Western Kentucky Disaster Relief
In the wake of the horrific tornadoes that devastated and destroyed many towns and communities in Western Kentucky, our hearts are heavy as thousands of our fellow Kentuckians grapple with major damage, destruction, and loss. As their devastation turns to grief, and that grief turns to rebuilding, our neighbors to the south and west need our help.
Luckily, many businesses and organizations in our region have stepped up to organize funds and supply drives that will send much-needed aid to communities across Western Kentucky. That’s why we have created a local directory with opportunities to support these local efforts and help get aid to our neighbors quickly.
The following list is not comprehensive, and it will be continuously updated. If you are organizing relief efforts and want to be added to the below list, please contact Olivia Sievert with your information.
Please note that there are many churches, nonprofits, schools, and organizations in Western Kentucky also accepting direct donations. Louisville NPR affiliate, WFPL, has put together a list of organizations across the state that are also accepting contributions.
One of the most needed and urgent items is blood donations. If you are able, please consider donating blood this week to help those injured by the tornadoes. Schedule an appointment through the Kentucky Blood Center, with donation centers located at 12905 Shelbyville Road and 5406 Antle Drive. You can also schedule an appointment through the American Red Cross at various locations.
Special 12/15/21 update: Emergency Management is extremely appreciative of all the support via donations but are becoming overwhelmed with the generosity and quantity of physical donations. At this time they are asking for strictly monetary donations and will continue assessing needs in the days and weeks ahead and communicating them with the state.
Emergency Management Portal
- The state has launched a portal where individuals and companies can make offers of assistance and donations.
- Click here to learn more and donate.
Team Western Kentucky Relief Fund
- State-led relief fund for all impacted Kentucky counties.
- Donate here
KSR Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund powered by the Kentucky Chamber Foundation
- Partnership with Kentucky Sports Radio and the Kentucky Chamber of Commerce Foundation to work with impacted communities and help them rebuild through local chambers of commerce.
- Donate here
Kentucky Nurses Foundation Disaster Relief Fund
- The Kentucky Nurses Foundation is raising money through a GoFundMe to support areas hardest hit by the tornado.
- Donate here
Honorable Order of Kentucky Colonels
Col. Shannon Ralston and the Ralston family issued a $2 million challenge for tornado disaster relief. The trustees immediately responded with a $1 million match, with a call to Kentucky Colonels across the world to match the remaining $1 million. 100 percent of contributions toward tornado relief will be given to thoroughly-vetted nonprofits providing assistance to the citizens and communities of Western Kentucky.
Kentucky Counseling Center
- Collecting donations that will be distributed to Graves County students by local school counselors and social workers.
- Donate here
Marshall County Meals
- Mark Sullivan, owner of Dale Carnegie’s Kentucky franchise and also owner of a Subway Restaurant in Marshall County, is collecting donations to serve 200 meals per day for disaster first responders. Mark is covering the costs of labor and logistics, but is seeking donations to cover the costs of each $3.50 meal. He plans to serve meals for two months or longer, depending on need.
- Donate to the meal fund here.
United Way: Kentucky Tornado Fund
- The United Way’s fund will go specifically to Western Kentucky recovery efforts.
- Donate here
Salvation Army of Kentucky
- The Salvation Army has set up a fund that will go directly to their work on the ground in Western Kentucky.
- Donate here.
- Louisville based nonprofit, SOS, is working to provide relief and critical medical supplies to impacted areas. They will be on the ground assisting in rebuilding efforts for the months to come. They are asking for monetary donations to go towards supplies and on-the-ground relief. Learn more about their mission.
- Donate here.
- WaterStep is working with fellow disaster response organization Inspiritus and the Graves County Emergency Operations Center (EOC) to install Water on Wheels (WOW) Carts in Mayfield. One is set up at the Graves County Health Department to provide showers and safe water for first responders, and the other at Catalyst Church which is serving as a feeding center for the community. The WOW Cart is a mobile water treatment system capable of making up to 10,000 gallons of safe water each day for drinking, cooking, bathing, and cleaning.
- Donate to WaterStep and send lifesaving equipment to communities in need.
Hampton Inn – Louisville Airport
- Drop off supplies in the hotel lobby, at 800 Phillips Ln.
- Delivering all supplies directly to the Graves County Fairgrounds.
- Items needed: children’s toys, clothing, personal items, and other essentials.
- The Hampton Inn is also offering reduced room rates to those impacted. Call 502.366.8100 for information.
- Drop off supplies at two locations: St. Matthews Branch, 3901 Shelbyville Rd., and Yum! Headquarters, 1900 Colonel Sanders Ln.
- Supplies will be sent to impacted areas where Independence Bank has a presence, which is many of the hardest hit towns.
- Items needed: bottled water, hygiene products, coats, blankets, formula, diapers, non-perishable food, toilet paper, tote bags and laundry bags.
In-person volunteer opportunities
Kentucky State Parks
- The state is asking for volunteers to assist at Kentucky State Parks that are serving as temporary housing for displaced residents. Volunteers are needed from Christmas Day through 12/31.
- Those who can help should contact Andy Kasitz, assistant director of resort parks for Kentucky State Parks, at 502-418-3581 or by email at email@example.com.
- All accommodations are needed for those displaced by the tornadoes and for first responders, so volunteers will need to make their own arrangements for housing.
Thank you to corporate donors
GLI applauds our members who have made significant corporate donations to support relief efforts:
- AT&T and the AT&T Foundation
- Beam Suntory
- Humana Foundation
- LG&E KU Energy and parent company, PPL
- UPS Foundation
To be added to this page, please reach out to Olivia Sievert.
Be aware of and report potential scams
The Better Business Bureau warns that potential scammers may start surfacing and taking advantage of those who want to help.
To report a potential scam, contact BBB at 1-800-388-2222 or click here. More tips to ensure your donation goes to legitimate sources are available on the BBB website.