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Facebook connects Illinois tornado victims with lost items

Tuesday, November 19, 2013

The tornado picked things up and carried them for miles, and in at least one case, 70 miles. That's how far a photo from a couple's home in Washington wound up in the town of Morris.

On Tuesday night, that photograph is on its way back where it belongs.

Beth and Dennis Doolan's home is gone. So, too, are many of their belongings, blown away, far away.

In the front yard of her home in Morris, 70 some miles from storm-ravaged Washington, Brenda Strange found this picture of the Doolans, tattered and torn, their names on the back. Brenda put it up on Facebook.

"My daughter who is always on her iPad said, 'Oh my gosh, mom, look at this,'" said Beth Doolan.

The Doolans wound up looking at their 40th wedding anniversary picture which had been carried by the wind to Morris. Brenda has mailed it back, and on Tuesday, she talked to the Doolans by phone.

"I asked them how he was doing, and they said 'We're doing fine, right now we're going through the rubble. (This is hard. It's hard, isn't it?) Yeah, it's hard, because right now I've got a roof over my head right now and I've got my family with me," said Brenda Strange.

Look what else flew to the farm outside Morris. Cal Ripken baseball cards. Jack Sears' 6th grade bible quiz. His family lost everything. Someone's first birthday card. There's more out in the field. Brenda's going to try her best to link what she finds to those who lost it. She has already made one family very happy.

"And someday I'm gonna meet her," said Doolan.

"We'll meet up, we'll talk and we'll have big hugs and we'll cry. And it'll be fun," said Strange.

A simple act of kindness becomes a friendship brought about by the power of wind and the power of social media.

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