It's hard for me to watch the footage of deadly tornadoes that cut across our southeastern states, including Kentucky on Friday. It brought back horrifying memories of the 2012 tornado that took out the small town of West Liberty, my home for almost 20 years.  My boys,  their friends and I stopped in our tracks when we realized that a tornado was on the ground about a mile in front of our house, destroying everything in its path. That tornado stayed on the ground for 11 miles, and it took years and years for that small town to rebuild. My children and I moved back to Minnesota the following year to start over.

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It's a helpless feeling, and I can only imagine what people in our southeastern states are going through now, as this terrible storm on Friday has claimed at least 80 people's lives, and it is believed that the Kentucky tornado was on the ground for 200 miles. Listening to the stories of people trapped in a candle factory, being rescued, and emerging finding out that not everyone survived, is an unbearable thought.

So what can we do? We have compassion; we want to help in a time when we all feel quite helpless.

There are three Minnesota volunteers helping support the relief efforts in Kentucky. According to the Red Cross of Minnesota, a volunteer from our region has supporting staff in the area and is helping with damage assessment. The Red Cross is helping several states that were affected by multiple tornadoes, including Arkansas, Illinois, Indiana, Kentucky, Missouri, and Tennessee. They have been setting up emergency shelters and making sure that everyone has food to eat, emotional support, and relief supplies.

There is a page set up to help with donations to the areas specified in Kentucky, where many lives were lost. If you would like to donate to the effort, you can click here on the gofundme page.

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