Many Illinois Valley residents have been looking for a way to help families and communities damaged by Sunday’s tornadoes in places like Washington, Ill., and Coal City.
For example, Terri Zafiros of La Salle decided to create a Facebook group, “Illinois Valley Friends of 11-17-13 tornado victims.”
Zafiros is collecting items to take to people in need in Washington on Thursday.
“I was just wanting to help,” Zafiros said when asked why she’s organizing the drive. “It’s cold and people are hungry and I know insurance doesn’t cover everything. It’s going to take awhile before everything’s straightened out.”
Donated items can be dropped off at 2425 Fourth St., Peru.
Items Zafiros plans to take to Washington this week include nonperishable food items, bottled water or hydrating beverages, warm-weather clothing, Personal hygiene items, paper products, pet supplies, baby items and supplies, cleaning materials ranging from bucket to bleach, batteries, toys, plastic or Rubbermaid-style totes, cardboard boxes, garbage bags, manual can openers and tarps.
Zafiros plans to load a Jeep sport-utility vehicle and another SUV. If she collects more than that, Johannes Bus Service has volunteered to provide a driver and a bus.
Zafiros plans to make another trip to Washington or another tornado-stricken community next week, too.