CenTex Tornado Relief Fund helps get Salado residents back on their feet

A year after an EF-3 tornado touched down in Salado, we check in with those that benefited from the Central Texas Tornado Relief Fund
Published: Apr. 12, 2023 at 6:40 PM CDT
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SALADO, Texas (KWTX) - Sharon Whitt’s world was turned upside down a year ago.

The EF-3 tornado that devastated Salado left her home unhabitable, but with the help of her community and the Central Texas Tornado Relief Fund, she’s back on her feet.

Last year, KWTX, in partnership with the Waco Foundation and Helping Hands Ministries, created the Central Texas Tornado Relief Fund for those impacted by the tornado.

“I said ‘Well, do we have to find a place to sleep tonight?’ And she said, ‘Yes Mom, we’re all going to have to find a place to sleep,’” Whitt said as she recalled a conversation with her daughter a year ago.

Like many families, Whitt lost most of her belongings.

After the tornado had passed, debris was scattered across the yard, and sunshine beamed through what was once a structurally sound tin roof.

“I drove up and couldn’t believe what I saw, and I started to sob,” Whitt recalled.

To help get her back on her feet, Helping Hands Ministries came in with large dumpsters to load and haul debris.

The non-profit also helped restore running water with a new charcoal filter and water softener.

“I can live without the water softener, but the charcoal filter I can’t live without,” Whitt said as she showed KWTX the repaired well.

Nearing the light at the end of the tunnel, Whitt thanked the folks who made it happen.

“They were such a tremendous blessing to me and I knew none of them except one lady from years ago,” she recalled.

Whitt highlighted that many people within her community and church family also helped where they could.

For Helping Hands, they say it’s what they do best, distributing $63,000 in aid.

“It’s the fun part now just hearing their stories and seeing the blessing that came out of such a loss and hard time,” Whitt said.

With a rebuilt house and working well, Whitt can now focus on removing what’s left of the debris from her property.

Her motto throughout all of this is, “It’s a mess but God will turn it into a message.”