CBS 3 partners with Red Cross in Western Mass 'Help For OK' - News, Weather, Sports, Toledo, OH

CBS 3 partners with Red Cross in Western Mass 'Help For OK' fundraiser


CBS 3 Springfield, MassLive and The Republican, Clear Channel Radio, WHYN-AM and The Pioneer Valley Chapter of the Red Cross stood on the corner of Main Street and Boland Way in Springfield from 8 a.m. and 6 p.m. Thursday to raise money for those affected by the Oklahoma tornado.

More than 1,600 miles from that intersection in Springfield, there is a community in Oklahoma struggling to recover from a deadly tornado.

"We knew how suddenly normal lives can get out of hand and can suddenly be so difficult that even the basics of life can be almost impossible to do on our own," said Director of the Pioneer Valley Red Cross, Rick Lee.

But despite the distance, the people of Western Mass showed that those in need don't have to do it on their own as people stopped, rolled down their windows and gave whatever they could.

"It feeds my soul to know that people really help out as much as they do and it's fantastic," said Red Cross volunteer, Bruce Moyer.

Bruce Moyer had the roof blown off his building in the June 1, 2011 tornado. He knows that sometimes it takes a disaster to bring a community together.

"My little experience last June with the tornado that we had is insignificant compared to what's happened with the folks down in Oklahoma," he said.

Rahiem Eskeli survived Hurricane Katrina. He donated money and advice to those in Oklahoma.

"Pray, stay strong and know no matter what, you're going to make it through this," he said.

Springfield Mayor Domenic Sarno donated $100 to the relief fund because he also remembers the days following the Western Mass tornado.

"When we had our terrible time here, they were all out here raising money for the people and families in need," Sarno said.

For the volunteers and donors, disasters like the tornado in Oklahoma remind us to come together.

"There have been times in each of our lives where we've been the person who has received the help. We remember what that felt like," Lee said.

More than $3,500 was raised. The Meyers Brothers Kalicka accounting firm in Springfield even pooled together $1,040.

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