MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa -- An EF - 3 tornado blew through the town of Marshalltown nearly a week ago. Since, residents have worked to clean up their businesses and homes. Dee Whitte lost both.
"We are usually the ones that help others when they need it but that we are on the receiving end of that this time," she says.
For two decades, Dee and her husband have been the community's go - to around the clock day care.
"We are a twenty - four hour, seven days a week daycare. I care for some people's children from 3 to 4 days in a row if they leave town or have an emergency."
However, last weeks storm brought their services to a halt. Strong winds blew away couples third floor or their home along with their outdoor daycare play equipment. They were forced to turn away more than dozen families who rely on their care. The daycare closed for three days as volunteers worked to clean up debris while inspectors deemed the home safe.
Although playtime will be inside for now, Whitte is back open for business. Her priority to give the parents to send their children to her home, one less thing to worry about.
"I have a few people who don`t have anyone else. I`m it," she says. "It was important that we be there for our families. They are like our family."
Whitte says she's been blown away by the amount of compassion in her hometown. So far, friends and family have raised about a thousand dollars to help her get back on her feet.