Mundelein Elementary District 75 was spared from flooding in its buildings, but has pitched in to help others who weren't as fortunate.
"When we saw the devastation on the news, we knew we somehow we had to help these families since Mundelein was hit so hard," said Vickie Czapla, who recently stepped down as treasurer of the district's parent teacher organization.
The result was $7,475 in donations from 70 individuals and organizations that have been converted to Target gift cards -- $200 each to 26 families and $25 each to individuals who could use some help.
PTO members packaged the cards Tuesday at the district office with letters to be mailed to individuals and hand-delivered to families.
"Please find two $100 Target gift certificates enclosed. We wish it could be more," says the letter to families. The intent, says the letter, is to help families recover a little of what they lost.
PTO members met with District 75 Superintendent Andy Henrikson to determine how best to proceed.
"We approached Target and said, 'There are so many people affected. We can't help all of them,'" Henrikson said. Target was the logical choice, he said, because it is a local business and has a variety of products families or individuals might need.
A PTO Go Fund Me Page raised $4,370, including $1,700 contributed by district teachers. Contributions also came from Fremont Elementary District 79 teachers, and the Just-for-Fun roller rink held a fundraiser. Target donated $2,000.
Families who completed the online Lake County Flood Impact Report and indicated they could use some help will receive assistance. Target's donation extended the relief effort to any resident who said they needed help, according to the letter.
According to the village, 400 properties experienced some flood damage, although a repair cost estimates have not been determined. Mundelein has waived permit fees for flood prevention property improvements.
"I know there were families who lost their whole first floor," Czapla said.
Fremont Township Supervisor Diana O'Kelly also is coordinating flood relief donations. Anyone interested in donating money, food, or household items to assist the 400 families affected by flooding should call (847) 223-2847.