Taiwan gives $30,000 to tornado recovery

By Lauren Hallow Published:

Representatives from the Taiwanese government were in Frankfort Wednesday to deliver a $30,000 check to help victims of the Feb. 29 and March 2 tornadoes.

“We are here to bring the love and care from Taiwan to the people of Kentucky,” said Anna Kao, director general of the Taipei Economic and Cultural Office in Atlanta, during a press conference at the Capitol.

“We feel privileged and would like to be able to extend a helping hand to our best friend. We are here beside you … Taiwan is closer than you think.”

This isn’t the first time Kao has been to Kentucky to present a check.

Last summer, Kao presented the Louisville chapter of the American Red Cross with $20,000 on behalf of the Taiwanese government to go toward relief efforts in the wake of the strong storms and floods that hit the commonwealth last spring

Recalling that donation, Gov. Steve Beshear thanked the Taiwanese government for its continued help in assisting the people of Kentucky and called Wednesday’s donation an “unexpected gift.”

“We appreciate the hand of friendship extended by the officials from Taiwan, and we believe this affects the growing ties between their country and our bluegrass state,” Beshear said.

“Their heartfelt concern and generosity unite us across an ocean, and in our Kentucky people’s time of need, the people of Taiwan have reached out.”

This year marks the 30th anniversary of the sister state relationship between Taiwan and Kentucky. In November 1982, Gov. John Y. Brown Jr. signed an agreement in which officials from both Kentucky and Taiwan pledged to promote one another’s economies, cultures and social welfare.

Kao delivered the check Wednesday to representatives from Kentucky Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, a group of non-profit and faith-based organizations dedicated to disaster relief in Kentucky.

Jim Garrett, KyVOAD liaison and volunteer services coordinator for the Kentucky Division of Emergency Management, said the donation will go toward rebuilding homes and other relief efforts in the numerous counties affected by tornadoes.

Those tornadoes were blamed for the death of 24 Kentuckians, six of those from West Liberty and Morgan County.

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