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Lt. Gov. Simon Brings Holiday Cheer to Gifford

GIFFORD -- In a way, she came home for the holidays. It's been almost a month since Lieutenant Governor Sheila Simon visited Gifford surveying damage from the November tornado.

But this time, she returned  bringing gifts.

Inspired by "Granting Wishes for Gifford" -- a Facebook challenge created by Gifford native Brooke Billings, Simon collected donations from her Springfield, Carbondale and Chicago offices, and brought them to St. Paul's Lutheran Church.

"Imagining kids playing with stuffed animals, dolls, games, you name it, in particular, gift cards, so that parents can pick out something that their kids will need. It's been a very satisfying process to be a part of," Simon said.

In the new year, Simon says she will continue focusing her efforts on Gifford and other downstate communities affected by the tornado.

As for Brooks' giving to Gifford, she told me that more than 150 challenges were fulfilled from the Facebook challenge and there are only about 75 more to go.

ABC NewsChannel 15's Kim Shine reports.