Here’s how to help western Kentucky after devastating tornadoes

By Hayley Robb, Building Kentucky

Western Kentucky University students, faculty and staff help put the pieces back together in Bowling Green after the deadly storm (photo courtesy of Clinton Lewis, WKU photographer).

Western Kentucky was my home for the best four years of my life. It’s where I celebrated many “firsts” and met some of the best people I know including my partner of nearly five years and his family.

On Friday night, a series of deadly tornadoes ripped through western Kentucky and multiple states, tracking more than 200 miles. Gov. Andy Beshear reported at least four tornadoes touched down in Kentucky, damaging or destroying an estimated 1,000 homes and killing more than 70 Kentuckians across eight counties: Graves, Hopkins, Muhlenberg, Warren, Caldwell, Marshall, Taylor, Fulton and Lyon.

It’s heartbreaking to see friends left with nothing, and local businesses I use to frequent gone in the blink of an eye. Not to mention, the mothers, fathers, brothers and sisters who lost their loved ones in the storm.

Western Kentucky needs our help now more than ever. Whether you’re in Los Angeles or Louisville, here’s how you can help:

Donate to disaster relief funds

Governor Beshear has established a disaster relief fund along with plenty of others. All donations to the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund are tax-deductible and donors will receive a receipt for tax purposes after donating.

If you wish to donate to a relief fund, here are a few options to choose from:

Donate blood

The American Red Cross is responding to this weekend’s devastating tornadoes. Part of that effort is supplying blood to hospitals in the affected areas. In response to hospital requests, the Red Cross has provided approximately 200 additional blood products for patients in the impacted area.

One way to help is to give blood in the days and weeks ahead to help ensure blood products are available for patients wherever the need arises.

Here are some resources to schedule an appointment:

Kentucky Red Cross: Find your local blood bank here

Kentucky Blood Center: Find a drive here

Donate gift cards, clothes, food and water to those in need

Since situations may vary for each family affected by the tornadoes, many locals are requesting gift cards to get items specific to their needs.

Other suggested donations include gas, generators, storage bins/totes, flashlights, headlamps, batteries, utility gloves, phone chargers, gas cans, socks, undergarments, blankets, coats, warm clothes, shoes, toiletries, paper towels, plastic utensils, paper plates, feminine hygiene products, baby formula, diapers, wipes, water, non-perishable food.

Here are a few drop-off places for your donations by location:

Bowling Green

Mayfield

Louisville

Paducah

  • Lone Oak Baptist Church, 3601 Lone Oak Rd, Paducah, KY 42003
  • Community Kitchen, 1237 Martin Luther King Jr Drive, Paducah, KY
  • Hancock’s of Paducah, 3841 Hinkleville Road, Paducah, KY (accepting donations of clean quilts and blankets, Tuesday, Dec. 14 through Friday, Dec. 17, 9 a.m. to 5pm, and Saturday, Dec. 18, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.)
  • Barrel & Bond, 100 Broadway Paducah, KY 42001

Dawson Springs

  • Redemption City Church, 104 Railroad Ave., Dawson Springs KY, 270-425-4310
  • Dawson Spring High School, 317 Eli St, Dawson Springs, KY 42408

Newport

  • Roebling Point Books, 601 Overton Street, Newport, KY 41071
  • Newport Fire Department, 998 Monmouth St, Newport, KY 41071

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