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LCI’s ‘Tornado Relief Team’ Returns to Goshen

LCI Oklahoma relief team members posed for a photo in front of the company RV. (From left) Austin DeBlock, Rich Furner, Matt Nead, Brett Robinson and Mike Pierce took the RV to Oklahoma May 29, taking with them $4,000 worth of supplies donated by local DAV chapters.

After three days cleaning up debris from a tornado that tore through Moore, Okla., a relief team of five employees from Lippert Components, Inc. (LCI) returned to Goshen, Ind., on June 3.

“It was definitely a life-changing experience,” said Service Manager Matt Nead, who co-led the trip with Rich Furner in quality control, in a press release. “We are lucky to work for a company that cares about its people and the community.”

Despite the risk of additional tornadoes, the team drove the company RV to Oklahoma, taking with them $4,000 worth of supplies donated by the local DAV chapters of Elkhart, Goshen, Kokomo, Michigan City and Hammond. The team stayed in the RV at Antioch Christian Church, which helped organize relief efforts with sister churches and the Red Cross.

The LCI team worked two days at the Orr Family Farm ─ a large agri-education farm in Oklahoma City ─ where more than 100 horses were killed and buildings were demolished by the storm. The team moved piles of debris, cleared trees and junk from fence lines and prepared an area to become a memorial for pets lost in the devastating storms.

“Mr. Orr was ecstatic that we came back to help at the farm on the second day,” said Furner. “He was in tears, and we were proud we could help pave a path of recovery for his family business.”

Furner was astonished at the devastation they saw, noting, “I served during Iraqi Freedom and the Gulf War and I had never seen destruction as bad as what we saw in Oklahoma.”

Furner expressed his thanks to everyone who supported the team. “Because of the company’s support ─ starting with CEO Jason Lippert ─ we were able to do a lot of good work and help people through this difficult time.”

Visit redcross.org for details on how to donate money to help in the relief effort.

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