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Charity To Make Sure Donations Will Go To Tornado Victims

BOSTON — A central Massachusetts charity in charge of collecting relief supplies for victims of the June tornadoes is working to assure donors that the supplies will now be used only for that purpose.

United Way of Southbridge, Sturbridge and Charlton Director Bonnie Losahvio says the group is keeping all donated supplies in two warehouses.

“We’ll still have to ask for ID from people when they’re coming through the door because we want to make sure that they are being distributed to people who are really affected,” Losahvio said.

The pastor of one church that collected supplies for the group says a misunderstanding led him to give the supplies to some other people in need.

The Rev. Peter-Michael Prebble of Saint Michael’s Orthodox Church in Southbridge says he gave some of the donations to local food pantries because he believed there was no further need among tornado victims.

“If we get to the point that people are in a good place — and FEMA’s telling us that will be about 18 months — then we’ll distribute to local food pantries,” Losahvio said. “But we are looking at sometime down the road before that occurs.”

The Worcester County District Attorney is looking into whether any laws were broken.

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