Following historic flooding in Southeastern Kentucky at the end of July, local and national efforts were first set on immediate relief to Kentuckians who had lost, literally, everything. Here at Kentucky for Kentucky, and with your support, we took a multi-pronged approach to providing aid to our neighbors in EKY, and Y'ALL raised over $45K with us in the process!
Step 1: Check with Friends & Family and Open for Donation Drop-Off. Our first step, as always, is checking on our friends and family. We have a team with over a dozen folks from across the Commonwealth. In the wake of the flooding we made sure everyone close to us was safe and had what they needed (btw, our Team and our families were okay!). Then we opened the Fun Mall for donations and saw an outpouring of support from y'all in the form of food, water, & supplies. It took two hauls to get everything down there and our very own Lee (aka Lee Haw) stayed to cook meals with Ouita Michels at Hindman, too.
Step 2: Have a Gathering with Music, Beer, and Ice Cream. In the meantime, our pals at West Sixth Brewing reached out and we put together a gathering with music by New Beckham County Ramblers and Rose and Vine, sound by Tahlsound, beer from West Sixth, and ice cream from Sav's Chill. With 100% net proceeds from donations and purchases, y'all raised over $2,000 in a few hours alone.
Step 3: Sell a Bunch of Tomato T-Shirts via Tyler Childers Fans. In the days following the flooding, Kentucky's own Tyler Childers showed up to volunteer wearing an old-school KY for KY shirt. The Tyler Childers Fan Page took notice and asked if we wanted to do a reprint to raise funds. We said Hell Yeah! About 1,200 tomato t-shirts later, and through the sales of few other shirts we dedicated to flood relief, y'all sent over $20,000 to EKY Mutual Aid!
A Note on Mutual Aid: Mutual aid is the practice of people within a community to meet each other's needs by everyone sharing the resources they have access to. EKY Mutual Aid put cash directly into the hands of the people who ask for it, connecting people to resources, and distributing funds equitably with low barrier to entry.
Step 4: Have a Fantasy Football "Play for More" Tournament. We have more than one fantasy football fanatic on our team (we have TWO!), and we saw the opportunity to combine some internal hard-core passions to raise awareness and dollars. With the support and buy-in from the likes of Field Yates, Stephania Bell, Mike Mills (yeah, from REM), and Kentucky Sports Radio, y'all bought-in too and sent over $22,000 to Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky.
Step 5: Keep Donating & Keep Kicking Ass. It will take many more months and even years for Fleming, Knott, Letcher, and Perry Counties in Southeastern Kentucky. Please consider continuing your support by donating directly to EKY Mutual Aid & Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky.
And, if you live in Lexington, donate toys, games, and fun activities to be delivered to kids in East Kentucky and help spark some FUN for them! Bring NEW items only to the Fun Mall, 720 Bryan Ave, Lexington KY, Mon thru Sat 10 AM - 6 PM & Sun 12 PM - 6 PM.