Southeast Kentucky Flood Relief Fund helping lead regional efforts

Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky alongside partners at the Appalachian Impact Fund and the Southeast Kentucky Chapter of the American Red Cross have launched the Southeast Kentucky Flood Relief Fund to provide aid to Eastern Kentuckians suffering from recent flooding.

Throughout the region, homes and businesses are underwater due to flash flooding that began Sunday evening. On Monday, Kentuckians watched communities across the Appalachian region get hit hard by rising flood waters in Eastern Kentucky.

This flooding comes on the heels of an ice storm that left many in our region without power and after an already long and difficult year due to the COVID pandemic.

To assist with relief efforts, the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky quickly pulled together partners and resources to assist those in need.

“We are collecting donations now and within the next week, checks will be going out to assist individuals and families as well as larger grants targeted at small businesses and family farmers in the region who are experiencing flood damage,” said Gerry Roll, executive director of the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky located in Hazard, Kentucky.

The Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky was established in 2010 and is the only nationally accredited community foundation located in and serving Eastern Kentucky.

“There are many local efforts happening across the region and we support people giving directly to any and all of those places. The more help the better,” said Lora Smith, Director of the Appalachian Impact Fund at the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, a partner in the relief efforts, “But making a donation to the Foundation at this time means that you will be helping with long-term recovery that will not only target individuals but small family farmers and small, local businesses with relief efforts that will continue throughout the year. We understand that recovery takes time and different forms of support. We will be here to provide it.”

In 2020, the Foundation helped distribute over $1,000,000 in COVID-relief funding that supported families, small farmers, nonprofits, and small businesses. That crisis funding made a huge difference in the region – helping to save over 910 jobs, support 153 downtown businesses, and aid 138 farm businesses in Eastern Kentucky- during COVID shut downs while also bringing hope to people who felt left behind by federal relief aid. The Foundation is well positioned to now help families suffering from damage and displacement due to flooding.

“We plan to have that same level of impact with our flood relief funding,” said Roll, “And what’s most important is that we are a permanent piece of community infrastructure in the region. We have been here and we will be here once the flood waters subside.”

If you are interested in contributing to the Southeast Kentucky Flood Relief Fund, please contact the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky at 606-439-1357 or visit applachianky.org.

About the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky
The Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky is the only nationally accredited community foundation located in and serving Eastern Kentucky. The Foundation is a catalyst for community collaboration and charitable giving; building capacity and creating permanent, locally controlled community assets as sustainable resources to improve quality of life and place in southeastern Kentucky. Visit us online at www.appalachianky.org.