News Release

Student Awarded Scholarship for Tornado Relief Efforts

Keli Ooms ’13, of Hollandale, Minnesota, was recently awarded the Kohl’s Kids Who Care Scholarship for her charity work in connection with the tornado relief effort in Parkersburg, Iowa. After an EF-5 tornado ripped through her hometown of Parkersburg on May 25, 2008, Ooms didn’t hesitate to help out those in need.

Ooms grew up in Parkersburg where her father, Rev. Neal Ooms, was the pastor at Hope Reformed Church. It was the church building that sheltered the Ooms’ home from the tornado when it swept through the town last year, flattening hundreds of houses just a block from the church. The destruction was overwhelming, and before long the Ooms’ phone began ringing off the hook with offers of donations.

“I just started telling people to bring it to the church. I’ll take care of it,” said Ooms, and soon the church overflowed with clothing, baby supplies, food, toiletries, and cleaning supplies. She dedicated her summer to organizing the relief effort and finding outlets and volunteers to distribute the supplies to those in need.

Nominated for the scholarship by her father, Ooms received the $1,000 award and the encouragement to continue making a difference. Ooms, a social work major, seeks to continue helping others and encouraging others to do so by sharing her story.

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