Volume 58, Issue 10

KEA members and Local Associations provided hundreds of thousands of dollars, resources, and hope to fellow educators and communities affected by Eastern Kentucky floods

When the floods came to the people and communities of Eastern Kentucky this past summer, the devastation put thousands of Kentuckians in need of help and hope. And just like they do in every community across the Commonwealth, KEA educators took immediate action and began volunteering, contributing financial donations, supplying food and water and cleaning supplies, and took to the road to deliver aid and relief directly to those in need.

KEA received more than $120,000 in financial contributions and delivered aid directly to hundreds of fellow members affected by the floods. These funds helped cover the costs of classroom resources and provide cleanup of flooded homes and property. Members and staff gathered and delivered tens of thousands of dollars’ worth of supplies directly to Breathitt, Clay, Floyd, Johnson, Knott, Leslie, Letcher, Magoffin, Martin, Owsley, Perry, Pike and Whitley counties.

Local associations reached out a helping hand across Kentucky, from as far west as McCracken County. These examples are just a handful of examples of the help and care offered by KEA and its local affiliates across the Commonwealth.

“Our members were boots on the ground from minute one,” said Regina Brown, president of Letcher County’s local. “We helped mud-out homes, worked the distribution centers, and delivered supplies and meals directly to those in need.” 

KEA Appalachia raised more than $9,000 through a GoFundMe page and donated all it collected to local Family Resource & Youth Resources Center’s (FRYSC) in Letcher, Perry, Breathitt, Leslie and Clay counties. FRYSCs collaborate in the community to promote physical and mental health for families and students as well as provide opportunities for families to learn together in safe environments.

The Bullet County Education Association collected donations from its members and sent help with $25 gift cards to victims of the flood, providing them with instant relief to buy hot meals, clothing and fuel for their vehicles, according to local president Kimberly Ludwig.

The Bath County Education Association made several monetary donations to educators and collected schoolbooks and supplies to provide to schools directly affected by the floods. The Anderson County Education Association and Anderson County Schools also donated textbooks and school supplies. The Erlanger-Elsmere Teachers Association loaded a truck and trailer load of supplies and delivered it firsthand to those in need.

The McCracken County Education Association collected 3 carloads of cleaning supplies and hygiene products items the first day after the floods struck and delivered them to flood victims.

The Fort Thomas Education Association set up each of its buildings as a collection center for needed supplies, said Kelly Booth, local president. “We worked with our entire Fort Thomas community to gather cleaning supplies, bottled water, gift cards, batteries, and other donations for our colleagues in Eastern Kentucky.”

The Boone County Education Association Executive Council provided immediate financial support by donating $1,000 to the Eastern Kentucky Relief fund on behalf of its members. 

“The Rowan County Education Association held a canned and prepackaged food drive over the course of almost two weeks,” said local president Allison Slone. “And our head maintenance employees drove a trailer with over a thousand canned and prepackaged foods to those in need in Knott County.

KEA retiree chapters went to work as well. They redirected more than $7,000 from a grant and other donations and put it toward helping retired members who lost everything in the flood, according to KEA-R president Brenda McGown. That’s not all. The retiree board allotted district grant money to provide more than $5,000 toward replacing teaching supplies and resources. JCTA-R, MCEA-R, KEA Central-R, and other retiree members have added another $5,000 to that total.