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Local Faith-Based Disaster Relief Team Heading To Illinois

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HUNTSVILLE, Ala.(WHNT)-Tuesday morning’s heavy rains did not deter local disaster relief volunteers who will soon leave for tornado-ravaged Illinois.

Members of Prepare and Respond, better known as “PAR”, spent the morning collecting money and supplies in the parking lot of The Rock Family Worship Center in Huntsville. The materials be used for a trip to the Midwest next week. Six people were killed and more than 180 injured in Illinois during a twister outbreak there earlier this month, with storm victims preparing for a Thanksgiving that will be anything but normal.

“What better way can we give help than help those who just lost everything,” said PAR Coordinator Greg Nelson. “It’s such a bad time of year for something like this to happen, never a good time, but we’re just trying to help those guys out as best we can.”

PAR is a volunteer network of more than a dozen Madison County churches that have pre-stocked relief trailers strategically placed throughout the area. It was originally designed for local response in light of the April 2011 tornadoes that hammered north Alabama. But since it’s creation, PAR has deployed to disaster areas across the nation, ranging from hurricane zones on the Gulf Coast to tornado-struck Oklahoma this past spring.

PAR officials said the best way north Alabamians can help is by giving online at

Nelson said one hundred percent of the money PAR receives goes to on-the-ground relief efforts in Illinois, with no administrative or overhead costs at all. The group will depart for the Midwest early next week.