The American Red Cross has spent a lot of time in just the last few weeks statewide helping people and property recover from mother nature's wrath, from tornadoes to flooding. 

Brian Soady is the chapter Executive Director for the Springfield area, but says after tornadoes in parts of northern and central Illinois along with Northeastern Missouri, 600 overnight shelter stays, 16,000 meals, and 900 home clean-up kits have been handed out to victims.  Soady says help has also been given that's more personal than that.

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"If you've ever been impacted personally, with tragedy or loss, you know how important it is to have a hug and somebody there who can listen," Soady says.  "We've got trained professionals who can help with that."

The Red Cross has provided contacts for both health and mental health professionals as recovery continues.

Soady says the best advice he can give for tornado victims right now, is hang in there.

"I know my aunt and uncle were actually impacted personally during the 2013 Washington tornado, and they're just now -- I think maybe a month or a little bit ago -- are just now getting back into their home and recovering completely from that."

Soady says that means the Red Cross is continuing to work with community partners to meet every need storm victims have, or direct people to the groups who can give what they need to them.


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