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Local students with unique connection to tornado victims collect supplies

Jaclyn Brandt

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Photo: Video by tmj4.com

Local students with unique connection to tornado victims collect supplies

By Jaclyn Brandt. CREATED Nov 20, 2013

WHITEFISH BAY - Wednesday is the first full day that tornado victims in Washington, Illinois will have to dig through what is left of their homes. As many as 1,000 houses were leveled by Sunday's EF4 tornado.

The Red Cross and other volunteers are pouring in to help folks pick up the pieces in Washington.

Supplies are also on the way from other sources, including a class of young students in Whitefish Bay with an unexpected connection to students in Illinois.

In Mrs. Van Rixel's 3rd grade classroom at St. Monica's, students are preparing for another day. But this week, part of their focus is elsewhere.

Mrs. Van Rixel's sister teaches 5th graders in Washington, Illinois. The two classes have been pen pals. She said the students are learning a lot about helping others, but it's one lesson she didn't have to teach.

Mrs. Van Rixel plans to bring the blankets to Illinois Thanksgiving weekend, and the blanket donation drive continues through the end of the week.

The drive is a St. Monica school-wide effort, but if you are interested in dropping off a used or new blanket, the school welcomes all donations.