|Campbell County County Building on Monmouth St. in Newport. FTM file.|
The Fiscal Courts of Boone, Campbell and Kenton counties are collaborating on a regional effort to organize, solicit and sustain the outpouring of Northern Kentucky donations for the people and communities damaged in the Dec. 11 Western Kentucky tornadoes.
The three-county effort - spearheaded by Judges-executive Gary Moore (Boone), Steve Pendery (Campbell) and Kris Knochelmann (Kenton) and their staffs - is focused on two major outcomes:
- Manage, inventory, warehouse and ship the generous donations that area schools, churches, charitable organizations and government offices have received to help ensure the effective distribution of donations in Western Kentucky.
- Fill the inevitable void of dwindling donations that typically occurs as awareness and attention to a natural disaster diminishes.
"When a natural disaster strikes, the typical pattern is for people to respond to the needs of the stricken very generously in the early going," Judge Pendery said. "Donated items flow strongly, often in amounts that overwhelm the ability of workers to screen, sort, inventory and distribute, and often without regard to what is actually needed."
Reports from Western Kentucky indicate that the communities stricken by the tornadoes actually have more donated materials than relief workers and local officials can effectively handle or distribute.
"So, rather than donate items right now, it is more important to donate money for flexibility’s sake because we cannot be certain what will be necessary in the weeks ahead," said Judge Moore. "As always, the people of Northern Kentucky have been incredibly generous. But we are asking people to please not donate or solicit materials or goods right now because the folks on the ground in Western Kentucky are assessing the type and quantity of materials and items needed."
For cash donations, the counties have established the “Northern Kentucky Cares Fund” at the Horizon Community Funds. Please send contributions to Horizon Community Funds, 50 East RiverCenter Blvd., Suite 431, Covington, 41011. Make checks payable to the "Horizon Community Funds of Northern Kentucky" and note "Northern Kentucky Cares Fund" in the memo line. Donations may also be made at www.horizonfunds.org.
The counties are also focused on sustaining donations in the coming weeks and months.
"In a couple of weeks or months, the original stockpiles of donated goods will dwindle," said Judge Knochelmann. "So, as needs become apparent, we'll identify specific items that can then be dropped off at Hosea Project Mover's warehouse at 3951 Madison Pike, in Covington, which is less than two miles south from Interstate 275."
Items that have already been donated to schools, churches, government offices and charitable organizations can also be dropped and stored at Hosea. Donations are accepted from 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Please call ahead by calling 859-356-8900 and ask for Laura or 859-462-8324 and ask for Billy.
"Our hope is, as Western Kentucky’s needs become clear, the community will rally to donate the identified items and then we’ll use existing 'just in time' delivery capabilities to get this assistance to our fellow Kentuckians," Judge Knochelmann said