When the flood waters rose in Hindman, KY, last week, they forced more than three dozen writers to evacuate to higher ground, and cut short the Appalachian Writers’ Workshop they had gathered for.
We’re grateful that all of them made it to safety, especially because the group included several NCWN members and one trustee, Annette Saunooke Clapsaddle. We mourn for those who didn’t make it to safety: those who lost their lives, those who lost their homes, those who lost whatever sense of security they might have had left.
We urge you to offer whatever support you can to the flood-struck people of eastern Kentucky. Annette and her husband Evan are taking an SUV loaded with supplies to Hindman this weekend, and staying to help with clean-up and recovery. Find Annette on Facebook to see her list of needed items, and how you can get them to her. She plans to take another load of supplies to Kentucky in a few weeks, as well.
(Please note that the Clapsaddles have communicated with their friends in the area to make sure their visit will be more of a help than a burden. The last thing the region needs are disaster tourists flocking in to use up their resources. Unless you have a direct, personal connection to eastern Kentucky, please stay home and send your support from there.)
If you prefer to make a cash donation, local residents recommend giving to the Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, which is known for making sure money gets to people who really need it. You also can give directly to the Hindman Settlement School, the host of the Appalachian Writers’ Workshop, which suffered extensive property damage and lost their irreplaceable archives to the flood.
The people of eastern Kentucky would deserve our support no matter what. The fact that the floods put so many of our fellow writers and fellow Network members in danger only sharpens both the horror and—we hope—the desire to help.
This blog post was written by Ed Southern and published on his behalf by Katherine O’Hara.