Midwest and Southern US Tornado Relief Fund 2021

by GlobalGiving
Midwest and Southern US Tornado Relief Fund 2021

Project Report | Aug 8, 2022
An update on your donation to the 2021 Midwest and Southern US Tornado Relief Fund

By Kyra Zimmerman | Disaster Response Associate

Photo: Kentucky Civic Engagement Table
Photo: Kentucky Civic Engagement Table

Thank you for your generous donation to GlobalGiving’s Midwest and Southern US Tornado Relief Fund. Nearly eight months after tornadoes struck states including Arkansas, Illinois, Tennessee, and Kentucky, impacted communities still face an extremely long road to recovery. This is especially true in hard-hit communities of western Kentucky, like Mayfield.

In recent months, GlobalGiving made additional grants to vetted nonprofit partners that remain on the front lines of the response in Kentucky and neighboring states. These grants provide flexible program and operational support to allow our partners to be more responsive to emerging gaps in the disaster recovery process.

Here is a summary of some of the critical work you’ve supported through your donation: 

  • The Community Foundation of West Kentucky continues to provide critical funding to its network of local grassroots partners across the most severely impacted counties in western Kentucky. For example, the foundation supported its partners at Living Lands and Waters to remove more than 1 million pounds of tornado debris from Kentucky Lake, including appliances, cars, and housing materials. The foundation also serves as a focal point for distributing funding to all Long-Term Recovery Groups (LTRG) in affected Kentucky counties.

  • Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland serves all tornado-affected counties in Kentucky through its network of 240 community partners. Since December 2021, the organization has mobilized $2.7 million in resources for tornado relief and recovery efforts. It has also distributed millions of pounds of food and supplies to its network. With the organization’s support, for example, its food pantry partners have been able to obtain commercial refrigerators and cargo vans to transport food.

  • Kentucky Legal Aid actively supports Kentuckians impacted by the tornadoes through free and subsidized legal services. Its team has helped hundreds of families complete FEMA applications and appeals, replace important documents lost in the tornadoes, and access disaster unemployment assistance. The organization is also helping families through insurance issues and scams related to the tornadoes as, unfortunately, many scammers take advantage of families facing immense loss and hardship.

  • The Kentucky Civic Engagement Table remains a critical player in organizing grassroots disaster response groups across Kentucky. Recently, the organization convened more than 20 western Kentucky grassroots leaders for a two-day strategy session to plan their collective disaster relief and recovery efforts. These meetings are critical to ensure organizations collaborate strategically.
  • The United Way of Kentucky is providing vital funding and guidance to its local chapters based in tornado-affected counties. In addition, the organization is playing a central role in the Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) networks across all impacted communities. It is also advising local and state leaders on best practices to get much-needed funding to communities that have been neglected.
  • The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee is leveraging its tornado response experience from 2020 to provide flexible funding to the Weakley County LTRG in northwestern Tennessee. The group is made up of representatives from community faith-based groups, local volunteers, and other organizations working to help individuals and families affected by the tornadoes.
  • The Food Bank of Northeast Arkansas continues to support impacted community members via food distributions and coordination with other food banks in the communities it serves. The organization has also recently acquired a large generator to improve and secure its food storage systems.
  • The Southern Smoke Foundation provides direct cash assistance to individuals in the food and beverage industry in crisis across all states that were impacted by the tornadoes. You can read more here about a restaurant owner in Mayfield, Kentucky that received support from the organization.

As Tony Watkins from the Community Foundation of West Kentucky explained:

“We can still use more support as we are just entering the long-term building facet of this recovery, which will take years.”

Thank you for your solidarity and support for all tornado-impacted communities. The recovery process will not be easy, and it will take many years. GlobalGiving is committed to maintaining this Midwest and Southern US Tornado Relief Fund until early 2024 to ensure long-term support for our trusted nonprofit partners. In the months ahead, we will share another update as our partners’ incredible work continues.

Thank you again for supporting community-led disaster recovery.

With gratitude, 

Kyra + the GlobalGiving Team

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Organization Information


Location: Washington, D.C. - USA
EIN: 30-0108263

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Twitter: @GlobalGiving

About GlobalGiving’s Disaster Response

When a disaster strikes, recovery efforts led by people who live and work in affected communities are often overlooked and underfunded. GlobalGiving is changing this reality. Since 2004, we've been shifting decision-making power to crises-affected communities through trust-based grantmaking and support.

We make it easy, quick, and safe to support people on the ground who understand needs in their communities better than anyone else.

They were there long before the news cameras arrived, and they’ll be there long after the cameras leave. They know how to make their communities more resilient to future disasters, and they’re already hard at work. GlobalGiving puts donations and grants directly into their hands. Because the status quo—which gives the vast majority of funding to a few large organizations—doesn’t make sense.

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