Hands Across the Hills: “Support Our Neighbors in Flood-Stricken East Kentucky!”
Overwhelming flooding in Letcher County and surrounding areas in eastern Kentucky in late July has devastated this coal-mining region, already fragile economically and environmentally. Since 2017 folks in Leverett, Massachusetts, partnered with folks in Letcher County in a dialogue and exchange project called Hands Across the Hills. We know these amazing people. We’ve been to their homes. It was horrifying to see houses washed away, vehicles floating, water not drinkable, electricity down, wreckage everywhere.
On the Kentuckians’ first visit to Leverett, local musician Mark Gamble invited everyone for an evening of making music together. Now Mark and friends are launching a musical fundraiser for KY flood relief, called Bands Across the Hills! The concert will take place on September 17 at 7pm at Leverett Crafts & Arts. Three local bands will be joined by Hands Across the Hills founding member Sarah Pirtle and Kentucky-trained local musician Norma Jean Haynes.
Funds collected on GoFundMe will go to two community-led organizations in Letcher County that have been involved in Hands Across the Hills since the start and are run by individuals we know and trust. Both are playing a central role in flood recovery efforts, which will take not weeks but months and years.
Go to handsacrossthehills.org to learn all about this ongoing bridging relationship of two parts of America. Hands Across the Hills is a 501c3 nonprofit organization and an organized charity registered with the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. Your donations are tax deductible.
Photo: Gwen Johnson of Hemphill Community Center, Neon KY, is providing flood relief to her community, making meals and distributing water and supplies.