Appalachia Rises Telethon to Raise Funds for Flood Relief

March 5, 2021Healthy and Vibrant Communities, Impact Stories


With Kentucky’s Appalachian counties in distress following historic floods, nine organizations united to form a large-scale fundraising effort anchored by a telethon at 7 p.m. on Monday, March 8, to be broadcast by CBS affiliates WKYT in Lexington and WYMT in Hazard.


Soon after rainfall began to slow on March 1, the dramatic need for aid became clear as flood waters wiped out communities through Eastern and Appalachia Kentucky. Residual effects, including mudslides and infrastructure collapse, have left many residents uprooted and some homeless, with essential businesses closed due to flood damage.


Launched by Morehead-based AgTech leader AppHarvest, the Appalachia Rises initiative brought together nine organizations, including Blue Grass Community Foundation, Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky, Appalachian Impact  Fund, Appalachians for Appalachia, WKYT, WYMT and New Frontier Outfitters.


“Eastern Kentucky is defined by faith and grit,” said AppHarvest Founder & CEO Jonathan Webb. “Our region is home to the hardest working people who have long powered America, and they consistently rise to meet every challenge and move every obstacle created. Seeing how quickly people have banded together to help is a constant reminder why Appalachia is a region unlike any other.”


To donate to the flood relief fund, visit All proceeds will be distributed by Blue Grass Community Foundation and Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky to individuals, families, farms, small businesses and local nonprofit organizations severely impacted by the historic floods.


“There is nothing more important at a time like this than helping our neighbors in need,” said Blue Grass Community Foundation President/CEO Lisa Adkins. “Blue Grass Community Foundation is committed to working collaboratively to ensure that those most impacted by the devastating floods receive support, and we are pleased to commit $10,000 to the flood relief efforts.”

“The Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky has already begun making emergency relief grants to individuals in crisis and are gearing up to make grants to small family farmers and small, local businesses with relief efforts that will continue throughout the year,” said Foundation for Appalachian Kentucky Executive Director Gerry Roll.


Monday’s telethon will feature an hour of musical performances and inspirational addresses by notable Kentuckians. Several community outreach initiatives and additional fundraising events will take place in the build up to the telethon. To donate and learn more, visit