A small sample of the tornado relief supplies that have poured in from union locals all over the country.
A small sample of the tornado relief supplies that have poured in from union locals all over the country. (photo by Berry Craig)

Henderson: 'The outpouring of help is nothing shy of amazing'

Berry Craig
Berry Craig

I asked Kyle Henderson to tell me what his union, Paducah Plumbers and Steamfitters Local 184, has disbursed for tornado relief in Mayfield, Princeton and Dawson Springs, which were devastated by the powerful tornado that left at least 76 people dead in Kentucky and damaged or destroyed dozens of homes, businesses and other buildings, mostly in the western Jackson Purchase and Pennyrile regions.

“It's coming from UA International and from Pipe Trades locals all over the country,” said the business manager.

It took Henderson a full minute-and-a-half to run the list: “We’ve got chain saws, we’ve got generators, we’ve got extension cords, we’ve got brooms, we’ve got rakes, we’ve got bar and chain oil, we’ve got two-stroke oil, we’ve got buckets, we’ve got trash cans, we’ve got diapers, Handi Wipes, we’ve got toothpaste, tooth brushes, Tampons, Clorox wipes, trash bags, underwear.

“Mouthwash, deodorant, hairspray, can openers, disinfectant, cleaning supplies, Clorox, mops, bleach, gloves. We’ve got blankets, we’ve got sheets, we’ve got boots, we’ve got shoes, we’ve got toys, we’ve got safety vests, we’ve got bungee cords, we’ve got backpacks, we’ve got sock hats, we’ve got dog food, we’ve got gas cans, full and empty, we’ve got bandages — a whole crate of bandages — gauze, Band Aids, you name it – pretzels, oatmeal, Ramen noodles, Ziploc bags, water, coolers.”

While Local 184 is receiving and dispatching the needed supplies as they arrive, more aid is  pouring in from UA International plus locals from as far away Texas and Michigan “and all points in between,” said Henderson, who is also president of the West Kentucky Building and Construction Trades Council and the Western Kentucky AFL-CIO Area Council.

Added the veteran union leader: “The outpouring of help is nothing shy of amazing. It makes me proud of being a member.”


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Berry Craig

Berry Craig is a professor emeritus of history at West KY Community College, and an author of seven books and co-author of two more. (Read the rest on the Contributors page.)