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It's Christmas in July for the Kentucky families impacted by the deadly outbreak of tornadoes back in December.
First Lady Britainy Beshear collected hundreds of thousands of toys and gift cards for families affected by the storms that struck parts of the state in the height of the holiday season. Even after throwing four toy parties leading up to Christmas, there are still enough gifts left for the First Lady to host six more parties this month.
"It's a way to remind all of Team Kentucky the true meaning of Christmas again now during the summer season as western Kentucky continues to rebuild and recover," Beshear told WLKY.
The parties kicked off today in Campbellsville and Bowling Green and will take place in Bremen, Dawson Springs, Mayfield, and Gilbertsville next week. (You can find the full schedule here.)
Numerous communities are still recovering from a storm system that resulted in a rash of tornadoes across six states on December 10, cutting a path of destruction that spanned 227 miles—200 of which were in Kentucky—and claiming the lives of at least 80 people.
The town of Mayfield, where thousands of homes and blocks of historic buildings were leveled, saw the brunt of the destruction.
"The town will be rebuilt, and we're going to have to make new memories," Sandra Delk, a community organizer who set up a donation center after the tornado, told Southern Living. "That's what we do."
The First Lady is no longer accepting toy or gift card donations, but encourages those who want to support families impacted by the tornadoes to donate to the Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund.
For more information visit governor.ky.gov/toydrive.