In response to the devastation and loss of life caused by an outbreak of tornadoes across portions of the southern US and Ohio Valley from the evening of December 10 to the morning of December 11, 2021, the Foundation has announced emergency grant funding to support ongoing relief efforts.
The Foundation has approved an immediate response of $250,000 in emergency funding to organizations serving tornado-ravaged communities in Kentucky. The massive weather system spawned tornadoes across several states, including catastrophic damage and numerous fatalities. However, the most significant loss of life occurred in Kentucky where at least 75 people were killed.
“This is a tragedy on an incomprehensible scale,” said Weinberg Foundation President and CEO Rachel Garbow Monroe. “The scenes of destruction were heartbreaking, and the loss of life is staggering. Just as the Foundation has responded to other recent disasters and emergencies across the US, our goal is to help as many people as possible—as quickly as possible—through nonprofit organizations that are on the frontline of the recovery effort, providing basic needs such as food, water, and housing.”
After gathering real time information regarding organizations providing disaster relief in response to the tornado outbreak, the Foundation has approved emergency grant funding totaling $250,000 to support the following three organizations:
- $100,000 to Feeding America, Kentucky’s Heartland (FAKH) – This food bank serves 42 counties, across 16,000 square miles, in Central, South Central, and Western Kentucky. FAKH has established a tornado relief fund to offset the cost of food for families in need. The organization is also providing ready-to-eat bags of food.
- $100,000 to United Way of Kentucky – United Way of Kentucky is the umbrella organization for the 21 United Ways throughout the state and is coordinating collection of monetary donations to support immediate needs, as well as long-term recovery efforts. All money raised in conjunction with this appeal will go directly to tornado relief.
- $50,000 to Team Rubicon – Founded in 2010, Team Rubicon provides emergency response services to disaster-stricken communities by deploying veterans to the affected area. In this instance, three teams of 40 veterans are assisting residents of Benton and Mayfield, Kentucky with clean up and debris removal. Team Rubicon plans to expand its efforts to assist additional homeowners in Bowling Green, as well as Wilson and Henry Counties.
The Foundation’s response to other recent emergencies and disasters includes $18 million in COVID emergency funding to existing grantees; $100,000 to support those affected by the 2021 collapse of the Champlain Towers condo building in Florida; $200,000 in response to the 2020 wildfires in Northern California; $1.2 million in response to the 2018 Tree of Life Synagogue mass shooting; and $500,000 each in the wake of 2017 hurricanes Irma (in Florida) and Harvey (in Texas).