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Community rallies after $1,000 in donations stolen from family whose home was destroyed by tornado

By Destinee Patterson

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    NASH COUNTY, North Carolina (WRAL) — A Nash County family said someone stole more than $1,000 in donations from them.

The family lost everything in an EF-3 tornado that come through the community last week.

“We had just a couple seconds to get in [the bathroom]. Next thing you know, everything was just gone,” said Haydi Marenco Chavarria.

She said she and her family have lived in the house on Cummings Road for more than four years. They’re no strangers to tornado warnings, but this time was different.

“I told the baby, ‘This is it for us.’ I never thought I would die this way,” Chavarria said. But she survived. Her family was met with a demolished home and no belongings.

“I miss going home to go to bed in my own bed,” her daughter Nicky Juarez said.

Chavarria said they were moving things in and out of their temporary hotel room when the money was stolen. The community support only came back stronger.

“People need to help each other in times like this,” Gregory Pittman said. He was one of at least 10 people WRAL News saw who stopped by to offer a donation.

In fact a stranger, all the way from Idaho, said he saw the remains of the house and felt compelled to help.

“I was at a church Sunday, asked how I could help, and they said there was a tornado here,” Daxton Taylor said. “Instead of going to the church directly, I just turned, pulled in, said ‘hi’ to the people that live here. I said, ‘I’m here, I’m available. What do you need?’”

Since then, they’ve been able to raise $3,000 more to help during this time.

You can help the people who were living in the tornado’s path. The Rocky Mount Area Chamber of Commerce and United Way have setup the Twin County Tornado Disaster Relief Fund. Anyone can donate and 100% of the money goes to people affected by the tornado.

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