Student collects donations for Kentucky tornado survivors


Photos courtesy of Alexis Price

Donations collected by senior Alexis Price for the survivors of a deadly Kentucky tornado in December. Price collected 32 bags and boxes total.

Fallon Heady, Staff Writer

A student looked at a bag of donations that had been lying near her door for months. After hearing about the recent tornado destruction in Kentucky, she thought to herself, “You know what, I could probably start something.” 

Alexis Price, a senior exercise science and kinesiology sports major, collected 32 bags and boxes of donated clothing for victims of the tornado that hit Kentucky on Dec. 10, 2021.   

“Deep down, I did feel called,” Price said. “I could be helping them right now.”

According to the National Weather Service, the storm system began on Friday, Dec. 10, 2021, and traveled over 100 miles across the central United States before devastating parts of the Midwest.

 “A violent EF-4 tornado began in far northwest Tennessee, and moved across western Kentucky, resulting in significant destruction to portions of the region,” according to the National Weather Service. 

In an interview with The New York Times, Gov. Andy Beshear of Kentucky said, “I don’t think we have seen damage at this scale ever.” Approximately 88 people died across five states, their ages ranging from around two months old to 98, according to The New York Times.

Price decided to start a clothing drive as she figured food and hygiene products would be the focus of other donation efforts. Price posted about the drive on her social media, university class Facebook pages and student organization Love Unites, Love Avails’ (LULA) Facebook page a couple of days after the tornadoes hit. 

“I felt bad because it was finals week, you know how students can be overwhelmed, but I pushed and pushed and asked people and they came through,” Price said. “The turnout with USI community especially was amazing because a lot of the students, and even some of the faculty members, have reached out to me.” 

The weekend following the storms, Price set out with other volunteers to Central City, KY, where donations were being accepted. They then went on to Bremen, Ky., one of the first towns affected by the storms.

“I felt heartbroken to see all of the damage. Metal all over, essential houses that were in the fields, the trees crossing all the railroads. It was heartbreaking. That’s honestly the best way I can describe it,” Price said. 

The Bremen community welcomed Price and the other volunteers with open arms. “One lady told me that the more the merrier, the more the better. We can get this fixed,” Price said. 

With people still reaching out about donations, Price plans to hold another collection in the future. Members of the campus community wishing to volunteer can find information on LULA’s Facebook page or on the Volunteer USI webpage.

“Volunteer when you can, donate,” Price said. “Always remember that you can do something and make it a positive effort.”