Kentucky tornado relief: Here's how to help

At least four tornadoes touched down in Kentucky the night of Dec. 10-11, a disaster the likes of which most Kentuckians have not seen in their lifetimes.

More than a thousand homes were damaged or destroyed. The death toll stands at 74 and is expected to grow as searchers continue their operations. The fatalities range in age from two months old to 98 years.

Across the state, people have mobilized to help. If you’d like to help, here’s a few ways to do that:
  • Governor Beshear has established the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund to assist those affected.
    All donations to the Relief Fund are tax-deductible and donors will receive a receipt for tax purposes after donating. If you wish to donate, you may go here. If you would like to mail in a donation, please make your check to "Kentucky State Treasurer." In the memo line please note the donation is for the "Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund." Send check to Public Protection Cabinet, 500 Mero Street, 218 NC, Frankfort, KY 40601.
  • The American Red Cross, already experiencing a shortage of blood donations, is asking for donations. You can find a location near you to donate blood by going here.
  • Police, fire, and emergency management agencies in Northern Kentucky are jointly collecting supplies. A tractor-trailer will be at the Campbell County Fire Training Center at 10 Training Center Drive in Highland Heights to accept cases of bottled water, new (still in packaging) pillows and blankets, toiletries, First-Aid items, new (still in packaging) underwear and socks, cleaning supplies, and dental items. There’s still time to drop off items today until 2 PM.
  • The disaster of course, occurred during the holiday season as families were preparing for Christmas.  State officials are requesting donations of toys, games, books, and technology that are new, unwrapped and in their original packaging. They are also asking for $25 Mastercard and Visa gift cards. They say clothes are not are needed at this time. In Northern Kentucky, two drop-off locations have been established: In Independence at the Kenton County Police Department, 11777 Madison Pike.  Drop-offs accepted 24 hours a day through Saturday. In Covington at the Kenton County Government Center, 1840 Simon Kenton Way. Drop-offs accepted 8 AM to 5 PM through Friday. If you prefer to mail donations to the toy drive, those can be sent to 937 Phillips Lane, Louisville, KY 40299.

Enjoy this story? Sign up for free solutions-based reporting in your inbox each week.

Read more articles by David Holthaus.

David Holthaus is the managing editor of NKY Thrives, an award-winning journalist, and a Cincinnati native. When not writing or editing, he's likely to be bicycling, hiking, reading or watching classic movies.