Pennellville woman volunteering in Moore, Oklahoma disaster area

Lori Lybrook is cooking for volunteers working in Moore, OK.

From Central New York to Central Oklahoma, only 1,400 miles and 22 hours in the car stood between Lori Lybrook and the call for help.

"It just makes a huge difference to them for someone to come along and say how can I help you," says Lybrook.

The Pennellville native has been in Moore, Oklahoma since Friday, helping pick up the pieces left behind by a devastating tornado and cooking for those who have nothing left.

"There are places where beautiful homes are no more. There are twisted and ripped pieces of wood and lumber and pulverized belongings in houses," says Lybrook.

Lybrook has volunteered with the organization "Samartian's Purse" during other disasters like Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Sandy, and the tornado in Joplin, Missouri. According to Lybrook, whether the damage is caused by wind or water, the feeling of loss is always the same.

"People are people no matter where they live. The pain is the same, but as they can start putting their lives back together the hope is the same," says Lybrook.

Lybrook isn't the only Central New Yorker helping with the clean-up in Oklahoma. The Red Cross usually only sends people within a 400 mile radius, but in this case there are two Central New Yorkers, one from Oswego and one from Manlius, with a social work specialty who have been sent to help as well.

Rosie Taravella with the American Red Cross of Central New York is honored to dispatch local volunteers with these special skills.

"We're very proud that we have a number of people in those fields from Central New York who are frequently dispatched," says Taravella.

Back in Moore, Lybrook is amazed by the resilience and kindness of the community, which reminds her of home.

"They're sweet, wonderful, loving, they have a great sense of community here in Moore and they have a lot of hometown pride like we do in Central New York," says Lybrook.