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Lt. Governor delivers holiday gifts to Gifford 

GIFFORD – Dec. 20, 2013. Lt. Governor Sheila Simon today visited Gifford to deliver gifts collected at her offices in Springfield, Chicago and Carbondale. Simon also encouraged Illinois residents to continue supporting recovery efforts by making a donation to the Red Cross.

"Lending a hand to those in need is a great way to make sure you’re on Santa’s nice list,” said Simon. “I appreciate all the hard work that’s been going on to bring joy to families in central Illinois. The spirit of giving is strong in Gifford thanks to the hard work of Brooke Billings and many generous contributions of people across the state.”

Simon’s donation in Gifford is part of Granting Wishes for Gifford, a project started by Gifford native Brooke Billings. Using social media, Billings sought donated toys, gift cards, games, food and more to help Gifford families cross items off their holiday shopping lists.

Billings’ efforts are coordinated out of Gordyville USA, a local auction showplace, in Gifford. Individuals impacted by the tornado may visit Gordyville USA between 5 p.m. and 9 p.m. today in order to shop for loved ones. Simon also toured a food pantry established at the St. Paul Lutheran Church in order to accept donated food for storm survivors.

The Lt. Governor also reminded Illinoisans to continue supporting recovery efforts in Gifford and other tornado-damaged communities. Following the Nov. 17 tornadoes, Simon surveyed damage in Gifford, Brookport and New Minden, and encouraged individuals to make donations to the American Red Cross.

“Although recovery efforts may not be on the news every night, these communities still need our help,” Simon added. “Making a donation to the Red Cross is something easy you can do to help out during the holiday season.”

In order to donate to the American Red Cross, click here or visit Donations designated for “Illinois tornadoes and storms” will remain local.