Oklahoma Tornado Victim - Rebuild Home

Members of our South Tulsa Life Church are working with a family in the Shawnee, OK area that lost everything in the May 2013 Oklahoma tornadoes - AND, they had no insurance, plus two family members with substantial health issues. They live in a rural area outside of Shawnee with no fire department access. (and one reason for no affordable home owners coverage).

Cindy and her husband Steve lived in their small hme for over 30 years.  Steve, was a heating and air contrator, but due to some significant health issues, had not been able to work.  He was in a rehab facility, unable to walk; his spine attacked by some unknown virus. Cindy was actually at the hospital with him when the May tornado destroyed their home - or they both would likely not have survived.  She was staying in her truck and sleeping on a porch area on her property. Cindy's mother is in a nursing facility and she is exhausted driving back and forth between rehab, nursing facility, work and spending many hours filling out paperwork and going from one organizational office to the next. She was desperately searching for temporary living, but could find nothing affordable nor close to her husband and mother. We set up our travel trailer for temporary housing at a nearby RV site for her. She is very grateful for a place to sleep and bathe, but very burdened about where she will bring her husband when he gets out of the hospital and rehab. All of the care-giving responsibilities for her husband and mom fall on her and she is definitely crumbling under the weight.

This family has nothing and are simply existing day-to-day not really knowing what to do next. They've spent hours in the American Red Cross and FEMA lines, surviving on little sleep, exhausted and hopeless. Our church group has already volunteered many hours clearing debris, salvaging anything possible and clearing their properties so they/we can start planning how we might rebuild a home structure on their land. Because of their very rural area, there is not a fire department, making homeowners insurance virtually nonexistent...if available at all, then, not reasonably affordable for them. We are committed to walk with them through this process until we can provide hope and a permanent dwelling.

We have a collection of contractors and vendors who have volunteered for the rebuild process. We have people for the labor, but we need money for the materials. We've set a BIG goal, but we serve a BIG GOD and any amount would be helpful in assisting them in rebuilding their lives on their own property. My heart breaks for these two families and for all the others who've lost so very much. But seeing these two retirees - it is so hard on them physically and then the emotional burden, well....they break down many times during the day.

We live two hours from the site of the tornado and it is difficult to leave them when we must return home. They are on our hearts every moment. Please consider helping us financially so we can help them rebuild their homes and lives. There are long days ahead, but we believe together, we can GET IT DONE!

The Abernathy Family & South Tulsa Life Church Members
  • Rhonda Barbour 
    • $100 
    • 90 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $25 
    • 91 mos
  • Anonymous 
    • $20 
    • 92 mos
  • Merle Bellot 
    • $150 
    • 92 mos
  • Pete Benes 
    • $50 
    • 93 mos
See all


Karen Bettis Abernathy 
Broken Arrow, OK
  • #1 fundraising platform

    More people start fundraisers on GoFundMe than on any other platform. Learn more

  • GoFundMe Guarantee

    In the rare case something isn’t right, we will work with you to determine if misuse occurred. Learn more

  • Expert advice, 24/7

    Contact us with your questions and we’ll answer, day or night. Learn more