How you can help Illinois tornado victims

Written By Sun-Times Wire Posted: 11/18/2013, 02:40pm

In declaring seven counties across Illinois state disaster areas, Gov. Pat Quinn noted this morning, “We are good and true, and it’s important that we come together as a family here to help our fellow members who have been devastated by this tornado.”

“Whatever your region, we’re all in this together.”

At that same briefing, Illinois Emergency Management Agency officials asked those who want to help to steer clear of storm-ravaged areas and let emergency responders do their thing. Those officials suggested people instead support organizations like the Red Cross that are on the scene.

In that spirit, here are a few ways you can help other Illinoisans affected by Sunday’s tornadoes:

Red Cross

A Red Cross shelter is open at the Crossroads United Methodist Church, 1420 N. Main St. in Washington, according to the Red Cross Central Illinois Chapter.

The organization is providing place to stay for people whose homes have been destroyed by the tornado and immediate needs like food and water, it said. Mental health experts also are available for those who need to talk about how they have been affected.

“Financial donations are the best way to help those who have been affected,” it said.

You can donate to the Red Cross online at or by calling 1-800-RED CROSS. Specify you want your donation to go to the central Illinois tornado response.

Salvation Army

The Salvation Army is on the scene to aid those throughout the Midwest that have been affected by the storms on Nov. 17, according to the Salvation Army Heartland Division website.

You can donate online to support the Salvation Army’s efforts at

You also can donate by mail. You can send your check, designated “November Tornadoes” to:

DES PLAINES, IL 60016-6000

Other collections

Highview Christian Church is collecting clothing, water, candles and food to give away to those who lost everything in the tornado at 10 a.m. Tuesday, Nov. 19, at the church, 403 James Parkway, Washington, Ill.

For additional collections and information, visit the Washington IL Tornado Recovery Facebook page.