Chicago organizations, volunteers send food and supplies to Kentucky tornado survivors

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Monday, December 13, 2021
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CHICAGO (WLS) -- A warehouse on Chicago's West Side bustled with activity Sunday morning as worker at World Vision rushed to get food and supplies to Kentucky tornado survivors.

"We do have pre-positioned supplies ready to go," said Jonathan Smith, World Vision site manager. "Right now what you are seeing is we are loading all types of product, such as diapers, toys and hand sanitizer, disinfectant wipes, lights."

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The group also loaded up Family Emergency Kits, or FEKs, which contain enough non-perishable food items to feed a family of five for a week.

Workers spent most of the morning at the 40,000 square foot warehouse loading up more than two dozen pallets of goods, weighing thousands of pounds, donated by the global Christian Humanitarian Organization.

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The supplies will then go to Mayfield, Ky., where the devastating tornado hit late Friday night.

"We're also sending toys on this truckload," said Perrise Thomas, World Vision partner coordinator. "We're about two weeks away from Christmas, so that's also devastating for some families as well."

The supplies should arrive in about six hours, and veteran American Red Cross volunteer Steve Wise plans to be there to receive them. The 65-year-old from New Lenox caught a flight to Kentucky Sunday afternoon to help with relief efforts.

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He'll spend about two weeks there. Wise has been on numerous national deployments, but he said he's been told the devastation makes this one different.

"We're going to do everything we can to give these people hope again," he said.

Other local disaster relief organizations are getting involved as well. The Salvation Army has started a relief fund for tornado victims, and has established mobile kitchens that can feed up to 1,500 people, including survivors and first responders in Kentucky.