Naperville residents pride themselves on their volunteer spirit and their generosity and giving ways were on display once again this week.
City officials and volunteers on Wednesday boxed and prepared four truckloads of donations to be distributed to victims of the Nov. 17 tornadoes that devastated central Illinois. The four trucks are in addition to two trucks packed earlier in the week.
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Councilman Dave Wentz said city officials put out a call on Nov. 19 for water bottles, flashlights, batteries, nonperishable food, toiletries, gas cards and clothing.
"The support for other people has been even more overwhelming than I could have imagined," Wentz said. "Our biggest concern, initially, was that we wouldn't get enough donations to make an impact. And now we're turning people away."
A bulk of the donated supplies, Wentz said, are being delivered Monday to a makeshift clearinghouse set up at Haggerty Industrial Supply in Peoria.
More than $5,000 in Target gift cards, donated by the Meson Sabika restaurant, and the cash donated by the community are being delivered to the St. Patrick Catholic Parish and School in Washington, which has a relief center operating in its gymnasium.
Several donations, including leashes, kennels and cages, and food for pets also have been packed and are headed to the offices of East Peoria Veterinarian Kristy Williams.
"Some people have lost their homes but were fortunate to reunite with their dogs and pets," Wentz said. "And they need to be taken care of, too."
The city's collection drive for tornado victims wrapped up at 5 p.m. Wednesday.