Minnesota families affected by Wednesday’s historic tornadoes are turning to GoFundMe to help repair their homes and property and buy essentials.
'It sounded like a freight train'
Anna Gardner of Blooming Prairie set up a GoFundMe after her family’s hobby farm was damaged in the storm. According to the fundraiser, the family’s barn was destroyed, along with several trees. Their rabbit farm was also damaged.
"The second we got downstairs it sounded like a freight train was trying to come through our house," Gardner said, per the GoFundMe story, which notes that a piece of their barn was found nearly two miles from their property.
“We're a hobby farm, meaning we don't make a profit, we simply do it because we love these animals so much. Now they're homeless,” Gardner wrote. “I don't know what to do or how we will recover from this. It would break my heart to bring them to auction or see them go for meat.”
The fundraiser had raised around $4,900 of its $50,000 goal as of Sunday.
Rochester family loses their home
Alissa and Isaac Wolfgram of Rochester lost their home and belongings in Wednesday’s storm, according to a GoFundMe created support rebuilding costs and income loss.
The couple also have three children together.
“We would like to assist them with food, supplies, rebuilding and loss of income due to the clean up and moving efforts that will take place over the upcoming months,” the GoFundMe reads.
The storm blew the roof off their house and then caused extreme damage to the inside of their home, according to family members posting on social media.
As of Sunday, their fundraiser has generated more than $16,000.
'Bad wind storm' leads to devastating fire
Meanwhile, a Coon Rapids family didn't lose their home in a tornado, but their home was destroyed in a fire that during the "bad wind storm" that followed the strong thunderstorms into the overnight hours of Dec. 15-16.
The family told WCCO-TV that the strong winds blew down a tree, which took out power lines and power poles, ultimately igniting the blaze.
Gideon and Heather Slabaugh and their four daughters are now without their home and belongings. Money raised in the GoFundMe for them will go towards clothing, hotel costs, food and other needs.