In 2022, the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky was able to meet community needs and philanthropic goals through the charitable giving of our donors. It is your generous gifts that allow us to be able to continue our community work in Appalachian Kentucky, and we’d like to highlight some of our donors and the projects we are able partner in together.
Here are just a few stories, in their own words, collected from our donors as we Rise Where We’re Rooted together. We invite you to share your own story with The Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky as we share our collective projects and journeys together.
In the aftermath of the devastating floods of 2022, Blackhawk Mining LLC Immediately reached out on August first to the Foundation to open a fund for impacted employees and families.
Blackhawk operates mines in eastern Kentucky and wanted to make sure that its miners, staff, and their families were safe and healthy. Working quickly, they raised and granted out $500,000 to employees, donated countless time and materials to re-building employee homes, bridges, and driveways.
Any time there is need, Blackhawk is always a great partner in making it easy to make an impact for their business and their employees as soon as possible.
“When deadly tornadoes struck Western Kentucky in December 2021, the Foundation became the custodian of funds and connected us with a similar entity in Western Kentucky in what has been for us a perfect case study in corporate giving, maximizing our donations for meaningful, long-term benefit. That we were able to raise over $500,000 within one week from over three hundred individuals and businesses is a testament to the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky’s stewardship of funds, efficiency, and ability to work with sophisticated donors. We transferred new and unspent funds within hours of the latest flooding, including a $10,000 donation from the new Quarter-Horse racetrack in Ashland. Our industry strives to be good corporate citizens with statewide impact, and we couldn’t have done this without the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky.”
Chauncey Morris, Executive Director
The Kentucky Thoroughbred Association
and Thoroughbred Owners and Breeders Association
Shortly after the Breathitt County flood in 2021, we were contacted by Chauncey Morris, Executive Director of the Kentucky Thoroughbred Association. Chauncey wanted us to know that the horse industry appreciated the love and support of southeastern Kentucky for what horses bring to our state, and they wanted to help our communities recover and rebuild.
Chauncey asked good questions and listened to what we were hearing from people who were impacted. He came to visit, see the damage, and talk to people actually doing to work to rebuild.
Together with horse tracks, horse farms, breeders and other in the industry, they raised more than $250,000 to help flood victims. That money helped build or repair dozens of homes, leveraging another $250,000 from other donors.
When the tornadoes hit western Kentucky, Chauncey called us again. He wanted to know how to help them too. We put him in touch with the Community Foundation of West Kentucky and together they doubled what they had raised before and leveraged over a $1 million to help rebuild homes for tornado victims.
Now, as we are faced with even more devastating flooding, the horse industry has once again shown how much they care. We continue to recieve gifts from multiple donors connected to the horse industry as we continue to rebuild and restore our communities.
Steve Womack, the owner of Stor All, contacted the Foundation. Mr. Womack, a Grayson KY resident, and businessman, watched as the floods ravaged our communities. He knew that something had to be done to help. So, Mr. Womack and 26 of his associates (spread out across the nation) at the Self-Storage Insurance Association quickly sprang into action. Within a matter of days, they raised $112,000. The donation has been used to purchase storage containers (a business Mr. Womack knows well) for schools and nonprofits impacted by flooding.
Mr. Womack and Tonya Shepherd, Development Director at the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, are working together to ensure that every school or nonprofit in the area needing a storage container receives one.
Judy Eversole (Buckhorn Family Resource Center Director) and Rhonda Noble (Robinson Elementary Family Resource Center Director) were the first to receive containers. Unfortunately, both schools were closed due to flooding. The two schools are now cramped into one building, struggling to find enough space.
Judy and Rhonda said, “the storage units have been a big blessing. They don’t know what they would do without them.” They have already begun filling the containers and have big plans for their use.
This week the delivery of at least nine more units has been scheduled. The Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky is grateful to partner with such innovative and thoughtful donors. As recovery and rebuilding continue, the storage containers will provide a service that the majority would have never considered an issue.