Volunteers needed to organize tornado donation items

By Beau Ebenezer

December 7, 2013 Updated Dec 7, 2013 at 10:00 PM CDT

WASHINGTON, Ill. -- Sorting through boxes of donated items has been Ray Benja's job for the last two weeks.

The retired Marquette Heights resident is a volunteer at the Sunnyland Plaza drop-off center, which provides free supplies to walk-in tornado victims.

"I kind of take care of the whole back of the warehouse, and I keep everything organized," said Benja. "I make sure what is supposed to go on the shelves goes on the shelves."

That is why Benja is always relieved to see extra help.

Saturday, Bradley University's "Service on Saturday" program sent out 20 students to help with the daily organization of items.

For tornado survivor, Linda Smith, she relies heavily on the supplies in her process of rebuilding.

"The insulation and the plaster has just been horrendous," said Smith. "That takes a lot of cleaning supplies, and these people here have come together to supply that for us."

Organizers said if you do want to donate items, laundry detergent and dish soap are in high demand.

For more information on how to volunteer and where to drop off items visit the Facebook page, "Washington Tornado Relief Center".

Benja added that they will take all of the help they can get.

"It's not hard really. It's just heart."

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