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Love's 201 fuels those helping community after Elk City tornado

Posted June 9, 2017
Elk City tornado donation

When nasty spring weather swept across the Plains, Elk City, Oklahoma, found itself in the path of an EF3 tornado. Reports indicate more than 150 homes and structures were damaged or destroyed. Fortunately, the homes of employees at Love’s 201 and the store were spared from significant tornado damage. That didn’t mean they were going to sit back and count their blessings while the rest of the community cleaned up the mess.

When Dan West, District Manager 1955, arrived at Love’s 201 following the tornado, he immediately asked what the store could do to help. GM Rena Garcia and Restaurant Manager Kaylyn Blanken started working on ideas. Blanken, who is native to Elk City, contacted the local Red Cross to find out what was needed. West, Garcia and Blanken decided the people working the recovery effort could use nourishment to continue working.

"We provided 25 cases of water and made 50 foot-long Subway sandwiches," said Garcia. "Shortly after the tornado, the Red Cross set up a station in Elk City. We took the donations to the Red Cross to be given out."

From assembling the donation to dropping it off at the Red Cross station, the project only took about two hours. Even though it required minimal time and effort, the gesture made a terrific impact.

"(The people at Red Cross) kept saying, 'We are very, very grateful,'" said Garcia.

Garcia’s reason for getting involved is simple, but it is one echoed in every store, office and truck across the Love’s Family of Companies.

"You have to give back to your community."

Even though life is pretty much back to normal in Elk City, the work isn’t over. Construction crews from miles around are still there repairing and rebuilding. Those crews regularly visit Love’s 201, and the staff is happy to serve them and say thank you for helping the community get back on its feet.

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