NewsChannel 3 takes action to help tornado victims

Posted at 6:57 PM, May 02, 2014
and last updated 2014-05-02 18:57:00-04

One week ago today, three tornadoes tore through Pasquotank County and Elizabeth City, leaving dozens homeless. NewsChannel 3 got in touch with one family that lost everything and took action to help.

"Thank you Lord! Thank you Lord!"

With her hand up thanking God, Vanessa Spellman is overcome by joy after NewsChannel 3 surprised her with a room full of clothes and supplies for her family. Last week, she, her husband and two daughters, ages 9 and 14, lost it all in the tornado.

"He said, 'The tornado came and got the house,' and I just tore up and went to pieces," said Vanessa Spellman.

To make matters worse, when the family went back to the home to salvage whatever they could, rain poured into the roofless home.

NewsChannel 3 learned of the families' story through Rivers Funeral Home. A business in Elizabeth City that is also taking action to help tornado victims.

"We are just trying to pair families up with those who want to help," said Kirk Rivers, owner of the funeral home.

From clothes to Q-tips, NewsChannel 3 bought the necessities for the Spellman family and surprised Vanessa at the funeral home.

At first her reaction was small, just a simple "Thank you." But after looking through new dresses for her daughters and pants for her husband, she became overwhelmed.

"Thank you, Lord! Thank you, Lord!  I thank y'all, everybody for what y'all did for my  family. Thank you so much."

The Rivers Funeral Home in Elizabeth City is still collection donations for other families in need.