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Shawano woman collecting items to donate to Oklahoma victims

SHAWANO, WI (WTAQ) - In Shawano, Dee Lyons' garage and house are filled with items ready to be donated to victims of last week's deadly tornado in Moore, Oklahoma.

“I have over one hundred people willing to donate,” Lyons told FOX 11.

“This is just horrifying for them people,” said Lyons. “That's why I'm doing it.”

Lyons got into the giving mood last December. Since then, she has held collections for 15 Shawano area families.

“All different crises: fire, one had a brain aneurism couldn't support his children, domestic abuse,” said Lyons.

Helping the people in Oklahoma is her first long distance effort.

“Watching the news and stuff and seeing the devastation in Oklahoma, it's just awesome that Dee is doing this kind of thing for them,” Alan Janus, a neighbor helping Lyons, told FOX 11.

Word of Lyons' collection has spread mostly on Facebook.

“The people just keep coming and coming,” said Lyons.

“There's cars two, three, four of them will pull up in an hour,” said Janus.

Lyons says personal care items are still needed, along with help to sort items. But at the moment, one need is outweighing the rest.

“Our biggest hurdle is finding our transportation to get it there,” said Lyons. “All the trucking companies that we've asked, they've all said no so far. So plan B will be Ryder or Uhaul.”

Lyons is holding a rummage sale next weekend to get gas money to get the donations to Oklahoma. It's a trip she plans to see through herself.

Lyons says she is exploring the idea of turning her collection efforts into a nonprofit organization under the name Heaven Sent.

Even though transportation and distribution systems still need to be worked out, she says she's still accepting donations at her house at 403 South Hamlin Street in Shawano. She says she'll even arrange to have donations picked up by calling her at (715) 584-4269.

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