Many residents of Elizabethtown and Hardin County have been busy collecting donations since devastating flooding hit many areas of eastern Kentucky, leaving at least 37 people dead and many others injured, stranded or missing. The severe flooding has also left hundreds of people homeless and thousands without power.
Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear announced the latest death toll Monday night on Twitter, saying, “We end the day with more heartbreaking news from eastern Kentucky. We can confirm that the death toll has now risen to 37, with many more still missing. Let us pray for these families and join together to wrap our arms around our fellow Kentucky people. »
One group in Elizabethtown doing just that is a group of employees at the Elizabethtown Community and Technical College.
The group is collecting donations of supplies, including shovels, buckets and rubber boots, which will be taken to Hazard. Supplies will first be distributed to Hazard Community and Technical College employees in need, with remaining donations going to students and community members.
Additionally, a group of 20-25 ECTC employees will travel to Hazard on Thursday to help clean the homes of HCTC employees.
ECTC President and CEO Juston Pate, who is among one of the groups planning to visit Hazard, said he felt it was important to provide physical assistance.
“These people are at the stage of trying to extract, in some cases, a foot of mud from their basement,” he said. “We just felt it was important to come down and give time.”
Pate, from Harlan County, said he was previously stationed at Hazard and met some of the people there. He felt it was important to come to the aid of those affiliated with the college.
“People in college, they help other people; we wanted to help them so they could get back to doing what they’re doing,” Pate said.
Donated supplies can be dropped off today at WQXE at 233 W. Dixie Ave. in Elizabethtown, or at ECTC in the Welcome and Admissions Center building at 600 College Street Road. Those dropped off at the college can be left inside the entrance.
The group plans to leave early tomorrow morning, Pate said.
The Elizabethtown Police Department announced on Facebook on Monday that it was collecting monetary donations, including cash, checks and gift cards, for relief efforts.
Knowing the urgent need for help and backed by a substantial donation from a local business, the department stepped in to help, said Elizabethtown Police Public Affairs Officer Chris Denham.
“It’s really who we are; it is our reason for being,” he said. “The people of Eastern Kentucky are in dire need of help.”
The ministry felt it could serve as an effective conduit for those who want to help but either don’t know how or are afraid to do so due to scams, Denham said.
“We have a good relationship with community members,” he said. “There are a lot of good people who want to help but don’t know how.”
Just before the flood, the department had received a large donation from Bluegrass Land Title in Elizabethtown for the department store with a cop program. With the permission of this company, the department has diverted a portion of this donation for flood relief efforts and is using these funds to match donations received, up to $5,000.
From the ministry’s announcement Monday through mid-morning Tuesday, he had raised nearly $2,000, Denham said.
The department is collecting donations until August 14. Donations can be dropped off at the police station at 300 S. Mulberry St. in Elizabethtown, or donors who need their donations picked up can contact Denham at [email protected] or 270 765 4125 ext. 111.
Donations received will be distributed to family resource centers in schools in affected areas, Denham said. The centers will then distribute cash to affected families, Denham said.
Collecting the police department is the city’s primary mode of assistance, said Amy Inman, public relations manager for the City of Elizabethtown. The city also sends three decommissioned but still usable police cars to the city of Whitesburg.
Inman said city officials believe collecting cash donations would be the best way to help, rather than collecting bottled water or other goods.
“We had a lot of people contacting us, but we weren’t sure of the need yet,” she said.
The city decided to donate police cars after being contacted by the Kentucky League of Cities, Inman said.
Inman said Tuesday that the cruisers would be caged and prepped by the city police department’s mechanic.
The Hardin County Sheriff’s Office is collecting donations of bottled water and gift cards, according to a news release on Tuesday.
“When we saw reports of the devastation inflicted on our eastern Kentucky neighbors in recent days from these floods, we at the sheriff’s office knew we had to do everything we could,” said Hardin County Sheriff John Ward in the statement. “I know Hardin County is an extremely giving community and I am deeply grateful for any support we receive in this endeavor. The need is critical. »
Bottled water donations can be dropped off at the lower level of the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office, located behind the Hardin County Government Building at 150 North Provident Way in Elizabethtown.
Gift cards can be donated inside the Hardin County Sheriff’s Office between 8 a.m. and 4:30 p.m. Gift card donors are encouraged to donate Walmart gift cards due to the accessibility of the retailer to those affected by the floods, according to the statement.
All donations must be received by 9 a.m. tomorrow.
A local man, Travis Lefew, collects pet food, cleaning supplies, gift cards or checks. Lefew said he brought about 800 pounds of dog food to eastern Kentucky last weekend and was planning another trip this weekend.
“I saw the photo of the 17-year-old girl sitting on the roof of her house with her dog, and it bothered me,” Lefew said.
Donations will go to the Floyd County Animal Shelter, Lefew said.
Donations can be dropped off at the Schuler Bauer Real Estate office at 100 Drixler Circle in Elizabethtown by 5 p.m. Thursday. Checks should be made payable to Floyd County Animal Shelter.
WOW, or Wellness On Wheels, from Elizabethtown Baptist Health, is also heading to eastern Kentucky, where it will serve as a temporary mobile clinic, said Diane Staton, chief marketing officer of Baptist Health Hardin.
A team spent Tuesday preparing it for the trip, including loading it with supplies. The hospital works in conjunction with other Baptist hospitals in eastern Kentucky, Staton said.
Hardin County schools also joined in the effort. The district announced over the weekend that it was accepting gift cards given to flood victims in the area. Donors can bring Visa, Dollar General, Lowe’s, Amazon and Walmart gift cards to the Hardin County Board of Education’s central office at 65 WA Jenkins Road in Elizabethtown by the end of the business day Friday.
Another option for donating is the statewide relief fund set up by the Beshear administration. TeamEKYFloodReliefFund.ky.gov. According to a press release from the governor’s office, the money raised will be used to provide long-term relief to those directly affected by the floods, including assistance with food, shelter and other necessities, and to supplement emergency funds arriving in the region. .
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