MAYFIELD, Ky., Dec. 23, 2021 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — Homes and Hope for Kentucky Inc., operating under the umbrella of Rotary International and the non-profit Mayfield Rotary Foundation, has set a goal to build new homes for 100 Mayfield residents who lost everything from a historic category F4 tornado that decimated the city on Dec. 10. The fund has just launched with seed money of $100,000 from an anonymous donor, but millions of dollars are still needed in order to get the job done.
“We know we can’t bring back our historic main street, the courthouse, or the beautiful old churches – all destroyed in this storm. But we can bring new homes and new hope to people who’ve lost everything right before Christmas.”
Heather Nesler, Co-chair
Homes and Hope for Kentucky
190 mile-an-hour winds leveled large swaths of Mayfield, Kentucky, killing more than two dozen people and hospitalizing many others. Property damage is equally devastating: 250 homes and businesses were destroyed and another 370 have major damage. The downtown core is unrecognizable – a major blow to a town with a median household income only half that of the national average.
Many agencies and organizations are on the ground providing immediate food, water, supplies, and short-term shelter. Homes and Hope for Kentucky (HHK) has a different mission: to assure the long-term recovery and sustainability of this small southwestern Kentucky community, population 10,000.
“We know we can’t bring back our historic main street, the courthouse, or the beautiful old churches, all destroyed in this storm. But we can bring new homes and new hope to people who’ve lost everything right before Christmas,” said Homes and Hope for Kentucky Co-Chair, Heather Nesler.
To that end, HHK is partnering with charitable volunteer organizations like Mennonite Disaster Service, a faith-based initiative headquartered in Pennsylvania that has been repairing and rebuilding homes in disaster zones for more than 70 years. Specifically geared to assist families with little or no insurance (and therefore no ability to rebuild on their own), the fund is appealing to the general public, nationwide, to send tax-deductible donations to help pay for the cost of essential household appliances and building materials. Mennonite Disaster Service, a network of self-funded volunteers, will provide free labor in a model that has helped other communities recover from natural disasters – such as the victims of catastrophic flooding in White Sulphur Springs, West Virginia and those who lived through a nightmare as a major hurricane ravaged the Texas coast.
“Mennonite Disaster Service seeks to help those with unmet needs – the vulnerable in the communities who, without help, are unlikely to ever get home. We realize that the magnitude of this disaster can overwhelm most anyone, yet working together with local, state and national partners, we all can make a difference together,” said MDS Executive Director Kevin King.
Mennonite Disaster Service has already been on the ground inspecting the area and …….