Long Islanders help Oklahoma tornado victims - KMSP-TV

Superstorm Sandy

Long Islanders help Oklahoma tornado victims

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NEW YORK (MYFOXNY) -

Some Long Island residents impacted by Superstorm Sandy are lending a helping hand to those devastated by the monster tornado in Oklahoma.

"We had four, five days to prepare, they had like five minutes," said Tommy Asher, an Island Park resident. "I can't fathom that. But when you lose everything, you lose everything."

Thousands of miles from the devastation in Moore, Okla., Asher and other Island Park residents are packing up supplies to help those in need.

"They need tools and gloves and really the money. That's going to be key to them," he said. "Gift cards from big chain stores so they can go shopping for their individual needs, 'cause every household's a little different."

Asher knows firsthand what it feels like to lose everything. His home was severely damaged by Superstorm Sandy and he is still picking up the pieces.

"We took on seven feet of water," he said. "I own a couple buildings across town and my wife's family business of 40 years was completely destroyed. So it's been a long road."

Island park residents say they feel a special connection with those in Oklahoma. That's why they decided to give back.

"You don't know what someone else needs until you've lost everything -- and we lost everything," said Terry Reichel, an Island Park resident.

Once the truck is filled up, residents plan to drive it to Oklahoma to deliver the goods.

Lori Wroblewski from Oceanside lost three cars to Sandy. She donated gift cards for the people of Oklahoma.

"I know all of us have gone through in Island Park and Oceanside, I know all the help we've gotten, so I've got to pay it forward somehow," Wroblewski said.

Paying it forward, with a little advice.

"It will get better," Reichel said. "Right now it doesn't feel like it, but I promise you it will."

Visit the Facebook group: IP pays it forward in OK

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