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Volunteers still needed in tornado clean up efforts


Compassion fatigue appears to be setting in for the communities impacted by the November 17th tornadoes. That’s according to the Tri-County Long Term Recovery Center that helps coordinate resources for those seeking assistance following the disaster.

Officials with the center say they have seen a significant drop in volunteers in the last couple of months. Jim Fassino is the Chairman of the center. 

“Maybe the community awareness of it is either fading or the assumption is that a lot of progress has been made and that there isn’t a need for volunteers which really isn’t the case. There’s still significant need for skilled and unskilled volunteers to help bring people in Washington, East Peoria and Pekin back to pre-disaster status.”

Fassion says the biggest need for volunteers is for soil remediation on residential lawns.

“The velocity of the winds, so much debris in the air, even the construction itself left lots of glass, sharp objects, and things in the soil. And one of the most effective ways to begin treating that is with manpower, raking, and trying to remove that debris so that the yards and playgrounds can be used again."

Fassino says Bethany Community Church is coordinating days for debris removal, building garden sheds and general clean-up. Those dates are September 20th, October 4th and October 25th. Fassino says storm victims are also in need of financial help to cover various costs. 

The volunteer hotline is 309-573-2670. People can also contact Bethany Community Church to volunteer at 309-508-1755.

Financial contributions can be made by contacting the Community Foundation of Central Illinois at 309-674-8730. Those donating money should specify that they'd like their money to go to tornado recovery efforts. 

The hotline for tornado victims seeking assistance is 309-696-6923.