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How to Help Harrisburg Illinois Tornado Victims | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother

How to Help Harrisburg Illinois Tornado Victims

Harrisburg IL devastated after an EF4 tornado. Photo by Jordan Vandenberg

FEMA again denied private assistance to victims of the EF4 tornado that flattened Harrisburg, Illinois, and killed 7 people.

For years, many local churches have ventured across the country to help victims of other disasters. Now, there’s one in our own backyard, only a 2 hour drive from Evansville, Indiana. For those private homeowners who lacked insurance, their only recourse now is help through private charities or to quality and obtain low interest SBA loans.

Complicating Harrisburg’s recovery from their disaster is the unexpected illness of their mayor, Eric Gregg, who has been pivotal in their rebuilding. He was hospitalized in Evansville and had emergency surgery last week.

When he returns to Harrisburg, I hope Evansville good will and help goes with him. My challenge to you personally, to your community, to your church, and to your family: find a way to help Harrisburg, Illinois. Here are contact that can get you connected:


  • S.T.O.R.M. – Social Services, Temporary Housing, One Stop Center, Rehab of  Houses, Matching Resources – matches tornado victims without resources to volunteer groups and agencies who can help them. To volunteer or donate, call (618) 294-9600.


  • The Harrisburg Disaster Relief Fund accepts online donations that are tax deductible. Partnered with the Southern Illinoisan newspaper, these funds are collected by the Southern Illinois Community Foundation.
  • 50 Days for 50 Grand – Ike Honda and Black Diamond Harley Davidson are selling $20 raffle tickets (5 for $50) to benefit the Southern Illinois Hog Chapter’s disaster relief efforts. On May 12, they will draw winners to win a new Harley Davidson and Honda Civic.
  • The Athletic Department of Murphysboro High School is collecting financial donations to help Harrisburg students who lost everything. Funds collected will be given directly to the Athletic Director of Harrisburg High School.

Ways Others Are Helping:

Disasters are personal to me. Eleven years ago, our family’s home and business burned. Through the generosity of our friends and strangers, we muddled through 1 of the most traumatic periods of our lives.

So on a personal note, please do what you can to help these tornado victims. Frankly, I think our local help can be more effective – in terms of time and cost – than what FEMA could have offered. Let’s take care of our own neighbors in our own back yard.

If you find other ways we can help those in the Harrisburg area, comment below, and I will share them.


  1. Please help Harrisburg Illinois Appeal FEMA’s Denial of Disaster Funding | Mary Biever | One Writing Mother - March 30, 2012

    […] Follow up blog: How to Help Harrisburg, Illinois. […]

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