National charities helping rebuild in Western Kentucky

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Published: Feb. 25, 2022 at 5:57 PM CST
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BARNSLEY, Ky. (WFIE) - In the two months since the tornadoes, there’s been a lot of cleanup, from debris to houses that weren’t safe to stand anymore. Now the people in Western Kentucky are switching gears to focus on rebuilding, and they’re getting help from national charities to do it.

After the devastation of the tornadoes, parts of western Ky. are starting to look a little more like themselves. That’s in part due to national charities stepping in to help.

One of these is Spokes of Hope out of South Carolina. Officials with the charity say they coordinate with about 250 other organizations, from churches to secular organizations, to gather supplies for rebuilding efforts after disasters.

”Let’s approach this town and see what the long term rebuild looks like for them and see if we can come in and be a help,” said Shane Zoccole, Spokes of Hope founder.

They say they’re bringing in 12 semi-loads of plywood, along with shingles, lumber, lighting and more. They say some organizations, like Lowe’s, have offered to buy supplies that aren’t donated.

Spokes of Hope says they want not only to help, but also to inspire those they work with.

”We’re helping an elderly town here in Barnsley, I would say a little older than average, but the people we’re working with in this process are younger and it’s going to change their life to where they’re going to say, ‘we just did it in our town and they came to us, we’re going to invest it in another town,” said Zoccole.

One of the groups helping Spokes of Hope is Beast Philanthropy, the humanitarian arm of MrBeast, a YouTuber with over 90 million subscribers.

They say they hope their platform can inspire viewers as well.

”One of the things that I like best about the channel is Jimmy has such an amazing following, but most of the audience is very young and when they get to see that this is somebody that they admire as much as they do, is doing, it inspires them to go and be kinder and want to participate in charity and make donations themselves,” said Darren Margolias, Beast Philanthropy executive director.

Officials with Beast Philanthropy say they’ve already raised several hundred thousands of dollars for the recovery effort in western Kentucky.

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