MORRIS – Last week, the Community Foundation of Grundy County held our annual Donor and Partner Appreciation Night. This event is always well received because attendees are given a glance at the activities of the Community Foundation over the past year as well as given an opportunity to hear from a guest speaker. Last Monday’s event focused on “taking care of our own in times of disaster” and the guest speaker was Dr. Thomas Logsdon, Pastor at Coal City United Methodist Church.
Pastor Logsdon discussed the November tornado that hit Diamond and Coal City and the response of the community. He talked about the instant response from members of his church, the community, local organizations and others near and far. The common motive for all those who stepped in was simply the need to help others, to do something to show those affected that they were thought of.
He also discussed the fact that even the best intentions are sometimes met with scrutiny or questions and sadly good intentions sometimes get taken advantage of. However, the occasional question or the occasional individual out to take advantage of others empathy, should not stop a community from rallying around those in need. His accounts served as a great reminder to me as to why Grundy County is a great place to call home.
The tornado was not the only disaster to hit Grundy County in 2013. In April 2013 Morris and Minooka residents experienced horrible flooding that made houses unlivable and businesses unusable. Neither of these events will soon be forgotten by those who experienced damage, responded to the disaster, or by those who watched unable to help as their friends and neighbors began to clean up and rebuild. Although we can all agree we do not want another disaster to strike our community, the truth is that another disaster will hit Grundy County at some point in time.
Can we really prepare for another tornado, flood, or even a severe blizzard? Probably not because every disaster is completely different both in its destruction and who it affects. However, we can have measures in place that make responding to a disaster a little smoother. I’m sure homeowners, business owners, village officials and first responders have all asked themselves “What could be done different if this happened again?” And I’m sure they have made changes as they saw fit to their emergency disaster plans. The not-for-profit organizations of Grundy County are no different.
Several organizations in Grundy County responded to both disasters with financial assistance, food, supplies, and with other services specific to each organization. Since the April 2013 flood, there has been much discussion around a permanent disaster fund at the Community Foundation. We are happy to report this fund has been established and is able to receive donations. The purpose of the Grundy County Disaster Fund will be to respond immediately to the financial need of residents after a large scale disaster and to accept monetary donations that often follow a disaster. The disaster fund will be used for large scale disasters only, not for individuals experiencing hardships due to house fires or medical conditions.
If you are interested in contributing to the disaster fund, visit www.cfgrundycounty.com or send a donation designated for the disaster fund to 102 Liberty St. Morris, IL 60450. If you would like information on the Grundy County Disaster Fund at the Community Foundation of Grundy County contact us at 815-941-0852.