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Southeastern PA

'Operation Fill the Garage' will help Okla. tornado victims

'Operation Fill the Garage' will help Okla. tornado victims

GILBERTSVILLE, Pa. - A local woman is planning to hit the road with a truck full of donations.

Patti Marcus, of Gilbertsville, Montgomery Co., is heading to Moore, Okla., where people are still recovering from a 2-mile wide tornado that struck last month.

The images haunted Marcus, who said she remembers the parents looking for their kids.

"And then it hit me. Some of those kids aren't coming out of the building, and some of the parents aren't able to find their kids," said Marcus. "I have three kids of my own, and I couldn't imagine how awful that must have felt."

Together with a friend, Marcus started a Facebook group called "Operation Fill the Garage." Their goal was to collect donations for the people of Moore, and it worked. She can now barely walk around her garage.

"You might see a garage full of stuff. I see a garage full of love," said Marcus, "and it's from all over the place."

Marcus said she called churches in Moore, and they said they don't need any more clothing.

"Paper towels, linens, bath towels, wash cloths, soaps. I don't know how many cases of soaps are in there," said Marcus. "Toothbrushes, toothpaste, deodorant, shampoo, conditioner."

Marcus said she originally planned to fly to Oklahoma with a few cases of water, but that plan quickly changed.

"I figured I'll just drive my car down with donations and that's fine. It got to the point it just snowballed so big I can't fit anything more in my car, so we figured we'll rent a truck, and now it looks like multiple trucks," said Marcus.

So even though she doesn't need any more stuff, Marcus said she is hoping for generosity in another form.

"We could absolutely use another truck and a driver. There's one truck and a driver. That's me," said Marcus. "I don't know how we can get this all down there in one shot."

Marcus plans to head out June 25, and after 69 News aired at 5:30 p.m. on Tuesday, a couple of viewers volunteered to drive with her.

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