Students lost everything in flood, shopping for school thanks to Craft Foundation

Marie Roberts-Craney Elementary students were able to get everything needed to start school Monday

JACKSON, Ky. (WTVQ) – Cleanup and rebuilding continues in eastern Kentucky. Nearly a month after deadly flooding destroyed homes and schools, many want to make sure ‘children’ aren’t lost in the mix- that includes our own sports director Jeff Piecoro who was in Jackson Thursday, taking a group of elementary students “back-to-school” shopping.

Some children lost everything in the eastern Kentucky floods- clothes, toys, school supplies. Thursday afternoon some children from Marie Roberts-Craney (MRC) Elementary were able to go on a shopping spree to get everything they need to be successful and confident when school starts back on Monday.

“I lost everything in the flood including my house,” says Jake Fugate, MRC student.

To help those impacted by devastating flooding, two well known figures in eastern Kentucky are giving back to the mountains. Kelly Craft, former UN ambassador, and Joe Craft, a Hazard native, say the Craft Foundation sponsored more than a hundred students from MRC Elementary, giving each child $250 to spend at Walmart.

“You want the children to have a sense of normalcy,” says Kelly.

For the Craft’s, it’s an area that holds a special place in their hearts.

“We are going to meet the needs and we have been here for a decade and we plan on continuing to give and give back to east Kentucky,” says Kelly. “We are here for the rest of our lives. It’s home.”

Some teachers say this is the first time they’ve seen some of these kids smile since the disaster.

“This is just an excellent opportunity for them to get out, express themselves, and take back some control over their lives,” says Tosha Allen, a teacher at MRC. “You know, have some happiness, have some time with familiar faces and just be a kid!”

The joy and gratitude these students felt was very evident on their faces by the smiles they had while they shopping.

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