News Local/State

Meeting In Gifford On Additional Support Following Tornado


There is still a long way to go in the rebuilding and repair efforts in the Champaign County town of Gifford, which was hit by a powerful tornado last month. On Thursday night, more than a hundred people showed up to a forum in Gifford to learn about additional support.

Christina Gann has spent the last month managing tornado relief efforts at St. Paul’s Lutheran Church in Gifford.  For her, the next step in that process was forming a committee to match the needs of people affected by the storm with available resources.

“We don’t know what those resources are going to look like yet,” Gann said. “But I know that after seeing what God has done for the last six weeks in Gifford, I can only imagine what he has planned for the next six months.”

During the meeting on Thursday, Gann had people fill out a needs analysis form. Her committee will determine the type of assistance available to residents, including those who may not have insurance. That help could come from a host of different groups, like Habitat for Humanity of Champaign County.

“My vision if we come up here and we have enough interest is we will shut down what we do in Champaign-Urbana for a period of time because we’re not going to be able to do Champaign houses and Gifford,” said Sheila Dodd, the executive director of Habitat for Humanity of Champaign County. “We’re going to have to totally focus on you.”

The final day to fill out the needs analysis form is Jan. 10. It is available at the Gifford State Bank.