Toyota will be donating half a million dollars to help those impacted by the tornadoes that devastated parts of Kentucky over the weekend.
A single massive stormfront passing through caused tornadoes in Arkansas, Illinois, Tennessee, Kentucky, Mississippi, and Missouri. In Kentucky, 74 people are confirmed dead, and many more are still missing. The town of Bowling Green is all but gone. There, 14 people were killed in the space of a few blocks, 11 of them (including 7 children) neighbors on a single street. In nearby Mayfield, the Mayfield Consumer Products factory was leveled. Workers on the night shift tried to shelter in place in hallways and bathrooms, but eight died and eight more remain missing. Tens of thousands of homes and businesses have been destroyed.
Early Saturday, Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear said that this was “likely to be the most severe tornado outbreak in our state’s history.” He declared a state of emergency, and summoned up the Kentucky National Guard to help with rescue and recovery efforts.
Toyota Motor North America announced their $500,000 donation on Tuesday, in a press statement from group vice president Sean Suggs.
Half of the total, $250,000, will go to the Community Foundation of West Kentucky to be distributed as needed to individuals and local charities, wherever it can be best put to use in the worst-hit areas of the state.
The other $250,000 is going into Toyota’s partner charity, the St. Bernard Project, which directly offers recovery operations and resiliency training. Resiliency training is education offered to first responders and disaster volunteers to help them cope with the scale of tragedy found after events like these.
“The devastation across the region and in a state that we also call home is heartbreaking,” wrote Suggs. “Together, let’s rally around the community to support all those in need and ensure they have the resources to help on the road to recovery.”
Photo: Phillip Fryman / Shutterstock