Generous strangers raise money to replace special-needs van destroyed by Tenn. tornadoes

Family gifted special-needs van after Tenn. tornadoes

DONELSON, Tenn. (WSMV/CNN) – People across Middle Tennessee are dealing with the aftermath of a string of deadly tornadoes.

But communities are rallying and helping each other out.

One woman now has a new special-needs van, thanks to generous strangers.

Brittany Overfield broke her neck in 2017, leaving her paralyzed from the chest down.

Her family’s home was destroyed by the tornadoes this week, and so was the van they used to get Overfield around – which they had saved up months to buy.

The family worried about how they would get another van.

But the community in Donelson, and people from all over, saw the family’s need through a GoFundMe page, and stepped up to raise some $34,000 for a new van.

"This is like beauty from the ashes," said Melissa Davis, Overfield’s mother.

"Just praying that God would send someone or a way for us to get another van, and that's what y'all have done. Y’all have answered our prayers," Overfield said.

It’s more than just a van for 24-year-old Overfield. It’s a part of her life that lets her escape.

"Because without having my legs, you know, and being able to walk, you know I’m pretty much stuck in here all the time," she said.

But with the new van, she’s no longer stuck. She said she’ll be back to visit her family’s Donelson home, which is now in pieces.

She said through her faith and the people who are helping tornado victims, her family and others will get through this.

"There's always going to be people who you would least expect to come and be that light for you and to help you in your time of need," Overfield said.

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