Deadly tornadoes that struck several states in December 2021 destroyed whole neighborhoods in parts of Arkansas, Illinois, Kentucky, Missouri and Tennessee. Many families’ homes were reduced to rubble in storms that claimed 93 lives – the deadliest tornado outbreak in a decade.
Dawson Springs, Ky., a small town of only 2,500 residents, faced widespread power outages after many homes and businesses were razed. Shelter, food, supplies and support were in urgent demand.
The community came together. Those whose homes survived the storms opened their doors to their neighbors for a safe place to stay. A local church invited residents for prayer, collected donated items for victims of the tornadoes and hosted a barbecue for the entire community.
Local GoFundMe® pages were created to provide relief to families. More than 18,000 donations poured in to the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund, raising $2.3 million in less than 24 hours.
The American Red Cross deployed hundreds of aid workers and coordinated the response to help get aid to residents as quickly as possible. The Coca-Cola Company’s North America Operating Unit and The Coca-Cola Foundation contributed more than a half million dollars to the American Red Cross relief efforts and to Good360, a national nonprofit helping to distribute goods to those in need. Coca-Cola also donated 3,500 cases of beverages and food across the impacted region.
The PepsiCo Foundation donated $150,000 to The Salvation Army for immediate nutrition relief, including 75,000 meals and $150,000 to Team Rubicon, an international nonprofit that deploys disaster recovery efforts by military veterans. American Red Cross volunteers continued to assist in recovery efforts for weeks in Kentucky.
“We are grateful for the outpouring of love. We feel it,” Kentucky Gov. Andy Beshear said at a press conference after the storms.
To learn more on ways you can continue to help, please visit the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund website.