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Family receives free furniture after tornado destroyed home

Published: Apr. 20, 2022 at 6:21 PM CDT
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TAOPI, Minn. (KTTC) – A family’s whose homes were destroyed after the EF-2 tornado tore through the town of Taopi received a special donation Wednesday.

When the tornado hit, Rochester’s Neuro Hospitality House Executive Director Peggy Paul was working on getting rid all of the furniture in the nonprofit’s house as her team was transitioning to a different building.

Paul originally planned to auction off the items, but after she saw what happened to the community of Taopi, she thought of a better use.

“We had this whole entire house that was furnished by things that were donated to us, and we thought this was a great opportunity for us to donate to the Taopi community,” she said.

The Neuro House decided to donate all of its furniture including beds, tables, couches and other household items to sisters Angie Schmitz and Melorie Swenson and their families. Schmitz and Swenson’s homes were completely destroyed in the tornado. Schmitz’s house has been nicknamed the dollhouse for its missing wall.

“I couldn’t even tell her [Schmitz]. I had to show her the message, because I couldn’t even tell her,” Swenson said.

The furniture will help house Swenson’s family of five and Schmitz’s family of four, who were all staying at the girl’s parents’ house after the storm.

“Who does that kind of stuff you know? It’s really humbling. It really is,” Schmitz said.

“It just feels good. It’s the right thing to do,” Paul said.

“It really opens your eyes to how amazing people really are,” Swenson said.

Swenson and Schmitz plan to donate the items they don’t need to the other families of Taopi impacted by the tornado. If you’d like to donate to the Taopi relief fund, checks can be sent to United Farmers State Bank in Adams. That address is P.O. Box 354 Adams, MN 55909.

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