Taylorville tornado victims getting by with less this holiday season

Holiday help for Taylorville tornado victims. (WICS)

If you’re not quite in the holiday spirit, you might be able to find some inspiration from the people of Taylorville.

“It’s kind of restored a lot of faith that people have in humanity because there are still so many people that are willing to help,” Jessica Franks with Crossroads Apostolic Ministries said. “They’ve driven from hundreds of miles away to come and help each other and it’s a blessing to see so many people unite together in our town.”

The EF-3 tornado hits Taylorville in the heart of holiday season, with Christmas just weeks away.

“Christmas trees, their presents, you know, anything that you just went and bought on Black Friday is gone,” Taylorville mother of three Savannah Gilpin said. “We found a Christmas ornament in our yard when we were cleaning stuff up, like an Ironman ornament. That was just really sad, you know, it came off somebody’s tree.”

Still, families said they’re finding reasons to be grateful this holiday season.

“My grandma put me like in a cubby and she put a blanket over me, two pillows and she got on top of me,” 8-year-old Ross Thompson said.

Courtney McQuern was in Springfield Christmas shopping when the tornado struck. Her son was with his grandparents.

“The fact that he wasn’t with me, nobody can keep their child safe like a mom can or like a dad can,” McQuern said.

For some, the holiday itself maybe the only thing left to celebrate and they said that’s enough.

“We’re just going to have to try to cut back a little bit and work with what we have and enjoy the holiday itself instead of it being about gifts and everything,” Gilpin said. “We’ll just have to do with what we have.”

Most rescue groups are just focusing on basic needs right now, however, Crossroads Apostolic Ministries is donating food to some families for Christmas dinner.

For more information, you can contact the church here.

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