A series of tornadoes ripped through the midwest this week, leaving dozens dead and survivors without critical help. Kentucky is far and away the hardest-hit state, but serious storms also touched down in Illinois, Tennessee, Arkansas, Missouri, and Mississippi, ultimately stretching more than 250 miles across the country.
“This has been one of the toughest nights in Kentucky history,” Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said on Saturday. As of today, 74 people have been killed and more than 100 are still missing, according to NBC News.
The storms leveled a Mayfield, Kentucky candle factory, hit an Amazon warehouse in Illinois, and meteorologists say climate change likely made the storms much worse. The National Guard is currently on the ground in Kentucky, 30,000 are still without power, and President Joe Biden approved a major disaster declaration for the state, giving federal aid to eight counties.
Watching a disaster like this can be demoralizing, but there are ways you can get involved no matter how near or far you live from the disaster site. Here are resources to help you help tornado survivors, whether by donating money, blood, or time to those in need.
Even if you live overseas, you can help Kentucky storm survivors by giving money. The best way to contribute is through Kentucky’s official fund.
Governor Beshear unveiled the Team Western Kentucky Relief Fund earlier this week, a donation collection for tornado survivors in western Kentucky. Beshear confirmed the money will go directly to the Kentucky tornado victims with no administrative fees involved, and spending of the fund will be “fully transparent” with the first expenditure being $5,000 toward burial expenses for each family that lost a loved one.
To donate, go to the fund’s site here. To mail in a donation, send check to the Public Protection Cabinet (500 Mero Street, 218 NC, Frankfort, KY 40601) and please note it’s for the “Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund.”
Here are some additional options if you want to donate money toward relief efforts:
If you are safe in the Kentucky area and are able to donate blood, officials have asked for your help. Local hospitals are treating survivors and could use the extra support.
Here are three sites that will help you find a blood donation center near you:
If you live in the Kentucky area and are safe and able to volunteer, there are opportunities for you to get involved on the ground. Here are ways to donate time:
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