Tornado Relief Funds

Washington School District Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer, left, and Washington West Elementary Principal Kim Hunt hold a check for $2,026 for the community of Washington, Ill., which is trying to rebuilt after an EF4 tornado hits its town in November. Washington West led the way in donations. Submitted Photo.

In an effort to assist a fellow Washington community, students and staff in the Washington School District raised $2,026 in just three days to help students impacted by an EF4 tornado.

The community of Washington, Ill., is till trying to recover from the Nov. 17 storm that injured hundreds and damaged or destroyed over 500 buildings.

“We share the same name and are similar in size,” said Superintendent Dr. Lori VanLeer. “A disaster like this could have easily happened in our community. It was a natural response to want to help other Washingtonians.”

Washington, Ill., is located in the central part of the state, just east of the Illinois River, and has a population of roughly 16,000 people. In comparison, Washington, Mo., sits on the Missouri River and has almost 14,000 residents.

From pajama days to turkey bowling, students and staff were able to collect over $1,900.

Washington West Elementary led the way with more than $700 in donations, while a generous gift from First State Community Bank helped the total eclipse the $2,000 mark.

In addition to cash donations, Fifth Street Elementary also collected several bags of clothes, food and personal care items.

“Our community has a history of helping others,” added Dr. VanLeer.

A check for $2,026 and a letter from Dr. VanLeer was sent to the Washington Schools Tornado Relief Fund this week.

The letter reads:

To the citizens of Washington, Illinois:

Please accept this donation from the students and staff of the School District of Washington in Washington, Missouri. The tremendous devastation brought upon your community by the recent tornado has left you with many challenges in the weeks and months ahead. Our school community wanted to show our concern and support for another “Washington” community, as you strive to rebuild and move forward.

Your pride in your community and your commitment to rise above this tragic event serve as an inspiration for all communities. Our thoughts are with you.