Providing A Helping Hand for Our Citizens

On December 10th, 2021 a F4 tornado was on the ground in Western & Central Kentucky for over 200 miles.
In my District two major cities where hit hard. Several small communities where totally destroyed. There where fatalities all along the path of the tornado. Thousands of homes where totally destroyed, several thousand had major damage.
The people had to find places to stay miles from where their homes were. Many factories, industries, and local businesses gone.
The first task was to find any and all survivors. The next task recovered the many victims, with proper respect to the victims and families.
Then came the daunting task of finding places for all the families to stay. Kentucky opened up its State Parks for as many families as possible. Thousands were left homeless with only the closes on their backs. Please keep in mind, it was the dead of winter with temperatures in the high 20’s to low 30’s. Local clinics, and hospitals began to fill up .
Communications were almost impossible. Many roads where closed. Just about everyone had no electricity. Some where out of power for seven days. Many families were weeks an months away form having power restored. There was no such thing as running down to the local store or pharmacy, many where gone. if not, they couldn’t open, and if they could you couldn’t get to them.
What you saw on TV did not represent the true impact. When the sun rose the next morning, two observations were evident, this was a devastating storm. The other was, the first responders where out in full force.
The Lions of 43-K where already on the screen, ready to meet the many needs. And almost immediately, Our Service with a Heart Team moved into action. As we say,” Where there is a need, there is a Lion.” In this case many Lions.
The numerous Clubs and Districts all across this Great Nation spring into action. Hundreds of request came in asking, What do you need? How can we help? When do you need us? Within a few days LCIF sent a $20,000.00 disaster relief grant. Those funds helped with kerosene heaters, kerosene, blankets, food, so many small items that we take for granted.
Day and night, around the clock, Lions where on the ground searching for those that needed help. I would be remised if I didn’t mention the thousands of individuals that helped set up ware houses , locations to bring food, bedding, clothes, and so munch more. They came and helped everyday. Many are still giving aide where needed to this day.
Christmas was only 15 days away when the tornado hit. There were thousands of homes destroyed. As well as the kids and families Christmas. We had a number of states that brought pick up truck loads, some pulling trailers, all the way up to tractor and trailer loads of toys. We had location all along the path of the tornado set up for families to come and get Christmas Gifts.
My club had the honor of being at a number of those locations passing out gifts. Well, we really didn’t pass gifts out the Kids went through and got what they wanted for the most part. The smiles, the sheepish grins, the hugs, the thank you from teary eyed parents just melted your heart. In all, I would say that we had Lions from as many as 20 states, step up and help our communities here in Kentucky. This is who we are and what we do. Many of our fellow Lions are still bringing load after load of anything a family would need to start a new home. In all my years as a Lion, I can honestly say that I have never been more proud of this Great Service Organization our Lions Clubs International than I am today. I hope that this story will help in some small way to encourage every Lion in every Club to support our Lions Clubs International Foundation. Lions Club International Foundation’s, President Douglas Alexander came and spent the better part of a week in Kentucky, visiting all the effected area’s. A great human being, an outstanding Lion, of whom I am very proud of. God Bless & Thanks to all.