Local library organizes database to return lost items to tornado victims

By Beau Ebenezer

November 30, 2013 Updated Nov 30, 2013 at 11:34 PM CDT

MORTON Ill -- Displaced Washington resident, Dianna Wara and her family never thought they would be so happy to find a single lost photograph, following the complete destruction of their home.

"We lost the disk that was in our camera," said Wara. "Our last 400 or 500 pictures are gone, and this was probably one of them. It is incredible. It is a great service they have here."

Hundreds of items are being recovered and filed at the Morton Public Library.

Volunteers said the majority of the items are irreplaceable.

It's part of a volunteer effort that first started on Facebook.

The purpose is to return hundreds of lost items from the Illinois tornadoes to the rightful owners.

So far, the Morton Public Library has collected around 600 items, which include photographs, letters, birth certificates, and more.

"When we first got into this, we thought it would just be a few pictures that come in," said volunteer at the library, Laura Ruff. "But it is really growing, and now we know that we are helping these people literally piece their lives back together."

Those affected by the tornado can look for their personal belongings through a Facebook album link on mortonlibrary.org.

Items discovered online by tornado victims can be picked-up at the library.

"The more stuff we find, the more hope we will get," said Dianna's son, Corey Wara. "But I think our biggest thanks is that our pets are alive, the family is alive, and we are all safe."

Now the Waras will begin to rebuild, holding onto the little things, which they said matter most.

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