UNION, Ky. — A frantic five-hour wait for a Northern Kentucky mom whose daughter lives in tornado-ravaged western Kentucky ended with a stunning amount of help headed toward storm victims.
Ryle High School grad Morgan Roberts lives, teaches and coaches volleyball in Bowling Green. She is so close to her students that her mother, living more than three hours away in Union, knew she was going to help the moment she saw photos of homes shredded by a tornado.
"I know [Morgan]," Kim Roberts said. "My daughter loves these kids. When she said to me her volleyball player's family lost everything and their house was destroyed, it just got to me."
Kim Roberts spent five hours trying to call or text Morgan without luck early Saturday morning. Then, Kim used cell phone apps to map known damage and see how close it came to her daughter's apartment.
"If I could have gotten in the car and left at four o'clock in the morning and drove down, I would have," Kim Roberts said.
Once they talked, Morgan immediately focused on her students. She and her coworkers visited several after the storm. Some had roofs, some had power — all had needs. Morgan and her friends planned to help with their own money, but they did not expect people across the state to pitch in.
"I started collecting stuff online," Kim said. "I was just going to take it from my neighbors to a drop-off site and then [Morgan] called. I said I've got to help more and to know where it [has] to go, so I reached out to my friends on Facebook...just said any monetary donations, gift cards, anything that we can take that we will take down [and] I will give them to my daughter to hand-deliver to the people that truly need this."
In the overnight hours between Sunday and Monday, they raised more than $2,000 — much of it came from neighbors in Northern Kentucky wanting to help one of their own make a difference.