| Jan 10, 2024
An update on your donation to the Midwest & Southern US Tornado Relief Fund
Photo: Kentucky Legal Aid
Thank you—we can’t say it enough! Because of your generosity, people still struggling two years after the 2021 Quad-State tornadoes are able to get their urgent and longer-term needs met through the critical efforts of our locally-led partners in the region.
The Midwest and Southern US Tornado Relief Fund has powered over 34 grants to high-impact and community-led nonprofit organizations at the forefront of this crisis since December 2021. These nonprofits ensured residents of Kentucky, Arkansas, Illinois, and Tennessee received support through mental health services, direct financial assistance, legal support, food, home repairs, and so much more.
Throughout this time, some affected communities have been doubly impacted by overlapping disasters (including the tragic floods in the summer of 2023 across Western Kentucky). This has meant that our partners have had to work overtime to respond to their communities’ new needs—making your contributions even more invaluable.
Our team wanted to share a reflection from Crystal, Director of Mayfield Minority Enrichment Center, about the impact of your gift:
“With the holidays approaching, I couldn’t have thought of a better gift than to be able to receive more funding to be able to contribute to our community’s recovery. We are so sincerely grateful for this gift and for trusting us. Our nonprofit has grown over the past few years, and it has been in part to partnerships like we have with you all.”
Here is a description of some of the critical work you’ve supported in the latest round of grants to local responders, including Crystal’s team:
- Kentucky Legal Aid (KLA) continues to actively represent victims of the quad-state tornadoes with legal aid. In addition to direct legal services for clients, KLA is involved in community outreach and education in the storm-impacted area, as well as long-term recovery groups that coordinate support to affected communities. Inspired by the lessons learned from this response, they are working with local legal aid societies to build out an improved, coordinated system so that if disaster strikes again, legal aid providers across the state can better coordinate and mobilize resources.
- Mayfield Minority Enrichment Center (MMEC) continues working tirelessly to holistically meet the diverse needs of the Mayfield community, which was impacted gravely by the quad-state tornadoes. MMEC offers financial support for household utilities, rent assistance, furniture, car repairs, and other in-kind aid, with a particular focus on providing food assistance. In particular, MMEC ensures historically marginalized and underfunded communities (like BIPOC and immigrant groups in Mayfield) receive the resources they might not have otherwise, given the historical lack of inclusion in coordinated disaster response efforts. MMEC is one of the several GlobalGiving partners that had to work even harder to respond to community needs when this summer’s floods impacted many of the same Mayfield residents formerly impacted by the 2021 tornadoes.
- Feeding America, Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas (FBNEA) continues to support local families, many of whom were impacted by the quad-state tornadoes in 2021, through their food security programs—including providing food items to local partner pantries in the most impacted areas. Overall, FBNEA is dedicated to building the capacity of local pantry partners to respond to disasters by helping them stock up on supplies (such as shelf-stable food items), and build disaster resiliency of food security programs in Northeast Arkansas by supporting the purchase of generators to keep perishable foods available to food insecure households in emergencies. With Arkansas rated the most food insecure state in the USA in 2023 by the USDA, FBNEA’s efforts are more urgent than ever.
- Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee (CFMT) continues to provide long-term recovery casework support to 20+ active households as members of the Weakley County, Tennessee Long Term Recovery Group (LTRG) case management coordination team. CFMT has been an active member of the group since the quad-state tornadoes hit. CFMT will continue to work with its LTRG partners to support these outstanding cases and community needs into 2024. This is especially important as some of these same community members were also impacted by the December 2023 tornadoes just last month, further impacting vulnerable households still recovering from the devastating tornadoes in 2021.
- Edwardsville Community Foundation (ECF) is providing mental health and psychosocial support to disaster-affected communities and the community at large, as well as grants for disaster preparedness and rebuilding efforts across Edwardsville. ECF will now be able to guarantee ongoing mental health offerings as well as to launch an endowment relief fund for future disasters so that, as the Edwardsville Community Foundation team shared, “We can be ready to support the community after the next possible disaster.”
Your support of the GlobalGiving Midwest and Southern US Tornado Relief Fund is advancing community-led recovery, and it means community leaders like Crystal received critical resources to rebuild her community—both after the 2021 quad-state tornadoes and the numerous devastating disasters that have struck these communities since.
Following this final grant round supporting recovery and resiliency needs in affected communities, this fund is no longer accepting donations, and this will be the last fund report of its kind from our team.
We hope you’ll stay in touch, and consider giving directly to our Climate Action Fund, which will continue to support partners impacted by climate change that is fueling increasingly severe disasters—including across the United States. As another project leader, Meghan, from Kentucky Civic Engagement Table said: “I can assure you that this philanthropy will have ripple effects across the region.”
Again, thank you. Our team at GlobalGiving and our community partners greatly appreciate your support, and remain united in solidarity and hope with communities affected by disasters around the world.
Kyra + the GlobalGiving Team
Nonprofit Partners Receiving Grants:
Photo: Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas