Columbia Road Baptist Church hit the road last year when a deadly tornado struck Moore, Okla., and they've been collecting donations ever since

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A local church has its hard hats ready to help the hardest hit areas in the South.

"The idea is to be ready when a disaster happens. We don't have to just wait," Pastor Alan Jenkins said. "We can just hit the road."

Columbia Road Baptist Church hit the road last year when a deadly tornado struck Moore, Okla., and they've been collecting donations ever since. Jenkins asked his congregation to bring one item every Sunday.

"I've never seen anything like that in my life. It was my first experience to see that kind of devastation, and it was just like a war field," Jenkins said.

He visited the site along with several church members.

"I've never been through weather like that before," Jim Skuly said. "Just buildings torn up, some gone."

Skuly drove the truck of supplies, almost getting caught in a tornado along the way, and he's ready to do it all over again for those in Arkansas.

"Just thinking about some of the people, in one day they lost everything that they owned," Skuly said. "Their life changed."

Now Columbia Road Baptist Church wants to change it for the better, but before church members head out, they're hoping for more bottled water and toiletry items.

"We're anxious to help," Jenkins said.

Skuly said he's ready to leave at a moment's notice.

"It's important that we look after each other," Skuly said.

The church will keep accepting donations in anticipation of more tornadoes striking throughout the summer. They'll make multiple trips with supplies if necessary.

You can make a financial donation to the effort at ColumbiaRoad.org. Supplies, such as bottled water, toiletry items and nonperishable food can be dropped off between 9 a.m. and 4 p.m. at the following locations: Columbia Road Baptist Church, 4116 Columbia Road, North Olmsted; and Nehemiah's Network, 4488 West 160th St., Cleveland.

You can contact the church at (440) 777-7539 or Nehemiah's Network at (216) 433-4400.

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