by Senior Midnight Freemason Contributor
Gregory J. Knott 33°
The recent tornadoes on December 10, 2021 that ripped across Arkansas, Missouri, Kentucky, and Illinois left in their path a horrific trail of destruction. As of this writing, over 75 lives are known to have been lost across the multi-state area. Many think this may be one of the strongest tornadoes that has been recorded in the modern history of data tracking by the National Weather Service.
Hit particularly hard was Mayfield, Kentucky. Mayfield is a small town of about 10,000 people in far western Kentucky. The tornado came at night with total darkness, which made visibility nearly impossible to easily see what was happening. Mayfield took a direct hit and it devastated much of the town. The Graves County courthouse was completely destroyed as was much of the downtown area and an untold number of homes.
I listened to a press conference where Mayfield Mayor Kathy Stewart spoke about the devastation that had occurred, yet how so many people were stepping in to lend a hand in helping one another begin to recover from this tragedy. Mayor Stewart described an American flag that she found in the rubble in the Mayfield Fire Station, as two first responders looked on.
“And I went over to them and handed it to them and immediately those two men began to fold it with the most respect,” said O’Nan. “They had been up all night; they were tired, they were dirty, and they began to fold it as gently and as beautifully as I had ever seen.”
Mayor Stewart said that the folded flag will have a place of respect and represent those who served others out of that former fire station. In many ways that flag represents the faith, hope, and charity of the community as it begins to recover.
As the holiday season is upon us, I hope and pray for the recovery of these victims and ask the Grand Architect to provide comfort to the families that have lost loved ones, friends, homes, and more.
If you wish to contribute to the relief of those in need, there is a donation button on the Grand Lodge of Kentucky Webpage under the disaster relief section on the main page: https://grandlodgeofkentucky.org/.
The USA Today had the following list of links where you can give:
Donate to relief funds
Team Western Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund
Gov. Andy Beshear has established a fund to assist tornado victims and begin rebuilding. Donate at secure.kentucky.gov/formservices/Finance/WKYRelief or by sending a check to Public Protection Cabinet, 500 Mero St., 218 NC, Frankfort, KY 40601.
American Red Cross
Visit redcross.org, call 1-800-RED-CROSS or text REDCROSS to 90999.
Send donations to firstname.lastname@example.org or PO Box 1255, Jackson, KY 41339.
The nonprofit based in Atlanta is partnering with Louisville's Change Today, Change Tomorrow to distribute food, water and cash vouchers to affected families. Donate to the tornado relief fund here.
Global Empowerment Mission
The disaster relief nonprofit based in Miami is sending trucks of supplies to western Kentucky, in partnership with Racing Louisville and Louisville City Football Club. Donate funds at globalempowermentmission.org/mission/kentucky-tornadoes/.
The D.C.-based nonprofit has established a Midwest US Tornado Relief Fund at globalgiving.org/projects/midwest-tornado-relief-fund/.
Kentucky Counseling Center
The organization is collecting donations that counselors and social workers in Graves County will distribute to affected families. Donate at kentuckycounselingcenter.com/mayfield-fund/.
Kentucky Tornado Relief Fund
The University of Kentucky College of Medicine has established a GoFundMe page collecting donations at gofundme.com/f/ukcom-student-effort-for-tornado-relief-in-ky.
Kentucky Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters
Mayfield Graves County Tornado Relief
Mayfield-Graves County United Way has set up a GoFundMe to collect donations at gofundme.com/f/mayfield-graves-county-tornado-relief. Find other verified fundraisers at gofundme.com/c/act/tornado-outbreak-fundraisers.
Marshall County Fund
The Marshall County Nonprofit Foundation has established a Venmo account to take funds at @MCNPF.
The nonprofit that serves meals following natural disasters has set up at His House Ministries, 1250 KY-303, Mayfield, Kentucky, and will distribute food over the next few days. Donate funds at https://mercychefs.com/donation.
The church in Mayfield, Kentucky, is taking donations for a tornado relief fund at wearerelevant.churchcenter.com/giving/to/mayfield-tornado-relief.
Rise and Shine
The mutual aid group in Bowling Green is taking donations through Venmo at @riseandshinebgky.
Visit helpsalvationarmy.org and donate to the Salvation Army Western KY Disaster Relief Fundraiser on Facebook.
United Way of Kentucky
The agency has set up a donation site specifically for tornado victims. Visit uwky.org/tornado.
Western KY Tornado Victims
Bremen resident Courtney Cozee has established a GoFundMe at gofundme.com/f/western-ky-tornado-vitamins.
Western Kentucky Red Cross Disaster Relief Fundraiser
Find the online fundraiser on Facebook.
Gregory J. Knott, 33° is a founding member and Senior Contributor of the Midnight Freemasons blog. He is a Past Master of St. Joseph Lodge No. 970 in St. Joseph (IL) and a plural member of Ogden Lodge No. 754 (IL), Homer Lodge No. 199 (IL) and Naval Lodge No. 4 in Washington, DC. He’s a member of the Scottish Rite, the York Rite, Eastern Star and is the Charter Secretary of the Illini High Twelve Club No. 768 in Champaign-Urbana. He is also a member of ANSAR Shrine (IL) and the Eastern Illinois Council No. 356 Allied Masonic Degrees. Greg serves on the Board of Directors of The Masonic Society and is a member of the Scottish Rite Research Society and The Philathes Society. He is a charter member of a new Illinois Royal Arch Chapter, Admiration Chapter U.D., and serves as its Secretary. Greg is very involved in Boy Scouts—an Eagle Scout himself, he is a member of the National Association of Masonic Scouters.