East Kentucky Churches and Organizations Responding to Emergencies

P.O. Box 61

Betsy Layne, KY 41605

(606) 587-2802 * (606) 452-2802 * (606) 587-2805 (fax) * (606) 587-2203







WPRG-TV will host a telethon on Thursday, November 29 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m.

to raise funds for East Kentucky Churches and Organizations Responding to Emergencies

(EK-CORE). The non-profit, tax-exempt group is seeking donations of money, building supplies

and volunteer labor to help restore homes damaged by the August 3, 2001 flash flooding.

EK-CORE was formed in response to the flash floods that killed two people and damaged

more than 1100 homes in Floyd, Pike, Perry, Knott and Letcher counties. The group helps victims access all the government assistance to which they are entitled and then responds to unmet needs with up to $500 of building materials, volunteer labor, or both.

As of November 15, nearly $5700 had been spent on building supplies and only $550 on operating expenses. Nearly all the monetary contributions have been made by church organizations - KY United Methodist Disaster Response, First Presbyterian Church, St. Vincent’s Mission, Onto United Methodist Church, KY United Methodist Church, and Catholic Charities USA. Operating expenses have been minimal because of in-kind contributions made by member agencies -- the donation of warehouse space by the Left Beaver Rescue Squad, phone service by the Floyd County Fiscal Court, office space by the Mud Creek Food Pantry, and salaries, mileage


expenses, and office equipment for EK-CORE’s two coordinators, Todd Goodman and Renee Thornsberry, by the United Way of Eastern Kentucky.

Volunteer labor has also helped to make the effort successful. EK-CORE Chair Jeff Stumbo has donated long hours fielding phone calls, assessing damage and delivering supplies in his truck. The Carl D. Perkins Job Corps Center has regularly provided significant manpower for cleanup efforts. Several church groups have taken on cleanup and repair projects depending on the skills of their members. Appalachian Research and Defense Fund provided the legal assistance necessary to develop by-laws and incorporate as a not-for-profit, tax-exempt organization. Several EK-CORE members have spent long hours meeting, reviewing cases and seeking funds and laborers.

Prior to President Bush’s August 23 announcement that the counties were eligible for federal individual assistance, more than 70 representatives of the federal, state and local government agencies; national, regional and local church groups; and private and public non-profit service agencies began meeting in Prestonsburg regularly. They formed EK-CORE to facilitate collaboration and fundraising for the long-term recovery effort expected to take as much as three years. The group has continued to meet regularly. Officers are: Chair - Jeff Stumbo, Vice-Chair of the Floyd County Board of Education; Treasurer - Tom Biddle, Director of Missions for Enterprise Association of Southern Baptist Churches; and Secretary - Charles Wilson, Director of Wheelwright Baptist Center. Other members of EK-CORE’s Board of Directors include: Paul Hunt Thompson, Karen Gibson, Carroll Smith, Pamela Compton, Jim


Huebner, Eula Hall, Julie Love, George Love, and Rose Price. The group has also collaborated with other community groups (like the Martin Church of Christ) who are responding to flood victims with their own funds in order to avoid duplication and maximize assistance.

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Photo enclosed.