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More resources becoming available for Bell County tornado survivors

More resources becoming available for Bell County tornado survivors
Posted at 6:04 PM, May 27, 2024

BELL COUNTY, Texas (KXXV) — Leigh Fuller fosters her two grandchildren, two-year-old Legacy and four-year-old Drake.

They lost their home in the recent tornadoes that blew through Bell County.

"We got back to the house and it was all gone," Fuller said. "We’ve been reading 'The Three Little Pigs,' and so they asked me if the Big Bad Wolf had come and blown the house down, and I said 'I guess so.'"

Her baby picture was found among the rubble, and little Legacy doesn’t want to give it up.

Leigh said this whole experience has been devastating but is glad the family is okay.

Now, rubble is all that’s left of her home of 30 years.

"The big bad wolf blew our house away," Drake said.

Fuller says she’s trying to stay positive for her grandchildren, as they get ready to spend their first night at Family Promise of Bell County.

“You know, it’s going to be great — it’s like an adventure," she said.

Executive Director Rucker Preston took 25 News' Bobby Poitevint on a tour of their facility, which allows their guests to cook their own meals and do their own laundry.

He says they typically provide services to Bell County families experiencing homelessness that have at least one child that’s under the age of 18, but after the recent storms, they knew they had to open their doors to anyone left without a home due to the tornadoes.

"We have resources — we have a building with bedrooms that provide safety for families who otherwise would be staying in the heat and maybe more rain," Rucker said.

"We wanted to use this to serve our community — we also have a playground and basketball court. We want kids not just to be in a place where they can sleep but also a place where they can play.”

Rucker said they made the decision Sunday night to help people left without a home.

He says the decision comes after having conversations with local leaders about the number of people displaced after the storms and after the facility regained power Sunday morning.

They've had an overwhelming response to their Facebook post notifying people of the change.

Rucker says they had about 15 children on site with two families moving in as of Monday morning.

Here’s how to help:

They need non perishable food items, toiletry items, towels, and even gift cards are needed to help families get back on their feet.

Items can be dropped off at their facility in Temple from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

The address is 1411 East Avenue N.

Families needing their services can call (254) 773-9980.

There is a GoFundMe set up to help Fuller and her family. Click here to learn more.

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