|CHICAGO, IL â€“ Â Illinois Comptroller Leslie Geissler Munger on Friday activated Illinois Gives, a program that allows state employees and retirees to make a donation from their paychecks to help the victims of Thursdayâ€™s devastating tornados in northern Illinois.Following Governor Raunerâ€™s state disaster declaration Friday for Ogle and DeKalb counties, Munger launched the Illinois Gives web portal that allows the stateâ€™s 65,000 employees and 180,000 retirees (teachers, judges, and state workers) to direct a payroll deduction to the American Red Cross to help the victims. The portal can be accessed at illinoiscomptroller.com. The site also offers a direct link to the American Red Cross for those who would like to make a donation but are not state employees or retirees.
â€œOur thoughts and prayers go out to our neighbors in Rochelle and Fairdale who are struggling today to recover from these deadly storms. It was difficult to see the devastation on the news last night but comforting to know Red Cross volunteers were already on the scene with our dedicated police and firefighters providing shelter and assistance,â€ Munger said. â€œThrough Illinois Gives, 245,000 state employees and retirees now have an opportunity to directly assist with the relief effort.â€
Illinois Gives was created by legislation following the devastating 2013 tornado that ripped through central Illinois, killing 3 and injuring 121 in Washington, IL. The legislation authorizes the Comptroller to activate the program upon a disaster declaration from the Governor.
Mungerâ€™s action on Friday was the first time Illinois Gives has been utilized.