Family organizes supply delivery to tornado victims

Published: Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 5:30 a.m. CDT • Updated: Saturday, Nov. 23, 2013 7:33 a.m. CDT

GENEVA – News of the recent devastating tornadoes in the city of Washington spurred several efforts to collect supplies to aid those who were rendered homeless.

Among them was Kathy Hofmann of Elburn.

She and her husband, Scott, and son, Chase, will be driving to Washington on Sunday, with a 19-foot semitrailer full of donated items, she said. 

“The trailer is two-thirds full,” Hofmann said. “We’ll be in the St. Peter Church parking lot at 1 p.m. Saturday. ... We could always use more supplies to bring down to the affected area.”

If anyone has anything to add, Hofmann asks to be notified via email at kahofmann@att.net and to meet them in the parking lot at 1891 Kaneville Road, Geneva. Another dropoff point for the Hofmann effort is at Hill’s Country Store, 2S133 Harter Road, Kaneville, she said.

“We’ve been in contact with wonderful ladies at St. Patrick’s church in Washington,” Hofmann said. “A hundred families have totally lost their homes; a third of their students are displaced. The biggest thing is not to bring clothes – they need clothes, but not right now because they have no storage for it.”

St. Patrick Catholic Parish and School in Washington has a website with relief information at www.stpatswashington.com, including a PayPal account online to accept donations, Hofmann said.

Items needed are personal hygiene products, bottled water, blankets, large trash bags, work gloves and plastic totes, phone chargers, diapers, wipes, dust masks, duct tape and black markers. 

“This is something my husband and I decided to do,” Hofmann said. “We’re big believers in paying it forward. Scott and I live in a small town. If something happened to us, other small towns would rally and help us.”

Going with them will be a friend, Michelle Calbeck from Batavia, and Mike and Micki Bilardello from North Aurora, Hofmann said. Each will drive their own cars.

Hofmann said she put the word out through her church, St. Peter Catholic Church in Geneva, where school officials notified parents and the collection effort was announced at Mass.

The following weekend, the Hofmanns plan on returning to help sift through rubble and put items to save in plastic totes, she said.

The second effort is for adults only, no children, she said.

“My husband is a carpenter contractor and has his own company,” Hofmann said. “We’re putting on our tool belts and going to work.”

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