University of the Cumberlands, through its Mountain Outreach ministry, is working to collect donations to support those in western Kentucky affected by the tornado outbreak on December 11.
The university is currently accepting monetary donations at ucumberlands.edu/western-kentucky-relief-fund that will be used to purchase items most requested to support those in need. Mountain Outreach will purchase and deliver items to the affected area as needed.
Cumberlands is also accepting donations of physical goods at the Mountain Outreach Center, located at 1030 Old Hickory Road in Williamsburg, from 9 am to 3 pm, until Friday, December 17. Helpful items include bottled water, hygiene items, baby items (diapers, wipes, bottles, and formula), flashlights, batteries, blankets, and dog food.
All donations are tax-deductible, and donors can request a receipt for tax purposes. Anyone with questions can call 606-539-4290.
“Many other donation and outreach efforts are already underway across Kentucky to help Mayfield, Dawson Springs, and surrounding areas recuperate,” said Rocky Brown, director of Mountain Outreach. “To coordinate with these other efforts, it was decided that collecting the basic items we’ve listed, as well as monetary donations, is the best way for MO to offer immediate help.”
Brown and other MO staff traveled to Mayfield after the tornado subsided and met with the city manager. On this trip, they delivered 3,840 water bottles and 100 boxes of nonperishable food to Bowling Green. The staff, along with the assistance of Travis Wilson, executive vice president for operations at Cumberlands, made a second trip to western Kentucky on December 15. The team unloaded 125 food boxes and 7,200 water bottles in Dawson Springs.
Food and water are obviously helpful in the aftermath of a crisis, but Wilson also explained the necessity of monetary donations.
“Though the state and federal government have pledged emergency assistance, it takes time for the process to work in order for families most impacted to see direct relief,” he said. “That is the importance of donating funds to the cause. Monetary donations give MO freedom to purchase whatever is not donated so that we are filling in every gap and meeting every need possible for the people in western Kentucky who need our assistance right now.”
As needs change over the course of response to the disaster, Cumberlands will alter its support campaign to ensure the greatest need is continually being met.
Brown will ensure physical donations can be left at the MO warehouse even during the university’s Christmas break (December 20 – January 2). If anyone is interested in volunteering their time, they can contact Mountain Outreach at 606-539-4290.
Cumberlands is not the only avenue available for the community to help, though it is a direct form of support. For other resources to donate, volunteer, and even donate blood, please visit www.wkyt.com/2021/12/11/how-help-western-kentucky-after-devastating-tornadoes/.