How Kentuckians are rallying together after the storm

People across the Commonwealth come together to help after the storm.
People across the Commonwealth come together to help after the storm.(Source: WKYT)
Published: Dec. 11, 2021 at 9:41 PM CST
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LEXINGTON, Ky. (WKYT) - We’re seeing people across the Commonwealth rally together in the storm’s aftermath. Some who have already raised more than $100,000 for relief in Western Kentucky.

“Last night around 1:30, we ended up getting the emergency weather alerts on our phone and I woke up with my husband. We were immediately like something’s not right. We need to do something,” said Abbigayle Rawls, who lives in Bowling Green.

Rawls said they immediately sought shelter, then reached out to all of her classmates in the area. Rawls is a student at UK’s College of Medicine, the Bowling Green campus and a Kentucky native. So after making sure those closest to her were safe, she knew she needed to do something to help the rest of her city.

“We’re working with local schools, making sure students are taken care of. We’re making sure people will have a Christmas at the end of the day. Making sure those in the community who need things are getting the things they actively need.”

Rawls and her classmates created a verified tornado relief Gofundme that has raised nearly $35,000 in the first nine hours it was up. That amount continuously going up. And their efforts are merely scratching the surface.

“United we stand, or divided we fall. You know, that’s our motto. From being on this side of things over the years, seeing people just stand up and help. They want a tangible way to help,” said Rick Paynter, the co-owner of Shop Local.

Paynter and his wife have family in Western Kentucky. After finally hearing that they were safe, they quickly got to work on these ‘Kentucky Strong’ t-shirts. Raising more than $150,000 in just a few hours. And the help is not stopping there.

“I’ve lived here my whole life. And when you see that, it brought a lot of sadness and just a wanting to help,” said Kentucky Branded owner Joe Kawaja.

Kawaja got to work on designing the shirts that read ’Pray for Kentucky....we’re all standing on the same Bluegrass.’ Again, 100 percent of the net proceeds for disaster relief.

As people raise money, emergency response crews wait on word to head in, offering chainsaws, food, and shelter. As Kentuckians continuously show they help their own.

We have all of the ways you can donate and ways others are helping at the link here.

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