Wind speeds of 145 mph ripped through the small town of Brookport, Illinois on Nov. 17th claiming the lives of three people and seriously injuring more than a dozen others.  It was reported that at least 161 homes had been affected with more than 54 destroyed plus 13 with major damage (watch this video report of the devastation).

With the media focused on Northern Illinois, an on-slot of money and assistance poured into the town of Washington.  The impact on Brookport was the same, if not greater.  Meanwhile, Brookport, a small and dying town before the tornado, with a population of less than 1000, located in the southernmost part of Illinois on the Ohio River, is struggling to survive.

Several church pastors are coordinating the recovery efforts including the volunteers, including a church in Paducah, Kentucky, just across the river from Brookport.  There is no Methodist church in Brookport.

Brookport was denied FIMA money by the federal government, but has applied for a $500,000 grant from the McCormick Foundation to be used to reconstruct the town.  Currently Brookport is still in cleanup mode.  UMCOR has trained case workers as the first step in beginning the reconstruction process.

Community United Methodist Church is answering the call for volunteers leaving Naperville on Sunday, May 18th and returning late Friday, May 23rd.  CUMC advised the pastors that we will work clean up or construction during our visit.  Brookport is about a 7 hour drive from Naperville.

Costs and housing for volunteers are being arranged.  If you can help by volunteering for this project, Call or Email Dick Legg  630-362-4424 or