Local residents help in tornado relief efforts

BATAVIA – Batavia resident Reed Callahan saw for himself Wednesday the devastation caused after a tornado tore through the community of Washington on Sunday.

Callahan, a member of the Knights of Columbus 2191, helped deliver supplies to Washington that were collected by the Knights and Holy Cross Catholic Church in Batavia.

“Washington is half-flattened,” he said. “There were more than 500 homes that were damaged and another 500 that were partly damaged.”

And he said those who also are delivering supplies should be patient.

“They are overloaded with relief packages,” he said. “When you bring stuff down there, you have to have a place to go.”

Callahan brought such items as coats and shoes along with gift cards on his trip to Washington.

The city of Geneva also is seeking the community’s help in collecting donations for tornado victims in Washington. The city’s donation drop-off location will be open from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Mondays through Fridays through Dec. 9 at 77 N. First St. in downtown Geneva.

Requested items include toiletries, toothpaste, toothbrushes, pain reliever medications, cold medicine, first-aid kits, reading glasses, plastic cups, plastic plates, plastic utensils, razors, pillows and blankets.

A caravan will deliver items to Washington on Dec. 11. The drop-off location will be closed during the Thanksgiving holiday, Nov. 28 and 29.

The Northern Illinois Food Bank in Geneva also is accepting donations for tornado victims. Information is available by calling 630-443-6910 or at www.solvehungertoday.org/helpnow.

In addition, Fox Valley Robotics/Batavia Robotics will sponsor a collection this weekend from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. at Rotolo Middle School, 1501 S. Raddant Road, Batavia, for victims of the tornadoes and storms that swept through Illinois.

The students and their parents will be collecting bottled water, nonperishable food items, small toys and cash donations in an effort to assist those who need it. Donations can be dropped off at Rotolo Middle School.

People who want to make an online cash donation or assist in some way with the donation, collection or delivery process should email tornadorelief@foxvalleyrobotics.com.

For information, visit www.foxvalleyrobotics.com/events.