The tornadoes that hit western Kentucky last weekend touched those of us on the other side of the state.

As usual, Kentucky came together to support its own and donations poured in to help those affected by the violent weather that destroyed thousands of businesses, left tens of thousands homeless and killed more than 70.

The support came in the form of hands-on help and monetary aid from foundations, businesses, nonprofits and individuals.

We were especially moved by the efforts made by 21 school districts in the area to collect items for donation to the area.

It started with Greenup County Schools Superintendent Traysea Moresea, who said she learned toys were needed to provide children in the storm-damaged area with Christmas. She said she spoke to Sam Howard of Trace Creek Construction to find out how she could help.

"He always does a lot for the community and for disasters, so I asked him if Greenup County could join in anything he was doing,” she said. “That’s when he told me that he was considering a toy drive."

Moresea said she notified other superintendents to get other school districts involved. Different schools collected specific items so all areas of need would be covered.

Buses bound for Mayfield and other parts west are set to leave Monday, carrying water, bedding, clothing, hygiene products, nonperishable food items and other needs, as well as toys.

Not only goes this generous project deliver aid to those suffering from the effects of a natural disaster, it teaches important lessons to the children participating.

“It gives our kids a chance to learn how to give back,” Moresea said. “They have spent a lot of their time organizing and wrapping presents. And when they give hope to others, it generates hope in their own hearts as well.”

We could all use a little extra hope right now. To be able to generate that feeling on both ends of the state is certainly the sign of a project gone right. We applaud all those who have participated in helping western Kentucky.

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