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Ottawa And Naplate Set Up Toll-Free Hotline For Residents Seeking Assistance

The communities of Ottawa and Naplate are working to coordinate local assistance to recover from the Feb. 28 tornado.

Kevin Lindeman of the North Central Illinois Council of Governments says they’ve set up a toll-free telephone hotline for affected residents to express their three greatest needs.

"We have about 65 to 70 so far registered, and have case numbers assigned to them," he said, "so we’re hoping to get more in because there’s a lot more homes that have been affected."

Donations have come in from a variety of parties and are being coordinated by the Starved Rock Country Community Foundation.

"We’re at a little over $214,000," Lindeman said, "and the funder’s forum -- which is the group of individuals who will be actually making decisions on who to distribute the money to -- will be advising us on cutting the checks."

Funders forum director Alexis Ferracuti says the donations aren’t limited to money.

"Goods, services, things like that, construction, labor," she said. "Those are the kinds of things that are going to be really important moving forward, equally important in my eyes as the financial aspect of things."  

Affected residents must call (800) 451-1954 to be eligible for assistance.  The line will be openuntil Friday evening. 

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