Monday, July 26, 2010

Helping local disaster victims

Our hearts go out to all the victims of the recent flooding in northern Illinois. Brenda's sister lives in Pearl City, and we have been hearing first hand about the flood conditions there.

We would strongly encourage all in the area to do what they can to help out. The Northwest Illinois chapter of the American Red Cross is operating two shelters and responding to needs in the area. Donations to that organization is always helpful.

Unfortunately, we have been unable to find a comprehensive list of volunteer needs and contact information online, but the basics certainly apply. Food to the Northern Illinois Food Bank. Contact local churches for volunteer opportunities. Call your local city hall to inquire about volunteer needs. Try calling the Freeport Housing Authority to see if they have opportunities for people with construction skills to help out. Clothing and household items will be needed for those who have been devastated by the flooding and lack adequate insurance.

An afternoon spent helping others, a bag full of food, a few clothes that you don't wear often, that rarely used kitchen appliance that you received as a wedding gift, the spare bed that was left behind after the kids moved out - all of these are pretty minor in the long run, but could make a world of difference in the life of someone else in our area.

For residents who are working to clean up after the flood, we encourage you to read the safety information from the Stephenson County Health Department before you begin.

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