WKU Students raise more than $13,000 for liquor store leveled by tornado
BOWLING GREEN, Ky. (WBKO) - Workers were spread amongst residences and businesses along the U.S. 31 W Bypass Tuesday afternoon after a deadly tornado ravaged the area.
Among many buildings that fell victim to the tornado was WK Liquors, a store frequented by many WKU students.
“I’ve built this store with a lot of love and it’s come tumbling down,” Owner of WK Liquors Manor Kumar Patel said.
He told us the story of how he found out his business had been destroyed by the tornado. He closed up early Friday night, then received a heartbreaking phone call in the wee hours of Saturday morning.
“I actually got a call from a gentleman named Chad Goodrich at about 3 o’ clock in the morning to tell me that my store was gone. I actually thought it was a joke, so it took me a while to really think about it,” Patel explained.
It was no joke, and rubble along with scattered merchandise was all that was left of WK Liquors. Patel said when he first arrived to see what happened, people were already looting, taking advantage of the merchandise out in the open.
Through it all, Patel has kept a positive attitude. “If we care for one another, we will always get through it together,”
As soon as his regulars, many WKU students, heard the news of what happened to the liquor store, they stepped in to help.
Natalie Kelley, who recently graduated from WKU, started a gofundme that has so far raised more than $13,000.
“So, when it really started to take off, I wasn’t really surprised, I was just encouraged to see everyone wanted to support him,” Kelley said.
Students said throughout the years, Patel has shown them love and kindness, even for the brief interactions they had with him
“His business means so much to us as students because when we walk in we feel like were connected to him and that he truly does care about us,” Kelley said.
“And this means a lot to me because if you care about your customers like family they’ll treat you like family in your hour of need,” Patel added.
He said it’s all come full circle, he couldn’t be more grateful for the love and support these students have shown him.
“It makes me feel loved and suddenly like part of a bigger family,” Patel stated.
Tuesday, he got word that he will be able to rebuild and there’s one thing Patel has in mind: making his store bigger and better.
“My main inspiration is to get the store back for the students and I’ll rebuild it with the students in mind,” he said.
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