroyed about 50 homes in the small community. Habitat for Humanity is already re-building another home in the town, trying to help another family impacted by the tornado.
The father and son will get their keys to the new home Saturday at a dedication ceremony at 3 p.m. at 222 Second Street. Anyone is invited to attend the event that was 14 months in the making.
Copyright 2012 KCTV (Meredith Corp.) All rights reserved.
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