Woman turns tragedy into aid for others - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Woman turns tragedy into aid for others

Bethany Kennedy Bethany Kennedy

MT. WASHINGTON, KY (WAVE) - A Kentuckiana woman is getting ready to pack up for a spring break mission trip to Eastern Kentucky. She knows a little bit about need and is now paying it forward.

Basic necessities can seem luxurious to those who don't have as much. "Lots of areas in our state, in our backyard, are number one for poverty or prescription drug addiction or these different things," Mt. Washington mother Bethany Kennedy said.

Kennedy has seen the need. "They don't have heat, lots of houses don't have plumbing, the kids generally don't have shoes, socks, underwear," Kennedy said.

Kennedy is doing something about it. She may be in the position to give now, but not too terribly long ago, she was in need herself. Right before Christmas 2009 with three little boys, a baby on the way and her husband's building business failing, their new house - not yet covered by insurance - caught fire.

"We were broke as a joke, all of our stuff has just burnt up and we were virtually homeless," Kennedy said.

Friends and family stepped in to give and kept on giving.

"So many people came to our rescue and gave us so much stuff to help us get back up on our feet, we were given, like, ten times the stuff we already had," Kennedy said.

She took what they didn't need and found other moms who also needed help. That turned into Klothe-A-Kid, a year-round mission to help those down on their luck. The donations have a little bit of common sense advice attached.

"I might take them a box of clothes, but I don't want to say, 'Here's your box. See you later,'" Kennedy said.  "I want to sit down, get to know you, get to know why you are where you're at and what we can do to help you get to the next step in life."

Two years later, while she still helps in poorer areas around Louisville, she also organizes mission trips to Eastern Kentucky, where many struggle with extreme poverty and drugs.

"What's going to happen for that little boy if nobody helps him? He's going to repeat that same cycle," Bethany said.

For spring break, 20 adults and 15 children will be in Owsley County, sharing clothes, food and other necessities. More than that, though, they're simply sharing hope.

"When we say blankets, people are like, 'Oh!' like it's a million dollars, like Oprah Winfrey has just rolled up into town with a million dollars, and it's just things we take for granted every day," Bethany said.

She has big dreams for Klothe-A-Kid. 2013 includes plans to fund raise for a warehouse with a shelter attached that would operate in Bullitt County.

For more information on how to donate items or money to Klothe-A-Kid, which is a non-profit organization, click here.

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