Help is on the way to communities in at least five U.S. states that were devastated by the historic tornados.
Daniel Wirth, the Executive Director of the American Red Cross for the South Puget Sound and Olympics, is on his way to Kentucky to serve as a Deputy Assistant Director of response operations in the field.
"It’s personal that this happened in a state where I called home for four years," said Wirth.
Wirth served as the Red Cross Disaster Officer for the entire state of Kentucky between 2016 and 2020.
"The Red Cross is providing much-needed shelter to those that have been impacted in the disaster areas throughout Kentucky, and throughout the midwest and south that were impacted by the tornadoes," said Wirth. "We will be providing hot meals with our partners to those that have been impacted and it will be assessing damage at this point to determine what our next steps would be."
World Vision also has a team member assessing the damage in Kentucky. Over the next week, the plan is to send relief shipments to church partners, but many of the churches and religious organizations have been devastated by the storms.
"It’s a miracle that more people didn’t lose their life in something like this, because from what you see and what you hear, and then to see it firsthand, I think it’s just got to be very traumatic," said Jaryl Pool.
Pool oversees all seven U.S. storehouses for World Vision and is currently at the Fife warehouse to get items together to be the next in line to head to the disaster area.
Relief supplies include food, family hygiene kits, heaters, blankets, solar lights and much more. The humanitarian organization is even shipping toys in hopes of salvaging Christmas for the children of impacted families.
"When you bring a teddy bear, when you bring a toy to a child, in just that small moment, the child forgets about what they don’t have they focus on what’s in front of them," said Pool. "To be able to bring some temporary relief to their mind and put them in a good spot, I think, goes along way with a long road to recovery for some of these families."
Both Wirth and Pool said support is needed for the relief efforts underway to help impacted families.
You can make a donation to the American Red Cross here.
You can make a donation to World Vision here.
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