URGENT: Donate to ACLC's Flood Recovery
ACLC's office building has been severely damaged. We ask for your support to help us rebuild.
On July 28th, 2022, historic and devastating flooding hit Eastern Kentucky and Southwest Virginia. ACLC's office building on Main Street in Whitesburg is inundated with water, mud, and debris. We are deeply relieved that our staff is safe, but we understand it will be a long road ahead for our organization and for our region. In addition to supporting wider relief efforts, we hope you will consider supporting repairs on our building so that we can continue our work fighting for justice as soon as possible. Our staff will be aiding in wider community relief efforts as well and we will continue to post resources and information as it becomes available. Thank you kindly for your donation to help us rebuild.
Thank you for your incredible support. You helped us reach our initial goal of $25,000 in just five days. We are so fortunate to have a community of supporters that believes deeply in ACLC's mission. The outpouring of donations and kind notes over the last few days have been encouraging in an extremely difficult time. Our staff is working day in and day out cleaning out our building and assessing the damage. We have made progress each day but, at this point, we do not know how long it will take to make our building operational again.
We expect our repairs to cost upwards of $35,000, so we have raised our fundraising goal to that amount. However, we are waiting on the following information: a quote from SERVPRO to repair water damage in our basement and first floor, to have a certified electrician assess damages and install new wiring and breaker boxes, to determine whether our floors are salvageable, and to install a new bathroom. We plan to use this opportunity to install an ADA-compliant bathroom on the first floor to make our space as accessible as possible.
Before the flood, ACLC's staff and board were finalizing a strategic plan that will guide our work over the next five years. Through that process and in response to growing needs in the region, we recognized a critical organizational goal: a significant increase in legal capacity for both our environmental justice and black lung work. As we celebrate our 20th anniversary later this year, that was our main focus up to this point. And while that remains an important need for ACLC over the coming years, we turn our focus now to critical flood recovery efforts.
ACLC is a nonprofit that exists to meet the needs of Eastern Kentucky communities, and those communities are dire right now. We hope that you will also consider giving to relief funds that will provide community members with the supplies and funds they desperately need:
- EKY Mutual Aid: This is a team of local people using donated funds to pick up and deliver large loads of critical supplies to each community in the impacted area. Some of our staff members are making deliveries as part of this effort, and we know many people on the Letcher County EKY Mutual Aid team personally. Donate via Venmo or Paypal to @ekymutualaid or @kentuckydaria
- Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky's Crisis Aid Fund: This foundation is experienced in disaster relief fund distribution and will send funds directly to Letcher County and other impacted counties.
- Hindman Settlement School's Flood Donation - The town of Hindman in nearby Knott County has also suffered severe damage from flooding. The local settlement school, which is an important cultural and historical center, is raising funds to repair damages.
- Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief - Governor Beshear's flood relief fund
- Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear's Flood Resources - this includes information about FEMA mobile registration centers in each county for individuals in need of aid and additional resources
- Appalshop's Flood Relief Resources - this includes many of the resources above in addition to other links and information
Thank you so much for your generous support.
Thank you all so much for continuing to give! The road ahead feels tremendously difficult for our region, but every little bit helps. Our staff is continuing to support clean-up efforts while also transitioning back into our legal work and continuing our fight for justice. We have raised the fundraising goal to $50K as costs continue to accumulate. So far, SERVPRO will cost $15,000 to pump out our basement and begin the long process of drying out the building. We are waiting for additional quotes from other professionals as well. In the meantime, our staff is either working from home or from our small Bentley office in Whitesburg (which thankfully escaped flood damage). We are very grateful for your generous and ongoing support.
We are so grateful for the ongoing support of our generous donors. We have nearly reached $50,000! This far surpassed our expectations, and we cannot fully express how thankful we are to our supporters near and far.
After paying for initial essential services for cleaning and drying out the building, however, it became clear that repair and rebuilding costs will be high. We have spent $25,000 already to simply make the space safe to inhabit, such as replacing electrical wiring and drying out the basement and first floor. The good news is that the building was cleaned out quickly and properly treated, so humidity levels are low enough to consider rebuilding.
Next, we are awaiting assessments from a building assessor to determine the structural viability of the space before we can make plans to rebuild. While we do not have a complete quote yet about what rebuilding will cost, we understand that it will take up to $100,000 based on the cost of lumber, electrical work, labor, and more. Assuming the building assessor gives us the go-ahead, we will start that process as soon as possible.
Thank you for your patience as we sort out the future of our building. We are proud to be back online serving our clients and continuing our fight for justice despite a chaotic and emotional few weeks. We are working out of a much smaller office space in Whitesburg for the foreseeable future, and while it may be cramped, we are glad to be able to continue our work.
We hope you will also carry on supporting fundraising efforts directly for our community, which has been hit at a scale that is difficult to imagine. ACLC was founded to serve people first and foremost, and our people are hurting. Your support gives us hope, and we are encouraged that so many are continuing to give. Every bit helps. Thank you.