Local Organizations Start Collections to Help Victims of Tornadoes

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UPDATE: STATELINE (WIFR) – New estimates out today show more than 1,500 homes were destroyed by Sunday’s tornadoes and that’s leaving a lot of people in some very desperate situations.

Joseph Baraconi says the destruction left behind Sunday’s tornadoes is a reminder of what can happen in a matter of seconds.

“We had the two tornadoes up north, so we wanted to help out, because we knew how much people helped us,” Baraconi said.

He and several other North Boone firefighters took the two and a half hour drive to Washington, Illinois to personally deliver donations to those in need. Right now, mre than a thousand people eare considered homeless.

“We talked to so many families who have just been overwhelmed that there would be volunteers that come all the way from Rockford, IL to just come and help them,” said Steve Cochran, a volunteer with Rockford First.

Dozens of volunteers from Rockford First church are going door to door to take special requests in in surrounding neighborhoods like Pekin which was also hit by tornadoes.

“We’re going to try and assess the damage and see what we can do to try and help bring some teams in who can serve.”

Cochran says more volunteers will make the trip this weekend to help clean up and bring hope to those who are left to pick up the pieces.

“They’re sticking together, they’re definitely looking ahead. Bright days are ahead for these guys.”

While many local groups are still taking donations, workers at the Washington Chamber of Commerce say they're full and are only taking monetary contributions.

UPDATE: ROCKFORD (WIFR) – Employees of a Rockford business drove down to tornado ravaged Washington, Illinois to hand out some H20 and perhaps a little TLC as well.

The owners of Mobility Connection brought 60 cases of water and almost 20 jugs. As many as 1,000 homes in Washington were destroyed by Sunday’s tornado. The national weather service now says at least 15 tornadoes hit the state.

"They're still under a boil water order, so any water that they can get will be helpful for drinking, for bathing, for washing hair, anything, so water's very important,” said Becky Lichty, co-owner of Mobility Connection.

Rockford Christian School is also accepting donations now through Friday. They’ll be filling up a semi-truck with items like clothing.

STATELINE (WIFR) -- Many people are asking “how can we help” following Sunday’s devastating tornadoes that ripped through parts of Illinois. Right now there are several donation drives here in the Stateline.

The Rockton Fire Department and RBI Sports Bar are just a few places gathering items by spreading the word on sites like Facebook for people to come and donate thigns to the families who were affected by Sunday’s devastating tornadoes.

The Rockton Fire Department is donating water after talking with a firehouse in Washington, Illinois whose water main broke limiting their fresh water supply. Other places like RBI’s is collecting various items hoping to fill the 3 U-Hauls they picked up this morning.

"Talking with the members here they feel pretty relieved that they're able to help people in need down there. It's not someone in our day to day life that we're helping but that's what we do as an organization,” said Deputy Chief Cory Magnus with the Rockton Fire Protection District.

Below is a list of organizations and how to help:

-The Rockton Fire Protection District is gathering drinking water to send to the area. Drinking water or monetary donations to purchase drinking water will be collected at the Rockton Fire Protection District at 201 N. Blackhawk Blvd, in Rockton between the hours of 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Drinking water will only be collected no clothing or other supplies. Donations will be collected until Thursday evening at 8 p.m. and will be sent down Friday morning. For questions, please call the Rockton Fire Protection District at 815-624-6010.

-For the next 24 hours, RBI Bar, Onyx Bar and Grill, and District Bar and Grill will be collecting food and clothing donations on Monday. RBI Bar will start collecting at 7am, Onyx Bar and Grill and District Bar and Grill will start collecting at 9 a.m.

-Salvation Army: Help the victims of tornado devastation and severe weather conditions in Central Illinois, Metropolitan Chicago, Southern Illinois, and Indiana with monetary contribution. The best way to help The Salvation Army serve those affected by the tornadoes is to make a monetary contribution. You can give online (see related links), by mail to The Salvation Army (Designate to “Tornado”) P.O. Box 4159 Rockford, IL 61110-0659 or by texting STORM to 80888 and reply YES to confirm your donation*. Terms and conditions:*A one-time donation of $10 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance.

-The Red Cross will be accepting cash or check donations for disaster relief on Friday November 22nd, 2013 from 7 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. at the American Red Cross Rock River Chapter located at 727 N. Church Street in Rockford. Donations will also be accepted at the Northwest Illinois Chapter in Freeport located at 224 Galena Ave.

-Rockford Christian Schools National Honor Society and Key Club are sponsoring a donation drive for the Washington, Illinois tornado victims. Anyone in the community wishing to help can drop off their donations at the semi-truck in Rockford Christian School’s parking lot during the day Wednesday, November 20th through Friday, November 22nd from 7:15am-3:30pm. Items in need are cases of water, nonperishable food, personal care items, such as tooth brushes, toothpaste, shampoo, conditioner, body wash, garbage bags, cleaning supplies, diapers, toilet paper, and paper towels. Also new or gently used blankets, winter hats, gloves, scarves, and new/gently used winter coats. (Please no clothing.) Donations will be driven to Washington, Illinois with a group of Rockford Christian students on Monday morning, November 25th.

-The Mobility Connection at 4100 E. State Street in Rockford is collecting donations to take to Washington, IL. Donations will be collected from 8:30-5:00 p.m. through the rest of the week. In addition to water, items needed also include socks (new, any size), underwear (new, any size), baby clothes, baby food/cereal, diapers, baby formula, nursery water, non-perishable food, garbage bags, work gloves, pet supplies.

-Porterhouse Equipment and Rental located at 3523 Rt 26 South, in Freeport is taking donation now for the Washington, IL tornado recovery. Donations can be dropped off at the site until noon on Wednesday, November 20th. A large truck will be sent down on Wednesday with the donations. Items needed include water, flashlights, clothing, hats, coats, gloves, blankets, non-perishable food, and toiletries.

-Mallory Yeager, a teacher with Rockford Lutheran Academy is collecting clothing items and toiletries for tornado victims. Items can be dropped off at Yeager's classroom which is in the preschool/church building at the school. Items can be dropped off during school hours or before school from 6:45-7:45 a.m. or after school from 3:15-4 p.m.

-North Boone Fire District 3 is accepting donations Tuesday and Wednesday from 8 a.m. to 12 p.m. and 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. to help tornado relief efforts. Items needed include cleaning supplies, clothing, water, and non-perishable food. The fire district will be leaving Thursday morning. For more information call 815-985-0478

-Bowling for Tornado Victims: Sunday November 24th, 2013 is “Bowl for Tornado Victims Day” at many Northern Illinois Bowling Centers.
100% of open bowling proceeds from 9 a.m. to 5p.m. will be donated to victims of the Washington, IL tornado. Bowling prices will be discounted 50% OFF normal open bowling prices from 9 a.m to 5 p.m. Residents of Northern Illinois are encouraged to get their friends and families together for a day of bowling fun while helping raise needed funds to help the people of Washington, IL during their time of need.

Participating Bowling Centers:

Cherry Bowl - 7171 Cherryvale N Blvd, Rockford, IL 61112 (815) 332-9595
Don Carter Lanes – 4007 East State Street - Rockford, IL 61108 (815) 399-0314
Seasons in Freeport – 1100 W. Galena Freeport, IL 61032 (815) 235-6145
Park Lanes - 5318 N. 2nd St. Loves Park, IL 61111; Phone: (815) 877-6051
Forest Hills Lanes - 7742 Forest Hills Rd, Loves Park, IL 61111 (815) 654-3900
B & B Park Bowl - 5626 N 2nd St, Loves Park, IL 61111(815) 633-8824
Concordia Lanes – 1205 Logan Ave. Belvidere IL 61008 (815) 544-3966
Viking Lanes - 210 Oak Grove Ave, South Beloit, IL 61080 (815) 389-2238
WestMor Lanes – 2407 North Central, Rockford, IL 61101 (815) 963-7210

-A portion of the proceeds from the Sts. Constantine and Helen Holiday Bake Sale & Bazaar will go towards Washington Illinois tornado recovery. The event is on Friday November 22nd from 10 a.m, to 5:30 p.m. and Saturday November 23rd from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Sts. Constantine & Helen Greek Orthodox Church, 108 N. Fifth Street in Rockford. The Philoptochos Society is the philanthropic arm of the Greek Orthodox Church. Holiday dessert trays featuring, homemade Greek pastries including baklava, melomakarona, kourabiedes, karithopita, koulourakia, breads, Christmas cookies and spinach and cheese pies will be available.

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