Lauren Alaina Talks 'Healing' Power of Music in Tornado Relief Work: 'I Would've Done Just About Anything'
Frazer Harrison/Getty Lauren Alaina
Lauren Alaina's kind of people are those who spring into action when faced with tragedy.
Alaina herself is one of them.
The "Getting Good" singer leaped at the opportunity to help Bowling Green, Kentucky, after a tornado devastated the community in 2021. Now, Alaina, 28, is gearing up for the premiere of her TV special Operation Appreciation: Bowling Green on March 18, during which audiences will see Alaina bringing on-the-ground aid and a local benefit concert to the town to help with disaster relief efforts.
"My manager, Trisha, has a cousin who lives in Bowling Green and she was just reaching out, trying to get some help for her community and we learned about this family who had lost everything, and I mean everything," Alaina recalls. "The whole house caved in on top of them, all of their stuff was gone. The mother actually passed away. The kids were very injured."
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Circle Network Lauren Alaina in Operation Appreciation: Bowling Green
After Alaina learned about the scale of the loss in Bowling Green through this one family, she turned to her foundation and got to work.
"When we heard about them — I have a foundation called My Kinda People — and I pulled money out of the foundation and got them clothes and furniture and school supplies and everything that the kids would need. And Trisha and I actually drove it down there to them," she shares.
And, as Alaina emphasizes, storms can change lives overnight, leaving behind nothing but a path of destruction in their wake. When she got to Bowling Green and saw the aftermath with her own eyes and "not through a TV, not on the internet, it was heartbreaking," she tells PEOPLE.
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Having already become involved with the community on her own, Alaina was shocked when Circle approached her to do the TV special. The network had no idea of Alaina's firsthand experience with Bowling Green, and the opportunity felt serendipitous.
Circle Network DISH and Circle Network's TV special
"It was totally such a God thing, it felt like to me, because I would've done just about anything and would still for that community because of that family and because I met them and saw how much their lives changed. And they're just one example. It was a real honor for me to be able to go back and be a part of the show. It was a beautiful night," she says of performing at the benefit concert.
For Alaina, music has always provided solace in her life. She wrote her first song at 9 years old after her aunt was in a car accident.
"I sang it to her in the hospital. And so that developed my understanding of writing and music and what I could use it for. After a tragic event like that, it's healing. So, to go there and provide part of a night of just music and love is a reminder that they're not forgotten," Alaina says of the experience.
Disasters happen all too often, and continuously offering Bowling Green support with both resources and music means a lot to the "Road Less Traveled" singer.
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"Things happen every single day that we hear about on the news, and I think it's really important for communities like Bowling Green, to check back in with them and be like, 'Hey, I know that you're hearing about all this other stuff, but we do remember you. We do see you. We will still show up for you and love you and try to make a difference for you,'" Alaina explains.
"I'm just a vessel sharing it."
Operation Appreciation: Bowling Green airs on Circle Network March 18 at 8:30 p.m. ET.