MARSHALLTOWN, Iowa -- Even though the debris has been cleared away and the town is starting to rebuild, some Marshalltown residents are still struggling almost one month after a tornado ripped through town.
“It’s been different. Kind of camping out and we’ve been having meals at the church because we didn’t have any utilities. We either grilled out a lot and made do,” Marshalltown Resident and Salvation Army Volunteer Kay Jennings said.
A recent large donation to the Marshalltown Salvation Army is helping to lighten the load.
“We have food, non-perishable food items. We received a donation of food boxes from the Mid America Food Bank in Chicago and so those are being given out, 26 mattresses from Orphan Grain Train, paper products, toilet paper, paper towels and things like that,” Captain Pam Kasten said.
One volunteer said many people are out of work and having a hard time paying for everything.
“They are spending their funds, that they would have spent on food and other items, to take care of the house. And so by being able to provide these items to them, they’re able to use those funds that they’ve received to do the repairs,” Kasten said.
Jennings said she has been volunteering at the Salvation Army for 20 years and her family was also affected by the tornado.
“I didn’t hear the sirens and my son came upstairs and he said 'Mom there’s a tornado' and he pushed me into bathroom and shut the door and we just heard this loud sound and it lasted just a short while and when we opened the door there was glass and leaves. And the front door was open and he says the porch is gone,” Jennings said.
In the midst of all of this Jennings is also battling cancer, but she said she felt called to serve.
“I just see everybody helping one another. My neighbors have helped me and I can’t do a lot, but I do what I can. Just everybody’s helping one another and it’s great to see that. I know all of this food here and all this help is just a tremendous god send to the ones coming in,” Jennings said.
Survivors of the tornado can pick up items at 107 W State St, Marshalltown, IA 50158:
Wednesday, August 15 from 3:30-7:30 p.m.
Thursday, August 16 from 9-11 a.m.