The Heart of Illinois United Way provides resources promoting health, education and financial stability in Marshall, Peoria, Putnam, Stark, Tazewell and Woodford Counties in Central Illinois.

Heart of Illinois United Way Tornado Relief Fund

If you would like to help families and individuals affected by the recent tornadoes, please make a one-time donation to the Tornado Relief Fund.

Between houses and apartment buildings, more than 3,000 Tazewell County residents in East Peoria, Pekin and Washington lost their homes in November 2013. With full-recovery taking two to four years, the Heart of Illinois United Way’s Tornado Relief Fund was set-up to help with intermediate and long-term recovery needs.

Dollars raised through the 2013 Tornado Relief Fund are being used for needs as requested and verified by our partner agencies and collaborating non-partner agencies. These funds are being distributed without administrative fees to agencies that are actively engaged in the disaster recovery. Agencies must clearly prove services provided and demonstrate need for financial support. Organizations that receive United Way disaster fund assistance will be evaluated and held accountable.

To date, dollars raised by the 2013 Tornado Relief Fund have helped with the following intermediate and long-term recovery needs:

A grant provided to Midwest Food Bank to support 32 food pantries in Tazewell County to help secure canned vegetables, cereal, drinks, snacks, dairy and poultry during a time of increased need.

The Salvation Army is utilizing dollars from the 2013 Tornado Relief Fund to provide long-term recovery support for the under-insured and uninsured. This includes help with repair expenses, vouchers to local furniture stores, prescription assistance, help with moving trucks, replacing tires and assistance for rent and utilities.

More than 300 Boy Scouts who are part of six troops in Washington were set to deliver popcorn to Washington homes the Sunday the tornado happened. As part of their annual fundraiser, these scouts lost their popcorn and their customers to the storm. United Way funding helped them restore this loss and allowed these Scouts, and their families, to continue Scouting and provide the skills, values and leadership skills in a time of need.

The Rebuilding Hope After a Natural Disaster: Pathways to Emotional Healing and Recovery book is also part of the 2013 Tornado Relief Fund efforts. The United Way, the Heart of Illinois 2-1-1 Information and Referral Service along with local parents, teachers and mental health professionals noticed that during the initial response efforts that a resource book was needed to help children, parents and teachers deal properly with long-term recovery. The United Way’s education initiative S3 (Supporting Student Success), put together a team to create an activity book that effectively deals with emotional stress from disasters and trauma. For more information, visit the Rebuilding Hope After a Natural Disaster page. (link to new main page for this project).

Thank you to the individuals and companies who made donations to the 2013 Tornado Relief Fund.

Money raised by the Heart of Illinois United Way stays in our community supporting critical health and human care programs focused on the education, financial stability and health needs of central Illinois. These programs help more than 100,000 people each year throughout Peoria, Tazewell, Woodford, Marshall, Stark and Putnam counties.

For more information on the Heart of Illinois United Way’s 2013 Tornado Relief Fund, contact Gina Edwards, VP of Marketing and Communications at 309-674-5181, ext. 1234 or .

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