(CBS) — Volunteers and good Samaritans have helped victims of the tornado in Washington, Illinois get back some of the things they lost.

If you only had a few minutes to grab things out of your house before an emergency hit, you’d probably take photos, birth certificates, old letters, or things the kids made you over the years. Those who lost their homes in last year’s tornado in Washington didn’t have time for that but some are getting precious keepsakes and important paperwork back anyway.

Heather Binder with the Community Power Project said winds blew things hundreds of miles away.

“We’ve had photos retrieved from the north end of Chicago along the lakefront. There were some volunteers in Joliet who found some photographs still intact, still restorable,” said Binder

They’ve collected about 10,000 things so far. Everything that was found is at Washington libraries and is also posted on Facebook.

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