Relief for tornado victims: How you can help

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Want to help with disaster relief efforts? Local and national organizations are accepting donations of money or badly needed items, and offering volunteer opportunities for those wishing to pitch in.

  • The American Red Cross website has a donation tool allowing you to specify that funds be directed to a specific chapter at
  • State of Illinois employees and retirees can direct a payroll deduction to the American Red Cross through The site also offers a direct link to the American Red Cross for those who are not state employees or retirees.
  • The Salvation Army is accepting monetary donations online or by phone at (800) 725-2769 or To make an automatic $10 donation, text SACHICAGO to 80888.
  • A Facebook page titled Fairdale, IL Tornado Recovery has been established, which includes updates on how to help and items needed items for donation. There is also a page for Fairdale and Rochelle Pet Recovery to help displaced animals.
  • The Elgin Fire Department has set up drop off sites for those wishing to contribute items of immediate need. Requested items include work gloves, flashlights, heavy-duty garbage bags, cleaning supplies, laundry supplies, first aid kits (in Ziploc bags if possible), pet food, ibuprofen (Advil or Aleeve), hand sanitizer, toiletries, baby clothes, batteries (AA or D), baby formula, plastic silverware, non-perishable items, playpens and gently used car seats. No longer needed are blankets, towels, wash clothes or water. Items can be dropped off between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. at either Elgin Fire Station — 550 Summit St. or 650 Big Timber Rd. Donations will be accepted through Tuesday, April 14.
  • The West Chicago Fire Protection District will accept items for donation to DeKalb COunty tornado victims at Fire Station 6 at 200 Fremont St. Items needed are bottled water, non-perishable food, new or slightly used clothing, toiletries, paper goods and gift cards. Items can be dropped off between 8 a.m. and 5 p.m. through April 18.
  • Financial contributions for Rochelle victims can be made at
  • Devon Seafood Grill at 39 E. Chicago Ave. in Streeterville will donate 50 percent of main dining room sales from 5-11 p.m. Saturday, April 11, to benefit tornado disaster relief. “Our hearts go out to those affected by the storms that ripped through north central Illinois last night, and Devon Seafood Grill would like to offer a hand of support to those displaced and impacted by the tragic events.” Director of Operations Jason Snelson said. For details, go to
  • Operation Blessing International has deployed its domestic disaster relief team and an advance team arrived in Rochelle on Friday to assess damages and meet with local emergency management authorities. A convoy of disaster relief equipment left Chesapeake, Va., including a mobile command center, construction trailer, supply truck packed full of volunteer supplies and tools, and a mobile kitchen. Operation Blessing will likely call for volunteers as soon as Saturday. For more information, visit
  • 89 WLS Chicago has launched an online fundraiser to benefit the Kirkland Lions Club, which has pledged to help out the town of Fairdale by buying clothes, toys, pet food, people food, blankets, toiletries, and more.
  • The Council of Islamic Organizations of Greater Chicago is asking members and member organizations to collect donations for tornado relief at Jumuah prayers on Friday, or to make donations, and channel them through CIOGC. Individuals who want to contribute to relief efforts can donate to CIOGC and mark the donation as “Tornado Relief.”
  • The McCormick Foundation and WGN Radio have launched the Illinois Tornado Relief Effort 2015, and the foundation will match all donations 50 cents on the dollar for the first $500,000 raised to support nonprofit agencies providing disaster relief and recovery. Gov. Bruce Rauner made a personal donation of $100,000 to kick off the effort. Donate online at or by calling (800) 931-5707.
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