Mid-Southerners spend Christmas helping storm victims - WMC Action News 5 - Memphis, Tennessee

Mid-Southerners spend Christmas helping storm victims

(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)
(Source: WMC Action News 5) (Source: WMC Action News 5)

Some Mid-South residents are spending their Christmas giving rather than receiving.

Steve Swann makes a habit of helping people devastated by disasters, especially during the holidays.

In 2012, he spent Thanksgiving and Christmas in New York following Hurricane Sandy. 

This year, he and his wife Audrey are spending their Christmas in Holly Springs helping those who lost almost everything during the devastating tornado on Wednesday.

"It has a very rewarding feeling, helping out other people," Swann said. "One day I might be one of them, who knows. And we want to turn things around."

The Swanns  worked day and night next to each other since Wednesday, supplying anything residents of the tornado-ravaged city needed at the Eddie Smith Multi Purpose Center on Memphis Street.

The tornado damaged several of homes that belong to Van Rayford's family, including his own house. Now Rayford, his kids and six of his grandkids are forced to stay in a hotel. He's thankful the Swanns sacrificed their Christmas, so that his family could have one.

"It's a blessing. It's a blessing because it can still be Christmas," Rayford said.

The Swanns granddaughter Sarah does not see it as a sacrifice. She sees it as something she should do. That's why she volunteered right next to her grandparents.

"The tornado affected these people and they don't get to spend Christmas how they wanted to either," Sarah Swann said. "But this is giving back and that's true meaning of Christmas." 

To learn where you can go to donate items or money, click here.

Mobile users, to see photos of all the donations already collected in Holly Springs, click here.

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