It was a bright spot for the family's life, and now Klein wants to find those cards to ensure that McLaughlin's children have something more from their father to hold dear.
Strangers have joined her search.
While helping with Washington's tornado cleanup, Illinois Wesleyan University women's golf coach Kathy Niepagen spotted Klein desperately searching her property, looking for the cards.
"I felt so bad for this lady. She had such despair in her eyes, and she didn't care about anything else," Niepagen recently recalled. "I just gave her a hug, walked away and said, 'Let's see what we can do.'"