Community's gotten a lot of help, but you can still pitch in
Among the volunteers helping sort, trim, haul and clean up Gifford on Wednesday were about 150 students and staff members from Armstrong Township High School.
"Our whole high school is here in town to help," said Armstrong Superintendent Bill Mulvaney, whose damaged house sits just off Gifford's Main Street.
The school has 130 students plus about 20 staff members, he said.
"These are my people," he said, sorting through salvaged belongings in his garage. "Don't even get me started, I might start crying."
Storage has become the biggest problem at St. Paul's Lutheran Church in Gifford, which is overflowing with donated food.
The church kitchen continues to feed hundreds of residents, workers and volunteers daily, and it's received so much food that much of it is being stored outdoors.
Volunteer Cindy Lustfeldt said the only fortunate thing about a November tornado is they can store perishable items outside for a bit.
"We have no room in the fridge," she said.
Lustfeldt said the temporary soup kitchen will continue running at least through Saturday.
"There's a hot meal and a warm place to sit and a workable bathroom," she said. "Not having running water to go the bathroom is the hardest part for people."
The Pointe at U of I, 1601 E. Florida Ave., U, is collecting donations until 10 p.m. Friday for the Gifford area tornado relief. The facility will be open from 8 a.m. to 10 p.m. Thursday and Friday.
The facility is teaming with other organizations to pack a shuttle bus to bring supplies to Gifford.
Items being collected include: non-perishable food items, bottled water, large garbage bags, toiletries, work gloves, bleach, buckets, sponges, mops, towels, baby formula, infant care items, diapers, bedding, flashlights, batteries, manual can openers, aspirin, duct tape, matches, scissors, toilet paper, paper towels, plastic totes, rakes, shovels, pet food and pet supplies.
For information, call 217-337-3901.
The Urbana Park District and Tadasana Yoga are hosting a charity event to benefit the village of Gifford from 6 to 7:25 p.m. Monday at the Phillips Recreation Center.
Participants age 15 and older are welcome to bring equipment to the event.
Yoga mats and other essentials will be provided. The karmic yoga class is suitable for all ability levels, beginner to advanced.
Although the event is free, participants are encouraged to make donations to help support those affected by the storm damage. Checks may be made out to the American Red Cross and will be collected by Gifford State Bank.