Financial Plus in Ottawa has put up a tree for the holiday season, but instead of the usual Christmas-themed ornaments they’ve hung tiny tags on its branches.
The credit union, 800 Chestnut St., is collecting money to support those that need to replace appliances or fences following the tornado that swept through Ottawa and Naplate in February.
Lee Wilkins, director of marketing, said the credit union became involved when Pamela Beckett, president of the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation, asked the credit union for assistance due to the traffic in their lobby.
“We, of course, agreed and said we’d be glad to help,” Wilkins said.
The money raised from the tree will specifically go toward two homes needing a fence and full set of appliances including microwave, oven, dishwasher, etc.
Customers and guests at Financial Plus can grab a tag with pictures of fences and appliances off the tree and take it to the front desk where they can make a monetary donation of their choice.
Wilkins said the tree just got set up last week and has seen some interest with half a dozen donations so far.
He is hopeful the donations will continue to pour in during the holiday season.
Full fund update
Alexis Ferracuti, long-term disaster recovery group chairwoman, said this fund is separate from the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation donation fund which is mainly used to keep victims “safe, warm and dry.”
Ferracuti said the main donation fund has around $44,000 left in reserves with 28 homes actively needing assistance.
She said the group still requires donations to assist those families that need their homes partially rebuilt or, in one case, a complete demolition and rebuilding.
Donate online at srccf.org/donate/disaster-relief-fund or send donations to Starved Rock Country Community Foundation, 718 Columbus St., Ottawa, IL 61350. For more information, call 815-252-2906.