Chris Stapleton Heads to Eastern Kentucky to Help With Flood Relief Efforts
In the wake of a devastating flood pattern that has left more than 35 people dead and hundreds of others unaccounted for in eastern Kentucky, Chris Stapleton quietly made his way to the hardest-hit counties to help in relief efforts for his home state.
Stapleton was spotted in a Prestonburg, Ky., Walmart purchasing supplies for those affected by the floods, and another photo shows him posing with two other men during cleanup efforts in Knott County.
"Chris Stapleton is loved in eastern KY b/c he's from Johnson County and he's immensely talented. But also b/c of this," writes one Twitter user, who posted both images. "That's Chris in the Prestonburg Walmart buying stuff for folks and cleaning houses in Knott County."
The post also adds that Stapleton went "unnoticed for awhile" before those around him started to realize that he was a massive country superstar.
Stapleton routinely uses his musical talents and platform to raise money for his home state. In April, he helmed "A Concert for Kentucky," an event that featured the likes of Sheryl Crow and Willie Nelson and Family. That event, which took place at the University of Kentucky's Kroger Field, raised $1 million for his Outlaw State of Kind Hometown Fund. The Hometown Fund distributes money to a variety of different Kentucky-based causes, including The Mr. Holland's Opus Foundation, UK Healthcare Kentucky Children's Hospital, Dolly Parton's Imagination Library, the Community Foundation of Western Kentucky's Disaster Relief Fund and more efforts.
"Every night we walk on a stage, we do our best to help people forget their troubles or celebrate or remember or hope or heal. Every night we play, a portion of those profits always goes to charity," Stapleton said following the "A Concert for Kentucky" event. "As a musician I can’t think of a greater honor than reaching a point where we can play a show for 40,000 people and give all of the profits back to a community that has been so unfailingly loyal and supportive."
The flooding in eastern Ky. began with heavy rains early on Thursday (July 28). According to Kentucky Governor Andy Beshear, the death toll in the eastern Ky. flooding is at 37 as of Tuesday morning (Aug. 2), and is expected to rise.
"We are still looking for people, and sadly, we are still finding those bodies," Beshear told CNN on Monday (Aug. 1).
Relief efforts have been challenged by the washed-out infrastructure of the affected Appalachian communities, in combination with cell service black outs and dangerously high temperatures expected in the days ahead. Local authorities are requesting additional help from people with utility terrain vehicles, in order to clear paths, deliver water and help evacuate those who wish to leave the area.