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DeKALB COUNTY, Ala. — As thousands of people are still picking up the pieces left behind by deadly tornadoes in Tennessee and Kentucky, the folks of DeKalb County got together to help those people for the Christmas holiday. 

The DeKalb County Commission last week announced a toy drive to make sure that every family impacted by the tornadoes still has a magical Christmas through hundreds of donated toys.

“I can also tell you that four or five hundred children there in Graves County, Ky. and Weakley County, Tenn. will have a Christmas that they will probably have another one like,” said Dekalb County Commission President Ricky Harcrow.

Harcrow asked the residents and businesses of DeKalb to lead the charge in donating toys and gifts to families devastated by the December 11 storms. The response was overwhelming. 

“We had enough toys to help between four and five hundred children,” Harcrow told News 19. “Even the officials there said they have no response like that from anywhere and we did this, our county did this, in four days.” 

As Kentucky enters the second week of recovery efforts, the picture of exactly how much damage was done is becoming clearer. 

Over 1,000 properties were destroyed and 76 people lost their lives as the storm moved through the commonwealth on December 11, leaving hundreds of people without homes or jobs. The commission president saw the devastation up close. 

“If you could have been there yesterday with me and saw what I saw, all that you have done it would have been worth it to you,” said Harcrow. “You see that. It was something that I’ll never forget. But I’ve got to express our thanks to you all that have helped us and for four days that the people of DeKalb County took and made such a wonderful Christmas for so many that had had big plans, yet they were gone in an instant.” 

The DeKalb County Commission announced that they also were able to donate over $3,000 in gift cards to the families. Harcrow also said that they will continue assist the families as much as needed.