WKYT - Lexington - Headlines

Hospital ready to ship thousands of school supplies to tornado victims

It's an act of kindness to help some of the youngest victims of a disaster. A group of health care workers is getting ready to give their gift to school children in Morgan County.

When a tornado tore through West Liberty in March, some children and their families lost everything. So since then, UK HealthCare employees have been collecting donations to help them. For one woman, the donations are very close to her heart.

On March 2, Amberlee Nickell was preoccupied with the storms about to hit Lexington.

"Here in the office we were taking precautions at the hospital," Nickell explained.

When Nickell, a UK HealthCare employee, left work that day, her worries soon centered on a different city.

"I went home and turned on the news and somebody was saying oh it's hitting West Liberty, it's hitting West Liberty," she remembered. She grew up in West Liberty, the town a tornado ravaged that day in March.
And as that community started rebuilding, Nickell's employers started donating.

"The hearts and compassion that people have here is unreal."

Nickell is one of several UK employees headed to West Liberty to give the school supplies to students.

"Human to human interaction doesn't start and stop with medicine. It also goes out to the emotional and school supply need," said UK HealthCare's Chief Administrative Officer Ann Smith.

"From clinic staff to hospital staff, children's hospital staff, our finance staff."

Nickell calls it all overwhelming.

"I feel like we have such close ties. Lexington and West Liberty is really not that far away."

UK HealthCare employees are handing out the children's school supplies at the Morgan County ARH Hospital Monday afternoon.

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