ARCADIA, Wis. – Over the last few weeks, Ashley Furniture Industries (Ashley), the world’s largest manufacturer of home furnishings, hauled and donated 512 mattresses, along with blankets, pillows and sheets, to victims of the recent Kentucky flood. The almost $140,000 donation was distributed in partnership with Kemper Furniture in Hazard, KY and Grand Home Furnishings in Roanoke, VA, both Ashley retailers.
Between July 25th and July 30th, 2022, several complexes of training thunderstorms developed south of I-64 and brought heavy rain, deadly flash flooding, and devastating river flooding to eastern Kentucky and central Appalachia. Around Breathitt County, one of the worst hit counties for flooding in over 1,000 years, water levels rose to nearly 43 feet. An estimated 2,000+ homes and structures were completely destroyed.
The Kemper Furniture team hand-delivered mattresses from a box truck to people living in tents that have lost all their belongings. “This is honestly unlike anything I have ever seen,” said Brad Hopkins, Ashley Marketing Specialist. “Victims have shared stories of grabbing their children and running for higher ground during the flood, they’ve watched people they know float down the river and their homes and all they had is either gone or destroyed. Everyone is so appreciative of Ashley’s support and they are so happy to finally have something dry and soft to sleep on.”
Grand Home Furnishings partnered with the Appalachian Service Project (ASP). ASP will work with local groups on the ground to identify those most in need and provide them with the donations. Additionally, the retailer has been working with some of the area High Schools to stage deliveries consisting of added mattresses from their warehouse.
“We are committed to helping our neighbors and customers during this trying time. We are grateful to Ashley for their support to our community. Appalachian Service Project has been great to work with, we are proud to be able to help out our neighbors and bring much needed furnishings to those hardest hit.” Michael Virok, Grand Home Furnishings.
“The images and stories we’ve seen of the Kentucky flood are devastating. Our hearts, thoughts, and prayers are with the victims, especially those who lost loved ones to these storms,” said Todd Wanek, President and CEO, Ashley Furniture Industries. “We hope this donation alleviates some of the burden felt by those who are in a difficult time as they rebuild their homes and communities.”
Ashley has donated over $5 Million to relief efforts for hurricanes, tornadoes, and floods across the U.S. and Puerto Rico over the past five years. The company is a long-standing supporter of local emergency services, including police, fire and rescue departments. In addition to assisting victims of natural disasters, Ashley has provided thousands of hours of in-kind services and transported medical supplies, essential goods, food and water and more to areas in need during times of distress.