By Tony Lopez

SACRAMENTO (CBS13) — The Moore, Okla., tornado is fresh in the mind of a volunteer Sacramento Red Cross chaplain who saw the damage first-hand.

“It was a pile of rubble. Just sticks and bricks and cars upside down,” said Cynthia Olson.

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Cynthia remembers the face of a mother telling her how she saved her family by holding them down in her bathtub.

“And the wind picked up the feet of her daughter, and she grabbed her by the hair and just held her down.”

There was also the young couple who pulled into their driveway to find everything wiped away. As Cynthia helped wipe their tears, she quickly found out what they desperately needed to find.

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“She said the only thing she wanted out of that rubble were the ashes of her son who was killed five years earlier, and they were in an urn on her mantle.”

All Cynthia wanted to do was help, and she did by consoling those who lost loved ones. She quickly discovered what the people of Moore offered her—a reminder in the face of one of the most powerful storms to hit that real strength came from those who stood their ground.

“They are grateful to have their lives, and the material things can be replaced.”

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