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It's Still Devastating Almost a Year Later

Laura posted this today:

"It was so fun to receive ornaments from across the United States during the Christmas in July campaign. Thank you to those who made ornaments at family reunions, with neighbors and friends, as church and community groups, and as individuals. Thank you to those who are still creating ornaments to send within the next couple of months. Each ornament shares your love for those who have lost so much this past year. Each ornament will bring a smile to families who are starting over with new Christmas decorations and traditions. My heart is full with each box that I receive. Keep them coming!

With that being said, my heart is sad to see that another part of Kentucky is experiencing deadly flooding. The death toll is 39 so far with countless small communities being destroyed by the flooding 10 days ago and two smaller floods this weekend. Kentucky needs prayers and love at this time.

As someone who helps on the frontline of disasters here in Kentucky, I have the opportunity to see the great outpouring of love and support immediately following a natural disaster. Agencies, families, churches, and neighbors rush in to help with the immediate needs of housing, feeding, clothing, and cleaning up the area. It’s beautiful to watch neighbors helping neighbors and strangers helping strangers. The first month after a disaster, there is such an outpouring of help and love. After the initial disaster is over, the interest fades away and people move on with their busy lives.

I had a chance to drive through Mayfield, KY last week, one of the towns that was devastated by the December 2021 tornado. I thought that I might be able to see a bit of evidence from the tornado that ripped through this little community almost eight months ago. I was heartbroken when we pulled into town to see that the town still looks like a tornado hit it yesterday. The courthouse in the center of town is roped off with the top levels of the building crumbling in. The police station is boarded up. Churches and stores are damaged beyond repair. Houses are left abandoned. Life is a new normal there as they drive around town where streetlights are bent in half and buildings have been ripped from their foundations.

I talked with a few residents of Mayfield, and they are optimistic about the future. There are some new homes being built and roads being repaired. A small sitting park has been built in the heart of the town with small trees and monuments showing a spirit of rebirth. There are signs posted of hope throughout the area reminding people that there are good things that happen in the wake of disaster. They are grateful to know that people are still thinking and praying for their town. They want me to thank you all for your kindness in helping them to smile this Christmas. I was humbled to be there representing all of you in this project. Thank you!

People ask me why I do this when I don’t know the victims personally. My answer, I love to serve. I love to teach my family to serve. My heart is filled knowing that in this little way, we are touching the lives of so many. Last year, over 600 families began their Christmas with a dozen ornaments from across the United States. I hope that we can help just as many people this year and again next year. It is by small and simple things that great things are brought to pass.

Note-these photos were taken last week. The tornado was in December of 2021."

This why we create, package, and distribute ornaments. We will not forget!

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