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The Daily Register - Harrisburg, IL
  • Secular relief organization forming in Harrisburg

  • Sean Dillard, 27, wants to create a secular non-profit to help the tornado victims of Oklahoma and any future natural disasters.
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  • Sean Dillard, 27, wants to create a secular non-profit to help the tornado victims of Oklahoma and any future natural disasters.
    Dillard knows what it's like to be homeless after a tornado.
    His Granger St. home in Harrisburg was destroyed in the 2012 Leap Day Tornado. He was offered a new home by the Harrisburg Christian Community Outreach Center and Legence Bank. Dillard and his family put in months of sweat equity to help rebuild the foreclosed home into a three bedroom, two bath home. The Church of Christ donated $15,000 to the project. He received the title to the home on Feb. 8, 2013, just shy of a year since the tornado.
    Now he wants to pay it forward.
    "My end goal is to have an ongoing non-profit organization for natural disaster relief.
    I don't want to give the impression I am against churches, I am not. But I want to help the un-churched who don't feel comfortable in a religious organization. They too can help out in community to community relief. I also think that there may be small churches out there, lacking deep resources, whose members would like to participate in relief activities."
    Dillard has made arrangements with the American Legion to use their hall at 600 E. Logan St. in Harrisburg for the new, as yet, nameless organization.
    The first meeting will be 4 p.m. June 24 at the American Legion Hall.
    "We haven't named the group yet. Once we do, we will apply for non-profit status and start accepting donations. Also, after the first meeting, we will have some idea of  how many people want to get involved,” Dillard said.
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