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University of Illinois Extension

U of I Exension Spreading Warmth this Winter

February 28, 2014

On November 17th a late season tornado touched down in Pekin, East Peoria, and Washington. An estimated 1,000 homes were destroyed or damaged in Washington alone, including an apartment complex. The tornadoes have disrupted the lives of many of the residents of Tazewell County. The outpouring of support for the victims of the tornados has been extraordinary with volunteers coming from as far away as Alaska. University of Illinois Extension has been providing support in a number of ways including setting up a website to distribute information and working with the Long Term Recovery Committee.

4-H has been doing their part as well by making blankets for families. One thing that we all know is that Illinois winters are anything but warm. However, many of the families are just a little bit warmer because of several 4-H groups from around the state. Before Christmas several Monroe County and Madison County 4-H clubs donated 41 handmade blankets and some holiday treats to the victims of the tornados. Julie Siebert, who is running the distribution center in Washington, has said that these blankets mean a lot to the families because they are handmade and it is "the personal touches that mean so much to these families that have lost everything." Other groups that donated were HCE of Monroe County and Scott Air Force Base.

Donations of new bedding items, blankets and basic food and cleaning supplies are still needed. For a complete list of items that are most needed please check the tornado website (web.extension.illinois.edu/tornado). Updates are made weekly to the list on the website. More information is available on the website or by contacting Jason Haupt, Ag/Natural Resource educator at (309) 547-3711 or jdhaupt@illinois.edu.

Source: Jason Haupt, Extension Educator, Energy and Environmental Stewardship, jdhaupt@illinois.edu

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