Preview: First Lady and Governor to Host Christmas in July Events for Families Impacted by December Tornadoes

FRANKFORT, Ky. (July 7, 2022) First Lady Britainy Beshear and Gov. Andy Beshear are inviting families impacted by the December 2021 tornadoes to join them for upcoming Christmas in July events, which will help demonstrate the true meaning of the Christmas spirit during the summer season as Western Kentucky continues to recover and rebuild.

The events will include Santa Claus, food and gifts, including toys and presents from the First Lady’s Christmas Toy Drive that were delivered after Christmas or left over after four local toy giveaways and deliveries directly to Western Kentucky families. The Christmas in July celebrations will allow families to take home additional gifts after they’ve settled into housing.

Families can learn about event locations and times here and RSVP for the events here.

The First Lady said that after the toy drive was announced, Americans responded with overwhelming generosity. At least 100,000 toys, thousands of shoes and tens of thousands of gift cards were donated in December, sent by families from at least 36 different U.S. states, as far as Alaska.

“The outpouring of generosity means that on top of the Christmas celebrations we were able to host in December with impacted families, we can now also celebrate Christmas in July for these kids who have lost so much but have shown such resilience and strength,” the First Lady said.

“I was truly inspired by Britainy’s toy drive last December and the joy and excitement of these children knowing Santa would still be there for them, after all they had been through,” Gov. Beshear said. “I want to thank everyone on Team Kentucky and so many of our fellow Americans for their overwhelming support during one of the most devastating moments in our state’s history.”

Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund
The First Lady is no longer accepting toy or gift card donations, but she strongly encouraged those who want to support families impacted by the tornadoes to donate to the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund.

More than 150,000 individuals and organizations from all over the world have contributed to the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund, raising more than $52 million to assist in long-term recovery. To date, more than $26.8 million has been distributed from the fund to individual Kentuckians and families as they rebuild from the devastating December 2021 tornadoes. This includes funeral expenses to the families of the deceased, payments to insured and uninsured homeowners and renters and funds to build 300 homes through the help of Homes and Hope for Kentucky, Habitat for Humanity and the Fuller Center on Housing.

Recently, the Governor announced the Graves County Grain Assistance Program, a new effort to help farmers in Western Kentucky in the aftermath of the December 2021 tornadoes. The Team West Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund will also provide aid through the program to help local farmers doing business with Mayfield Grain Co., which took a direct hit from the tornadoes.

Donations to the fund are still being accepted. All donations to the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund are tax-deductible, and donors will receive a receipt for tax purposes after donating.