The country music community is stepping up to help residents of storm-ravaged Kentucky recover after devastating floods swept through the eastern region of the state in late July, killing 38 people.
During a recent concert in Sharpsburg, KY, Country Music Hall of Famers Alabama donated $25,000 to The Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, a non-profit organization that provides financial help to eastern Kentucky families, farms and businesses that are suffering as result of the catastrophic weather event.
“With all the devastation caused by the floods in eastern Kentucky, this is a very emotional time,” said Alabama’s Randy Owen. "ALABAMA wanted to offer help in a small way.”
"We hurt for the loss of life and destruction caused by the floods in Kentucky,” adds the group’s Teddy Gentry. “Hopefully these funds can help the families, farmers and businesses that were affected. They are in our prayers.”
The men made the donation through the June Jam Foundation, ALABAMA’s non-profit which distributes monies to other non-profit organizations and service groups.
Kentucky native Ricky Skaggs recently honored flooding victims at Ryman Auditorium where he took a few minutes out of his show to lead the sold out crowd in an acapella version of the gospel hymn “Nothing But the Blood of Jesus.”
Chris Stapleton, who hails from Eastern Kentucky, made an unannounced visit to the region and even dropped by the local Walmart for supplies. The “Starting Over” singer met with local first responders and helped salvage belongings from people’s homes.
Local resident Angie Waugh tweeted that she has “MAD RESPECT” for Stapleton after watching him jump into action wearing work boots and gloves.
“God Bless you and thank you,” she wrote.
Stapleton even took time to visit with an autistic child in Walmart. The child’s mother, Courtney Crider, said Stapleton’s music was one of the only things her little girl responds to and that she had been trying to reach Stapleton for years.
“Etta loves his music,” Crider told NBC News. “She calms down to it. We’ll turn on different songs of his and it changes her spirit. Something that seems so hard was just put right in our lap.”