Volunteers help suburban communities torn apart by tornado

From hugs to hauling away debris, a community has been mobilizing to help storm victims in the Chicago suburbs.

In Woodridge, teachers and students from Saint Scholastica School set out to clean up their community Tuesday. It’s a daunting job after an EF3 tornado ripped through their town.


Teacher Tammy Kozar says she has lived in Woodridge her entire life.

"It's hard to sit back and watch all of our families struggle, other teachers that are in our community struggle, we need to do something to let them know that we're here," she said.

The Saint Scholastica Catholic Church parking lot has become a hub of sorts with different community groups there to help. A church group from Downers Grove set up in the parking lot to both collect and hand out supplies – such as water bottles, snacks and garbage bags.

Others were on hand Tuesday morning to help answer all the questions storm victims have such as how to file insurance claims and vet vendors.

Lisle Trustee Sara Sadat says someone stole her identity from the debris of her house fire in February. She knows many good people are helping, but still, she is warning against bad actors in the  mix.

"Perpetrators at this time use whatever means and avenues that they have available to exploit you. So you want to make sure that your bank is at high alert. You want to make sure that your credit cards are at high alert as you are navigating the insurance process," Sadat said.

However, overwhelmingly in the tornado damaged neighborhoods there is a spirit of community.

Volunteers at Saint Scholastica did not have to look far for a place to chip in. The church rectory took a serious hit, as did many neighboring homes.