Dear Fellow Kentuckians,
In December, when pictures of the horrific western Kentucky tornado’s aftermath hit news channels the next day, my heart ached for all in its path. I know yours did, too. Funds were being set up and people began pouring in with necessities, ready to help any way they could. The Blue Grass Garden Club donated $1000 to the fund set up by Governor Beshear. Individual club members and other garden clubs donated. The GCKY Executive Committee voted to donate $1000 to the city of Mayfield on behalf of all GCKY members. Kentuckians all across the state began to share their blessings with fellow Kentuckians who had lost loved ones, homes, property, and precious possessions that cannot be replaced. Immediate needs were being addressed as much as possible.
My mind raced, wondering how we as The Garden Club of Kentucky could help in ways that would bring some sense of normalcy to the ravaged land. As garden club members, we share a love for our environment and are committed to its beautification and protection. Western Kentucky was flattened–no more beauty and no more protection. The pictures we see on television don’t begin to show the real damage. The soil itself is filled with shards of metal and glass. It is a huge undertaking just to clear all the debris. The GCKY Executive Committee has supported a special project to help when the time comes to restore the land. At a quickly called Zoom meeting, a motion was made and vote taken to set up a new fund that will help with this disaster and future natural disasters. It is the GCKY Natural Disaster Re-Leaf Fund.
This fund is to help with the purchase of trees, shrubs, and other plants-native ones are encouraged. It may be late spring or early summer before specific needs can even be known. And it will probably take two years to get much of the land replanted. Meanwhile, our fund can grow with your donations and donations from friends and acquaintances all over. Please help spread the word about this special project. Word of mouth is the best advertisement of all. Yes, advertisement. This endeavor will be costly. We can also help offset some of the cost by starting seedlings of native plants at home and have them available when it is time to share…labors of love. Some of you are really good at this.
Our plans include contacting the Kentucky Division of Forestry, big and small plant nurseries, and plant organizations. Ames Tools, a generous company associated with NGC, has been contacted, as well as NGC itself, which has a Natural Disaster Committee, and applications for assistance can be made. Still, donations by individual members and garden clubs are much needed, as well as donations from other Kentuckians who want to help restore the land in western Kentucky. It will be a perfect time to replace with native trees and plants.
Make donations to GCKY, Inc.
and write on the memo line GCKY Natural Disaster Re-Leaf Fund
Send check to: Jan Worth, Treasurer GCKY, Inc.
2305 Shannon Road
Paris, KY 40361-2451
We plan to have the ability to give donations online soon for those persons who prefer to give by credit card. Thanking you in advance for all you continue to give in time and money for this special project.
Carcille Carloftis Burchette, President Garden Club of Kentucky, Inc.