State

Volunteers central to Illinois tornado cleanup

WASHINGTON — A central Illinois church has become home base for recovery operations in the tornado-ravaged community of Washington, where more than 1,000 homes were severely damaged or destroyed by a tornado last fall.

The Peoria Journal Star reports Bethany Community Church has helped steered more than 6,000 volunteers to help residents rebuild.

That includes groups from New York and Missouri who've traveled to the state on charter buses.

The church coordinates everything through an office in an old farm house.

A group of 120 students from a Minnesota college are spending the week working in Washington and in the tiny eastern Illinois community of Gifford.

The Champaign News Gazette reports it's the ninth year students from St. Olaf College have volunteered during the school break to help with disaster relief efforts.

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