While some Iowans spent Memorial Day weekend with family or at graduation ceremonies, a Charles City woman and her friends were in Moore, Oklahoma helping victims recover from the recent tornado. Melinda King, the youth and family services coordinator at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church, says she and three friends decided to use holiday weekend to volunteer their services..

“I found that doing something where I could connect with people was so much better than sending a check,” King says. “I find that connecting with the people helps me feel like I’ve done something more.”

She says the enormity of the devastation from the EF-5 tornado is almost too much to process. The group spent four days helping with cleanup and she expects they’ll return.

“That’s the hope to go back. We have a few of the addresses of the places where we worked, that we really want to keep up with, and maybe on Google maps watch the rebuilding process,” King says. King says they worked with a group called Serve Care which is a coalition of churches. She says those who want to help can also register online with the United Way.