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Video and photos: Students travel to Washington for tornado cleanup

It’s Finals Week at Illinois State, but at least 50 students are making time to travel to hard-hit Washington, Illinois, to help the community with tornado damage cleanup.

The four trips—two this week and two last week—were organized by the Leadership and Service unit in the Dean of Students Office. The Illinois State campus snapped into action immediately after the November 17 tornado hit Washington, organizing a Stuff the Bus donation drive and collecting thousands of cases of water bottles.

Students were eager to visit Washington and physically help with cleanup, though Leadership and Service waited until the Washington community was accepting outside volunteers.

“We knew they were gonna need help, but we needed to wait a little bit so they could get their ducks in a row and so we would not be in their way,” said Annie Weaver, a senior specialist in Leadership and Service.

Meanwhile, Club Alternative Breaks has changed its plans for next semester’s weekend service trips and will be spending one Saturday a month in Washington doing cleanup work. That’s in addition to other student groups making their own relief trips.

Illinois State photographer Lyndsie Schlink ’04 and videographer Bob Tomaski ’81 joined students for their Leadership and Service Washington service trip on December 9. Here’s what they saw:

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Ryan Denham can be reached at