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Chicago Bears Help Tornado-Ravaged Town Rebuild

Updated: Monday, June 9 2014, 04:41 PM CDT

WASHINGTON -- It has been nearly six months since a massive tornado carved a path through Washington, Ill. and there is still so much work to be done.

Now, a touchdown for the community as members of the Chicago Bears organization took a break from the big game to lend a helping hand. They even brought a little bit of Soldier Field with them.

The very flag that flew over the Chicago Bears' stadium the day the devastating tornado ripped through, now flies again over the town hit hardest by the storm.

"You know it's tremendous. The American flag and, you know, the Chicago Bears fans," Bears running back, Jordan Lynch, said.

"I think the motto of this is Washington Strong, and we want to be a part of that," James Dunbar, offensive lineman, said.

More than a hundred rookies from the Bears traded footballs for rakes to do their part in Washington.

"Coming from LSU, a lot of stuff happened to us with Katrina and stuff like that," defensive lineman, Ego Ferguson, said. "It's kind of the same situation [in Washington] where we went out and helped in the town also."

After signing autographs and taking pictures with fans, the team got to work, helping people who lost everything.

People like Jon Crow.

"One of the most biggest things that I missed last fall was cable because I couldn't watch too many Bears games," Crow joked.

But now, near the place where his living room once stood, the Chicago football stars stand themselves helping to clear debris, garbage and even find treasures.

"We're here to help ya'll rebuild and help ya'll become, become whole again," Dunbar said.

Rebuilding is a goal the community has been inching toward for the past six months. Now, they're that much closer thanks to the help of the home team.

"And if they're not Super Bowl champs next year, they're champs in Washington, Illinois for sure," Washington Mayor, Gary Manier, said.

More than a thousand homes were destroyed in the EF-5 tornado last November. Manier says 650 new building permits have been issued since the November tornado, and six families are back in their newly built homes.

Chicago Bears Help Tornado-Ravaged Town Rebuild

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