To the victims looking up into the eye of the storm, it seemed to be an unjust eye for an eye. For members of a Shorewood church, the hope is that faith is restored, lending a heart for a heart.
Holy Family Outreach Ministry called on Project Linus and its Will County chapter to assist those in need and victims of the June 22 Coal City-area tornado by making bundles filled with love. Bundlz of Love, an event where fleece blankets were made for those in need, took place between 1 and 4 p.m. at Holy Family Catholic Church, 600 Brook Forest Ave.
“One of our main missions is that we give (those in need) handmade blankets to wrap them with warmth and security,” Courtney Huffman, coordinator of Project Linus of Will County, said.
Plainfield teen Madison Schroeder attended Bundlz of Love to help with that mission. Schroeder, 13, said she didn’t feel enough support was being provided to the victims of the Coal City-area tornado, leaving her compelled to attend the event and make a difference.
The church in Shorewood is approximately a 25-minute drive from Coal City, making the community’s efforts to support victims of the tornado all the more important.
Twelve tornados hit northern Illinois leaving Coal City that day, but Coal City and its residents experienced the most damage.
According to the National Weather Service, a category EF-3 tornado possessing wind speed traveling up to 60 miles per hour occurred after severe weather warnings shifted southward to northern Illinois late June 22 and early June 23.
The storm did not cause a single fatality but injured 14 people and caused damage to approximately 800 households.
Madison Cuprinski, another 13-year old from Plainfield, knew she wanted to make a difference in the community, attending the event with a fleece blanket in hand.
“It’s kind of fun and relaxing,” she said, noting how there are so many causes worth supporting.
Bundlz of Love drew in more than 300 fleece blankets through donations to assist those affected by the storm and others in need.
On average, Project Linus of Will County makes and distributes between 50 and 200 blankets each month.
Kimberly Leyva, co-chairperson for Holy Family Parish Outreach Ministry, said the community’s involvement at Bundlz of Love was amazing to see, noting how more than 350 people pre-registered for the event, exceeding the organization’s by 100 persons.
“Outreach Ministry has been volunteering with the Coal City Tornado Rescue Relief and Rebuild volunteer program and assisting the families of our sister parishes in Coal City and Braidwood that were devastated by the tornado,” Leyva said.
She added that Outreach Ministry is dedicated to helping individuals and families in need, as well as 501(c)(3) organizations with similar missions.
Project Linus of Will County supports a number of groups and individuals, including those who are homeless, young persons living in the foster care system and children receiving pediatric care, among others.
The nonprofit is backed by organizations in a number of regions, including Boys Scouts, honors societies and church groups and other individuals.
The Will County Chapter of Project Linus accepts donations on an ongoing basis.