Cubs collecting items to aid Illinois tornado victims

Cubs collecting items to aid Illinois tornado victims

CHICAGO -- The Cubs want to send a care package to Illinois residents affected by Sunday's damaging tornadoes, and they need your help.

On Thursday and Friday morning, the Cubs' staff will be collecting donated items at Wrigley Field, and they will deliver them to Peoria later Friday.

The American Red Cross gave the Cubs a specific list of what's needed. Top priority items include tote bags, plastic trash cans, plastic storage bins and gloves.

Other items needed include nonperishable food (granola bars, canned food); bottled water; large garbage bags; toiletries (toothpaste, deodorant, soap); buckets; sponges; mops; towels; baby formula; diapers; flashlights; batteries; manual can openers; duct tape; toilet paper; paper towels; and feminine hygiene products. Also on the list are school supplies, such as new or used backpacks, crayons, colored pencils, notebooks and binders.

Donations can be made at the Purple Lot on Clark Street, just west of Wrigley Field between Waveland Avenue and Addison Street, from 9 a.m. to 6 p.m. CT on Thursday. Items will be accepted from 8 to 11 a.m. CT on Friday, and the truck will then leave for distribution in Peoria.

If you can't come to Wrigley Field, Cubs fans are asked to visit RedCross.org; call 1-800-RED CROSS (Central Illinois Tornado Response); or text the Red Cross at "90999" to make a $10 donation.

More than a dozen tornadoes struck Illinois on Sunday, packing top winds of more than 100 mph. As many as 500 homes were damaged or destroyed in the town of Washington alone.

Carrie Muskat is a reporter for MLB.com. She writes a blog, Muskat Ramblings, and you can follow her on Twitter @CarrieMuskat. This story was not subject to the approval of Major League Baseball or its clubs.