Alabama student from Hattiesburg coordinates tornado donations

HATTIESBURG, MS - (WDAM) Just five days after a vicious tornado ravaged central Alabama, an outpouring of donations and support is constantly flowing. Leah ferrill, a student at Alabama, was there when it happened, luckily, not in the direct path of the storm, but she recounted what she saw and heard, saying, "Everything has just been completely flattened. The rest of the night it was just sirens. I know when we started walking down the street, you know you start to get, it's a little overwhelming, and you get a little emotional. This place that you're used to seeing, that you call home and it's just not the same."

As soon as Ferrill got back home to her mom's house in Hattiesburg, all she could think about was how she could help.

Ferrill said, "In my head, I thought, well, my dad has a truck and I'll, we'll get whatever supplies and stuff that we can and we'll head down there."

So she went to work. Partnering with St. Thomas Aquinas Catholic Church and the Sacred Heart school, she got the word out. Since then, the donations have been coming to her mom's house by the truckload.

Going through all the things they've collected so far, she said, "200 blankets, a bedroom full of bedding, cases of water and stuff to take down there, pots and pans and dishes and those types of, we're probably gonna need a bigger truck than we thought!"

Although the amount of donations has filled her mom's house almost entirely, Leah said she's been overwhelmed, but thankful there are good people willing to help carry the load.

She said, "Luckily we have people who have volunteered to come and help and are coming later today to help us sort through everything, because we certainly would not be able to do it by ourselves."

Proud mom, Debbie Ferrill, said that as a parent, she's always worried about her kids away at college, especially now, but once she found out Leah was ok and headed home, she wasn't surprised her daughter volunteered to help the victims, saying, "She's just a wonderful child, she's always caring for other people, and she always puts other people before herself, she's always been that way."

Although it seems it may never be enough to replace what was lost, Leah and her team say they will continue filling the trucks to Tuscaloosa.

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