Continuing Coverage of Tornado Outbreaks in North Texas

Woman Hands Out Hope on Lunch Break

Woman uses her lunch break to reach out

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    NEWSLETTERS

    Jan Stumbo is handing out hope in Arlington. She's part of Victim Relief Ministries working to help tornado victims cope after the storm as they try to rebuild.

    An Arlington woman is helping homeowners struggling to recover from tornado damage.

    Jan Stumbo is a part of Victim Relief Ministries, which has a strong presence in South Dallas and Lancaster helping devastated homeowners recover.

    When she was asked to head east from her home to help right after the tornadoes, she asked the ministry if she could stay in Arlington to help those around her.

    "Victim Relief Ministries' main concern is first and foremost the victim's emotional and spiritual needs," she said.

    Stumbo uses her lunch break from her main job at her foreclosure company to make the rounds across town. She listens, helps connect devastated homeowners with one another and gives a lot of hugs.

    "That's why we're here, to give you that big hug," Stumbo said as she gave Ben Blackshear a third hug.

    Blackshear lived in a 75-year home on West Pleasant Ridge Road for 17 years a tornado destroyed it three weeks ago.

    "I was depressed when she first met me," he said.

    Blackshear said is doing well now, although emotions continue to surface.

    Before the tornado, he was planning to retire soon in Florida. But overwhelming support from people such as Stumbo changed his faith in his community and made him decide to retire here, he said.

    "It's been restored," he said. "I never thought that many people would come together the way they have."