Kentucky toy drive receives 200k+ donations in less than a week

The Team Kentucky tornado relief fund has also raised more than $21 million.
Gov. Andy Beshear hands out shoes to Kentucky children impacted by the deadly December tornadoes.
Gov. Andy Beshear hands out shoes to Kentucky children impacted by the deadly December tornadoes.(Kentucky Governor's Office)
Published: Dec. 20, 2021 at 5:18 PM EST
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FRANKFORT, Ky. (WXIX) - The death count of the devastating tornadoes that tore through western Kentucky nine days ago stands at 76, according to Gov. Andy Beshear.

The additional death reported Monday comes from an employee of the Mayfield candle factory that collapsed the night of the storms. The employee made it out but eventually succumbed to his or her injuries, the governor said.

The death count is not guaranteed to stay put. Beshear noted many patients remain in serious condition following the tornado outbreak.

But search and rescue efforts are over, and there are no missing people as of Monday.

Additionally, almost 99% of cellular service is restored and all state roads are now passable.

More than 500 National Guard troops are still on the ground assisting.

Some 904 Kentuckians are housed in congregate facilities including state parks and hotels.

First Lady Britainy Beshear’s western Kentucky toy drive has received “hundreds and hundreds of thousands” of donations.

“These kiddos have seen so much,” the governor said. “They’ve seen things we can’t imagine. It’s heartbreaking. But thanks to the generosity of not just this state, but the entire country, they’re going to have a Christmas—a real Christmas.”

Locations across the state will host a Christmas storefront on Tuesday, Dec. 21, and Thursday, Dec. 23, from 10 a.m.-4 p.m. CST:

  • Kenlake State Resort Park, 542 Kenlake Road, Hardin, KY 42048
  • Lake Barkley State Resort Park, 3500 State Park Road, Cadiz, KY 42211
  • Pennyrile Forest State Resort Park, 20781 Pennyrile Lodge Road, Dawson Springs, KY
  • Hope House Ministries at Stryker Logistics, 308 Dishman Lane, Bowling Green, 42101
  • West Kentucky Educational Cooperative, 435 Outlet Avenue, Eddyville, KY 42038

Those unable to make it to a storefront site should email with county of residence in the subject line to arrange an alternative delivery method.

The Team Kentucky tornado relief fund has raised more than $21 million from more than 112,600 donors.

The fund, according to Beshear, will prioritize funeral expenses for those who lost loved ones and assist uninsured homeowners.

“There were a bunch of neighborhoods hit where people couldn’t afford home insurance,” he said.

The fund will provide homeowners 10% on top of what they are awarded by FEMA for costs that are not covered by FEMA.

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