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At least ten people have reportedly been killed and more than 100 others injured following a tornado that tore through the southeastern Illinois town of Harrisburg.
As residents of the small town, which is located about 100 miles southeast of St. Louis, Mo., try to salvage what is left of their belongings, at least 100 others are being treated for injuries at area hospitals, the St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports. A hospital employee told the paper that there are over 200 "totally crushed houses" throughout the area.
Visiting Nurses Association emergency responders were walking door to door to help residents. They will renew that effort on Tuesday with 150 Hugs teddies to bring a small measure of comfort to families that have lost so much.
Trapped upstairs as flames shot through their side of a two-family house in South Plainfield, N.J., five people — a 62-year-old woman and four of her grandchildren — died early Thursday, the authorities said. “The house is gutted,” the borough administrator, Glenn Cullen, said. The five victims — a 12-year-old girl; three boys, ages 4, 5 and 7; and their grandmother, whom the authorities identified as Ann Jefferson — apparently faced an inferno made hotter by bricks between the walls that provided structural support to what looked like a clapboard house. Captain Joseph Abbruzzese, of the South Plainfield Fire Department, will bring 50 Hugs teddy bears to the family, friends and appropriate schools for counselors to use as local children begin the process of grieving for their lost classmates.
Ten people were killed and 18 others hospitalized in the multi-vehicle accident that occurred in low visibility early Sunday just outside of Gainsville, Florida on I- 75. Pastor Jose Carmo Jr. wanted to be back in time for the suburban Atlanta church's Sunday morning service and led two vans up Interstate 75 toward Georgia. Both vans crashed in the highway's fog- and smoke-shrouded darkness near Gainesville.
Carmo, his wife and their oldest daughter were among five church members killed in the two deadly pileups along the always busy six-lane interstate. Their youngest daughter, 15 year old Lidiane, survived the crash but was in critical condition at a local hospital. Both daughters attended Sprayberry High School outside of Atlanta, Georgia. The high school counselor and Asst. Principal, Jeanne Walker, spoke of helping students and members of the small church where the family worshiped by providing 75 Hugs teddy bears to friends and family in the hope that this small gesture of care could ease their burden of grief.
My name is Allie and I’m 11 years old. My mom told me about you while watching TV. I’ve been looking for a charity to help since I was 8 or 9. Since I’ve been lucky enough to have a toy chest and shelves with teddy bears on them I thought I could take from my good fortune and give to someone in need.
Next year for school I need to volunteer in order to graduate, but I'd like to start now. I may be young but when I set my mind to something it gets done so I will be starting a Hugs chapter in my area of Colorado.
I will be doing this mainly on my own. My parents will help me some though.
Coordinator, Allie Glassman
Music Institute of Long Island
Holiday Concert to Benefit
Hugs Across America
Open to the Public
4:00 - 5:00
Community Reformed Church
90 Plandome Road, Manhasset, NY