St. Francis de Sales parishioners collected $26,000 for the town of Harrisburg, Ill., which was hit by an EF4 tornado Feb. 29.
The parish also is collecting canned food and bottled water for the town.
St. Francis de Sales held a special collection the weekend of March 10 and 11, with parishioners ultimately donating $26,000. The Rev. David Ryan, the church’s pastor, left for Harrisburg on March 21 to deliver the funds to St. Mary's Parish in Harrisburg, along with St. Joseph's Parish in Ridgway.
"People were really very generous," said Diana MacGillis, spokeswoman for St. Francis de Sales parish.
According to the Huffington Post, the Federal Emergency Management Agency denied disaster funding to Harrisburg.
Blue bins have been set up inside the church along with the Ministry Center, where parishioners and other members of the community can donate canned goods and bottled water for the two downstate Illinois parishes.
The collection drive was coordinated by David LaVanne, a Boy Scout from St. Francis de Sales and a Lake Zurich High School student.
The drive will be held through March 26. Items can be dropped off at the church or in the Ministry Center. The latter, which is located next to the church, is open during the following hours: 8:30 a.m. to 8:30 p.m. Monday through Thursday; 8:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. Friday; and 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Saturday.
For more information, visit the church website.