Local News

June 10, 2013

Church spearheads collection efforts for victims of recent tornadoes

Bedtime Backpacks for Oklahoma

LAUREL COUNTY, Ky. — The devastation following a tornado is nothing new to Laurel County, having recovered from its own disaster just over 15 months ago. The assistance and support that poured in to victims following the storm inspired a local church to contribute to other victims.

J.D. Rogers, with Freedom Christian Fellowship, coordinated an effort for victims of the three recent tornados that hit outside Oklahoma City two weeks ago. Rogers said having experienced the trauma from the March 2, 2012 tornado in the East Bernstadt area inspired him and other church members to help others going through the same experience.

Freedom Christian Fellowship was one of several churches who served victims who lost their homes during last year’s tornado aftermath.

“We served meals and people came here to shower,” Rogers said. “We saw what they were going through and want to be ready to help other people when disaster hits.”

Rogers said the collection effort for the Oklahoma victims began immediately after a tornado hit in Moore, Okla., on May 20. Moore is located just south of Oklahoma City. That was the second storm to strike the area, with intense thunderstorms and wind damage two days earlier. Another tornado damaged El Reno, approximately 25 miles west of Oklahoma City, on May 31, leaving at least 18 people dead. That EF-5 tornado was the largest width in recorded history, at over 2.6 miles wide and leaving over 16 miles of demolition and devastation behind it.

The relief effort for those victims involved a variety of organizations and businesses, Rogers said, all of whom were more than happy to help others in need. Thus, the Bedtime Backpack began, with a list of needed items that included underwear, pajamas, toothbrush and toothpaste, hair brush, stuffed animal or toy, and a small book. Those items were designated for children ages 3 to 12, with backpacks for younger children to include diapers or disposable undergarments used in potting training.

Teen totes included deodorant, shampoo and conditioner, cards or games, lip gloss, razors, shaving cream, and other sanitary items.

The two-week effort resulted in over 530 backpacks being collected, as well as other donations from the local community.

“We’re going in a 16-foot box truck that was donated to us to use, and Carmichael and (Freedom Christian Fellowship) gave us $1,000 each for the trip,” Rogers said.

Rogers said the huge amount of donations for the Oklahoma recovery effort was just another phase of helping others. When Laurel County received massive donations from all around the country, Rogers said the message was brought home even harder. Freedom Christian Fellowship has taken donations to tornado victims in Alabama following the storms in 2011, assisted with local victims after the March 2, 2012 disaster, and is now contributing to the recovery efforts in Oklahoma.

“We want to keep this going,” Rogers said. “We want to store items here at the church and be ready for the next one (tornado). There will always be disasters and somebody’s got to help, so we want to be prepared.”

Rogers feels that helping others, especially those experiencing devastation from natural disasters, is just “part of the ministry” of the churches and the communities.

“We don’t really know what it’s like until it hits home,” he said. “After last year, we know what it’s like. We want to help others and we welcome the donations from anyone who wants to help.”

Anyone interested can contact Rogers at (606) 224-7755 or by e-mail at


Text Only
Local News
  • Unfit home Deputies remove three children from 'unfit' home in London

    Three Laurel County children were removed from a filthy East Bernstadt home that Laurel County Sheriff’s deputies described  as the worst home they had ever been in.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Porn arrest London man jailed on child porn charges

    Kentucky State Police at Post 11 arrested a London man under pretenses of child exploitation Tuesday.


    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Firefighters Firefighters honor 2 who gave ultimate sacrifice

    They sacrifice precious family time and sleep time to save the lives and property of people they often don’t even know.

    July 21, 2014 1 Photo

  • Steele: Much goes into selecting a grand jury

    Long before a case goes to criminal court, it first must go through the many steps of the legal hoops. One such step is being indicted by a grand jury.

    July 21, 2014

  • Rice performs at the public library

    Louisville based singer/songwriter Butch Rice performed his brand of 'acoustic pop and coffeehouse folk music' for a crowd of over 40 people at the Laurel County Public Library on Tuesday afternoon.

    July 21, 2014

  • Addictions come in many forms

    Addiction can be a powerful disease, especially when it comes to young and developing minds. Kentucky's struggles with drug addiction has been well documented, and these struggles can start early in life.

    July 21, 2014

  • Murder case going to grand jury

    The fate of a man charged with the fatal shooting of a Tennessee man earlier this month is now in the hands of a  Laurel grand jury.

    July 21, 2014

  • Triathlon  A test of endurance

    More than 130 triathletes made their way to Laurel River Lake on Saturday to take in the region's scenery in the best possible way: swimming, biking, and running for more than 70 total miles.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • Emergency Triathlete collapses during event

    A Corbin man collapsed while competing in the inaugural Laurel Lake Triathlon on Saturday, prompting emergency workers to make their way out to the scenic event.

    July 18, 2014 1 Photo

  • East Bernstadt BOE raises preschool tuition

    The East Bernstadt Independent Board of Education approved a motion to raise fees for tuition-based preschool students during its monthly meeting Thursday, July 10.

    July 18, 2014

AP Video
Courts Conflicted Over Healthcare Law Holder Urges Bipartisanship on Immigration Raw: Truck, Train Crash Leads to Fireball US Airlines Cancel Israel Flights Obama Signs Workforce Training Law Crash Victims' Remains Reach Ukraine-held City Diplomatic Push Intensifies to End War in Gaza Obama Offers Condolences at Dutch Embassy Cat Fans Lap Up Feline Film Festival Raw: Lawmakers Scuffle in Ukraine's Parliament The Rock Finds His Inner 'Hercules' Michigan Plant's Goal: Flower and Die Raw: MH17 Passenger Remains in Kharkiv, Ukraine Raw: Israel Hits Gaza Targets, Destroys Mosques Veteran Creates Job During High Unemployment New Orleans Plans to Recycle Cigarette Butts
Hyperlocal Search
Premier Guide
Find a business

Walking Fingers
Maps, Menus, Store hours, Coupons, and more...
Premier Guide

Now that school is out, what are your family’s summer vacation plans?

A. No major plans. We will probably hang out around Laurel County.
B. Going to the beach!
C. Kentucky has a lot of wonderful state parks, and we plan to visit a few and enjoy quality family time.
     View Results