MAC Volunteer Debbie Harper recently traveled to several towns throughout Eastern Kentucky, dropping off supplies, Lowes gift cards and meeting with local representatives to learn more about how families are faring and what is still needed. Below is her account.

“On Monday, August 29, I visited Eastern Kentucky with my best friend Paulette. Our first stop was to meet State Representative Ashley Lafferty at the Golden Years Rest Home in Lackey, Kentucky (Knott County). We donate blankets and sheets for residents there. The first floor of the building was flooded, and residents were placed in other facilities until repairs were made.

Next, we drove to the town of Topmost which was hit hard. We met a local woman, Melanie, who works with her parents at the local service station and grocery store. This store serves as THE core of the city. Most patrons there had been deeply affected. Melanie’s house was spared but her parent’s house had severe damage. Still, there they all were manning the store to serve the community. We donated pillows, toasters and toaster ovens in addition to gift cards so people can get what they need most.

From there, Melanie’s friend Candace joined us. She’s a Librarian at Beaver Creek Elementary. Candace and Melanie took us to the small town of Hindman where there was devastation at every turn. Everyone was working to clean up the mess. We made it to the elementary school for kids Kindergarten to 8th grade, and it was totally flooded. Water ruined the furniture, floors, electronics, library and more. There’s hope that the kids will return soon, but it looks unlikely.

We heard so many firsthand accounts of loss and tragedy, my heart hurt for them. There have been a few suicide attempts, at least one successful. I think mental health counselors are needed. Melanie and Candace agreed, saying ‘People are distressed, depressed, hopeless and some helpless. Even though its a tight knit community, folks are working on their own homes since the flood was so widespread.’

Melanie and Candace are also encouraging financial literacy teachers to come to the area. As some of these property owners receive FEMA money, they’ve never had experience and don’t know how to make the most of it. This is a bigger problem than any one person can fix. This will take years and so many helpers to return to any sort of normalcy.”


Thank you Debbie for this humbling and heartbreaking report from Eastern Kentucky. Special thank you to the University of Louisville Mary and Elizabeth hospital for their generous donation of blankets and sheets. They were delivered to State Representative Lafferty and Bonnie the Administrator of Golden Years Rest Home, an Assisted Living community located at 14684 East Hwy 550 in Lackey, KY affected by flooding.