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updated: 12/20/2013 8:14 AM

Simon delivering gifts to Illinois town hit by tornado

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Associated Press

GIFFORD, Ill. -- Lt. Gov. Sheila Simon is delivering holiday gifts to a central Illinois community damaged by last month's deadly tornadoes.

In a press release Thursday, Simon's office says she has been collecting gifts at her offices in Carbondale, Springfield and Chicago. The Carbondale Democrat plans to take the gifts to the community of Gifford on Friday morning.

The donations are part of a project known as Granting Wishes for Gifford. It was started by Gifford native Brooke Billings, who used social media to seek donated toys, games and gift cards for families affected by the twisters.

Two dozen tornadoes ripped through parts of Illinois on Nov. 17, killing seven people and damaging or destroying more than 2,400 homes.

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