From Lewisville With Love: Donation Drive for Okla. Tornado Victims

North Texas woman rallies donations for victims of Oklahoma tornado

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    NEWSLETTERS

    A Lewisville woman, Jennifer Lemmo, whose brother lost his home in the Moore, Okla. tornado asked for donations for the victims -- and is in awe with the overwhelming response she has seen from her community. (Published Tuesday, May 21, 2013)

    A Lewisville woman whose brother lost his home in the Oklahoma tornado asked for donations for the victims -- and is overwhelmed by the response from friends, neighbors and even strangers.

    Jennifer Lemmo asked for help Tuesday morning in an email to her church, First United Methodist of Carrollton; her children's schools, Castle Hills Elementary and Prince of Peace Lutheran Church; and her neighbors in the Castle Hills neighborhood.

    "I felt hopeless, and I felt like I needed to do something," she said.

    Others forwarded the email to more people, and word of her request quickly spread.

    By the end of the day, the donations of water, toiletries and other items could barely fit in several rooms of her house.

    "When the donations started coming in this morning at 8 o'clock, I had a little pile," she said. "And then by 9 o'clock, the pile grew. And then I started taking pictures and every hour, it just grew and grew and grew."

    "I'm amazed," she said. "I know there's good people out there. They want to help. And I'm so proud of North Texas."

    More donations came in after NBC 5's Tuesday night story on her donation drive.

    People showed up at her front door Wednesday morning before the sun was up.

    "Everyone that's wanting to give to Moore, Okla., is just breathtaking," she said. "It's amazing."

    The crowd helped her load up the large donated U-Haul truck. The donations almost completely filled the truck.

    "I saw pictures before I got here and I was like, 'Are you kidding me?' She did amazing; amazing," said Kelli Delgado, a friend who came from Austin to help.

    Lemmo's brother, John Norman, lived across the street from Briarwood Elementary School, which was destroyed in Monday's tornado. He and his family survived but lost nearly everything they own, she said.

    She plans to take the donations to Oklahoma on Wednesday with in a large truck donated by U-Haul.

    Lemmo pulled out of Lewisville at about 10 a.m. to drive straight to Moore. She is taking her haul to area relief centers, as well as the American Red Cross -- after she gives her brother and nephews a big hug.

    "I have shed so many tears and now I'm shedding tears of happiness knowing we're going to put a big hug and smile on the people of Moore," she said.

    NBC 5's Brian Scott contributed to this report.