LILY—A local church is hoping to help some of the victims of last weekend’s deadly tornado that tore through parts of Kentucky.
Southeast Kentucky Restoration Ministries already received a load of donations in Bowling Green on Sunday and the church has already started collecting more donations for a second trip to western Kentucky to help those who have been devastated. by Saturday’s tornado.
Auston Brown, youth pastor at Restoration Ministries, said hearing the news of the devastation in communities like Bowling Green, he knew he had to do something.
“Saturday when I woke up and we heard about what was going on, I spoke to our pastor and we started discussing how we were going to respond as a church and how we could get involved. the community to help,” Brown mentioned.
The church decided to team up with CenterPointe Church in Bowling Green which serves as the donation center for the community and asked what kind of donations community members needed.
“Just 24 hours later, we had a full 26-foot U-Haul,” Brown said. “People throughout the night and the next morning were bringing things in, dropping them off, just a steady stream of people, full vehicles and bags full of stuff. There were people giving money to get more U-Hauls, giving money for gas.
“It was amazing what the Tri-County put together in just a few hours.”
On Sunday morning, with two trucks and a U-Haul loaded with donations, five volunteers, including Brown and his wife, drove to Bowling Green where they witnessed the wreckage left behind.
“The devastation is horrific, but the unity there – the people helping chop wood in people’s yards, picking up debris and repairing roofs – was remarkable,” he said.
Now Restoration Ministries is gearing up for another trip to Bowling Green on Thursday, asking the community to come together again and donate items to those in desperate need. From now until Wednesday, community members are encouraged to drop items off at their Christian Restoration Academy.
Necessary items include toiletries such as deodorant, toothbrushes, toothpaste, soap, socks, underwear, diapers, towels, washcloths, and shampoo. One thing Brown noted people also desperately need are kerosene heaters.
The church also asks people to give Christmas gifts.
“Two weeks before Christmas, all these kids don’t even know where they’re going to lay their heads, don’t know if they’re going to get Christmas presents, so we’re going to try to fill up the U-Haul trailers we can with gifts,” Brown said.
Brown said gifts for children of all ages were needed. The church requests that gifts present be wrapped and labeled “boy” or “girl” with an age range for ease of distribution.
“As for what we’re asking specifically, anything that you would buy your own kids,” Brown said. “We want to try to go above and beyond to help these children as much as we can.”
Donations can be dropped off at Restoration Christian Academy, located at 420 Lily School Road. If you have any questions, call 606-261-7926. Volunteers will be needed to help load the U-Hauls and trucks Wednesday night and Thursday morning before church members depart for their second drop-off in Bowling Green at 10 a.m. Thursday.
Brown said Restoration Ministries plans to continue helping Bowling Green and surrounding communities until they get back on their feet.
“Our motto at our church is ‘go get one more’ and there’s not much else to do but help people who have just lost everything,” he said.