Charity to give home furnishings to western Kentucky tornado survivors

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Published: Aug. 23, 2022 at 5:38 PM CDT
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EVANSVILLE, Ind. (WFIE) - One Tri-State charity is providing home furnishings for people who lost their homes in December’s tornadoes.

The Society of St. Vincent de Paul is using a temporary warehouse space in Owensboro to prepare its supplies for what it calls “House in a Box,” a sort of starter kit for survivors of December’s tornadoes to make their houses feel more like a home.

As rebuilding efforts continue in areas affected by December’s tornadoes, some charities are working to make sure the newly-built and newly-repaired homes aren’t empty.

“That’s what makes home, right?” said St. Vincent de Paul of Western Kentucky CEO Richard Remp-Morris. “You go home and you have the things, the warmth, the comfort of home. You have the things that you need to prepare a family meal, to sit down at a table together and have those shared experiences.”

“House in a Box” is a national program run by St. Vincent de Paul to give furniture and home furnishings to those in need.

They recently received a $1.7 million grant from the Red Cross which they’ve used for the program as well as to lease a warehouse space in Owensboro.

Officials say this isn’t their permanent home, rather a base of operations while they serve western Kentucky.

“We have no end date, this is home,” said Remp. “We’ll be here, we project, about 16 months, but if it takes longer that’s okay.”

Officials say all the items they give are new. They adjust what they give based on the needs of each family, and the retail value of what they give each family ranges from $7,200 to $7,800. They’ve worked with retailers to get the items, and they also rely on donations from the public.

“It’s humbling,” said Remp. “It’s what I love about western Kentucky. There’s no shortage of support, love, volunteerism, it’s what makes us so special I think.”

They say they’ll be ready to start giving items away this week, and they’ll be able to serve about 500 families.

For more information on “House in a Box” or on how you can contribute, visit or call (270) 315-5747.