Schools raise more than $20,000 for tornado relief

Schools raise more than $20,000 for tornado relief

Area schools have raised more than $20,000 and delivered truckloads of supplies for tornado victims in Gifford and Washington. Here’s how they did it:

Paxton-Buckley-Loda Schools

The district raised $2,882, much it from donations, gate receipts, concessions and t-shirt sales at a girls basketball game with GCMS. The junior high and high school also set up donation jars, and the National Honor Society and junior high volleyball team made donations.

"I think all of us knew someone whose family was affected ... this was just a small way for us to show that we care," said Kelli Vaughn, PBL Junior High Athletic Director.

Ludlow Elementary School

The school of just 111 students raised $600 and collected food and other items from throughout the community as part of a "Helping Our Neighbors" campaign for Gifford. Classes also made blankets for tornado victims and teachers helped in the clean-up effort.

Prairieview-Ogden Schools

Collected school supplies, backpacks and clothing for Gifford Grade School, an effort led by seventh-graders Logan Bushman, Angela Palmer and Rylee Sjuts. Students and families also helped with the cleanup. All three schools held fundraisers for affected schools.

Gibson City-Melvin Sibley Schools

Collected more than $1,500 for Gifford and Washington at the girls and boys basketball tournaments and other events. The Fellowship of Christian Athletes collected water and other items and coordinated an effort to adopt Gifford families for Christmas. Math teacher Susan Riley, who helped with tornado relief in Joplin, Mo., and Moore, Okla., organized the high school's Interact Club to work on cleanup in Gifford.

Georgetown-Ridge Farm High School

High school students helped with a cleanup project organized by community groups; the district donated the use of a bus and a driver volunteered his time. The school raised money by allowing staff members to wear jeans for a $10 donations, and students donated as well.

Armstrong-Ellis Grade School

Sent students to help Armstrong High School clean debris out of fields east of Gifford. Allowed release time for staff members to help with the cleanup. The PTO collected food, clothing and toiletries for a school family from Gifford, and students donated money to the Gifford relief fund.

Oakwood Junior High School

The school hosted Gifford's junior high boys basketball on Nov. 26, so volunteers collected donations at the door and gave all gate proceeds to Gifford schools, a total of $400. Parent volunteers provided goody bags and Gatorade for Gifford players and cheerleaders. The school worked with Oakwood police and firefighters to collect cleaning supplies for Gifford (20 gallons of bleach, 20 containers of wipes, 30 packets of work gloves, buckets, rakes and more).

Fisher Schools

Fisher High School held a 50/50 raffle at the girls basketball Fisher-GCMS Tip-Off Classic. Two Fisher Grade School teachers coordinated a fundraiser at a Fisher Junior High boys' basketball game against PBL. With proceeds from that game, the raffle and other donations, the schools raised $1,188 for the Gifford relief fund.

Thomasboro Grade School

The Student Council is collecting money through Friday for the relief fund. The staff also collected donations for a retired Thomasboro teacher who lost everything in the tornado. The PTO donated money to Gifford Grade School for teachers to use to help students and families with any immediate needs.

St. Joseph-Ogden Schools

Assisted St. Joseph Fire Department with collection of clothing, food, and water bottles at the school. The FFA group also helped with cleanup, and a local scouting group hosted a benefit breakfast at the school to benefit Gifford.

St. Malachy School, Rantoul

The staff provided money and supplies to a teacher who lost her home in the tornado. The school held a raffle with Holy Cross School to benefit the Gifford relief fund and the staff will collect donations for the fund instead of a Christmas exchange this year.


Administrative offices collected money and water for employees who live in Gifford. The district partnered with ARAMARK food service to provided meals to more than 500 volunteers in Gifford.

ARAMARK also provided hot lunch to Gifford Grade School students on the first two days it reopened.

Urbana High School

Four students from the FFA group helped with cleanup efforts the day the tornado hit. Staff members also collected diapers and other baby items, water bottles, toilet paper, paper towels, pajamas, hats, gloves, blankets, five boxes of children's clothes and eight bags of toiletries.

Leal Elementary School

Collected more than 50 gallons of potable water and two large boxes of clothes through the school PTA.

Thomas Paine Elementary School

Brownie Troop 2192 collected clothes, blankets, toys and toiletry items for hurricane victims in the Philippines and tornado relief in Central Illinois.

Yankee Ridge Elementary School

The PTA is devoting its December "Giving Project" to students and families in Gifford, collecting money schoolwide and asking students to contribute cards, letters or pictures to children displaced from their homes.

Urbana Middle School

Raised about $400 by allowing students who donated $1 to wear a hat during school on Fridays,


Garden Hills Elementary School

Raised $280 in two days for Gifford tornado victims through a penny drive and Jeans Day.

Jefferson Middle School

Collected fruit, bottled water and other food for Gifford residents, and helped a staff member whose home was damaged in the storm.

Edison Middle School

Students raised more than $350 through a classroom penny challenge, which started as a campaign to help hurricane victims in the Philippines. The money will now go toward both causes.

Franklin Middle School

Several teachers volunteered with the cleanup and the school is trying to coordinate a service-learning project for students to help families there.

St. Matthew School

Collected a trailer full of water bottles for Gifford and $4,250 in donations for St. Patrick School in Washington, Ill. Students were allowed to wear jeans and a green/white shirt with a donation.

Holy Cross School

Raised $2,400 for Washington and $400 for Gifford and participated in St. Matthew's water-bottle collection.

Next Generation School

The school is raising more than $1,000 through a school-wide collection, and by taking donations instead of admission at all home sporting events.

Judah Christian School

Raised $3,500 by allowing students and staff to wear blue jeans to school for a $10 donation.


Danville High School

The school's Library Club is gathering a box of library books for Gifford Grade School. The construction trades class is building and delivering dog houses for some of the residents' dogs.

Edison School

Donated $200 for school supplies for Gifford students.

Meade Park School

Collected notebooks, pencils, scissors, blue and other school supplies for Gifford students.

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