A Virginia ministry helps clean up tornado-ravaged Kentucky

Volunteers from the Christian group 516 Project are in Bowling Green, Ky., to help with the cleanup following last week’s tornadoes. (Courtesy James Roberson)

Tornadoes that ravaged Kentucky last week left dozens dead and many more with their homes destroyed. Now, a Christian group from Fredericksburg, Virginia, is headed to Bowling Green to help clean up the devastation.

The 516 Project is a Christian-based construction ministry started in 2016 with a mission to help through service. Its founder, James Roberson, and 25 other volunteers arrived in Bowling Green late Wednesday to start cleaning up.

Roberson said they will start with cutting up downed trees, sifting through the debris for any salvageable belongings and putting tarps over damaged grooves to keep the rain out of homes.

“We’re staying with a church … called Living Hope Baptist,” Roberson told WTOP. “We’re working in the surrounding areas so we’ll probably be covered in about a 30-mile radius from the church.”

Roberson and the other volunteers will stay there and be back in time for Christmas. But in the meantime, he wants to help those who lost friends and family during one of the deadliest storms in Kentucky history.

“And so we just want to be able to share that with people and just be out here and just love on and let them know there’s still hope, let them know they’re not forgotten,” said Roberson. “It’s definitely an emotional experience.”

Luke Lukert

Since joining WTOP Luke Lukert has held just about every job in the newsroom from producer to web writer and now he works as a full-time reporter. He is an avid fan of UGA football. Go Dawgs!

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