Locals collecting donations for tornado victims

Jackson County is stepping up to help with relief efforts in western Kentucky after devastating tornadoes went through the area Friday night.

Donations of items or money are being accepted at Brownstown Church of the Nazarene, 616 W. Commerce St.

The top priorities are generators, extension cords, gas cans, flashlights and batteries. Other items include snack food, bread, crackers, Pop-Tarts, fruit cups, pudding cups, applesauce cups, breakfast bars, sugar, Kool-Aid, lemonade mix, water and multipack chips. No canned food or food that requires cooking.

Other items needed include towels, wash cloths, hand soap, body soap, toothpaste, toothbrushes, shampoo, deodorant, lotion, wipes, toilet paper, plastic silverware, socks, children’s gloves, adult gloves, toboggans and blankets.

Those who prefer to help financially can make a check payable to Kentucky District Church of the Nazarene Compassionate Ministries.

Donations will be delivered to the area Monday. For information, call the church at 812-358-4976. If no one is there, drop off items under the drive-thru.

“Thank you in advance for your cooperation,” church member Donna Baughman posted on Facebook. “Together, we can truly make a difference. God bless you all for your love, compassion and generosity.”

Another local church, The Point in Seymour, is mobilizing efforts to minister to those in greatest need in two ways — one immediate and one in the future.

The church, 311 Myers St., is gathering supplies to send to the hardest-hit areas in Kentucky. It’s the same items as Brownstown Church of the Nazarene.

Once the dust settles and the needs are more fully assessed, a group of volunteers will travel to the areas in greatest need, most likely in Kentucky. The trip will occur sometime during the spring or summer in 2022 and will involve helping with the rebuilding efforts where the need is the greatest.

The Point will need funds to cover the project(s) and volunteers to get the work completed.

People can donate funds online at gotothepoint.com/giving or The Point App by selecting Kentucky Relief on the giving tab. Anyone interested in volunteering may sign up at gotothepoint.com/ministries/outreach or The Point App (Connect).

“We’ll be in touch with those who volunteer as details about the trip become available,” the church said on its Facebook page. “Thanks for your generosity and heart to serve others.”

Also helping with relief efforts is Far Out Fitness and Health LLC and Matthew Lucas with Farm Bureau Insurance, both in Seymour.

They will be delivering necessities to the area. Food, water, towels, clothes, toiletries, blankets, toys and other necessary products may be dropped off between 9 a.m. and 8 p.m. at the store, 1171 W. Tipton St., Suite J. Gift cards also are being accepted to give to impacted residents so they can buy what they need.

Multiple people will be taking the donations to Kentucky. For information, call 812-569-3346 or 812-569-3521.

“The donations are starting to come in. Thank you for helping,” the business posted on Facebook on Sunday. “Please keep them coming. We would love to fill up several vehicles to take down.”

Jasmine Harris is collecting items this week to take to Mayfield, Kentucky.

The Brownstown woman who works for the Jackson County Sheriff’s Department is accepting donations of cases of bottled water, nonperishable food items, clean towels, blankets, toothpaste, body wash, shampoo and household items to take down in a box truck.

She said she can meet in Brownstown to pick up or will go to Seymour or Columbus for larger donations. Anyone with questions may message Harris on Facebook.

“The destruction is astronomical,” Harris said. “This could happen anywhere to anyone. Indiana was very fortunate, as the storm died down before it got to us. Let us come together to help our neighbors.”

She said she could not have done this on her own.

“Many people with me from the sheriff’s department helped, but especially Deputy Justin Amos. He secured pallets of essentials for me to take,” she said. “T and T Body Shop is assisting with the box truck to take everything down. Rough and Rusty is offering 10% off their purchase price this weekend for anyone who donates from now through Friday. This is really a community that is making this happen. I just made a few Facebook posts and phone calls to get it going.”

Lisa McClusky said family members of a longtime employee of Starve Hollow State Recreation Area in Vallonia lost everything after a tornado demolished their home in Kentucky.

They have three young children ranging from 6 months old to 6 years old.

The family has no place to store items, so monetary donations and any type of gift cards are being accepted until 4 p.m. this week at the main office at Starve Hollow, 4345 S. County Road 275W. Donations also may be given to any staff member.

“We are asking to please consider helping this family,” McClusky said. “I can’t imagine what these families are going through. Please help us bless this family.”