HARRISON COUNTY, Ky. — Gov. Andy Beshear launched the Team Kentucky COVID-19 Memorial Fund this week. This time, it honors the more than 5,000 Kentuckians lost to the virus.
In March 2020, Beshear launched the initiative to help Kentuckians facing evictions or needing food. The pandemic has impacted each and every Kentuckian in one way or another.
“Well, it was a slow process of them laying me off pretty much like they've gradually cut back errors, and cut back days,” said Timothy Habern, a Cynthiana resident.
He said late March 2020 came the final assignment and then he was laid off. "How can I pay for this?" It was a lingering question he had at the time. So he decided to get some help.
“And then, you know I had seen that light, and it was actually able to approve the payment for my mortgage, which gave me a whole new outlook,” Habern said.
He received help through Team Kentucky funds.
“I was able to bounce back from, you know, being skeptical of it and all that and it actually helped me to push on to keep on going forward, you know, to push for my son and make sure he has a place to stay and I have a roof over my head he does too,” Habern said, who’s also a single father.
The Team Kentucky Funds has helped 3,662 households in the Commonwealth and raised more than $3.7 million — money which came in as donations from over 11,000 Kentuckians.
“I would say that donations like Xavier's are going to help Kentuckians to get back on their feet. We have utilized those funds and partnered with the Community Action of Kentucky because they have offices in all 120 counties to make sure that folks who needed help got it,” said Lt. Governor Jacqueline Coleman.
She's referencing a donation made by 6th grade student Xavier Wolsing. The Lexington student saved his allowance and sent $19 to the governor.
“There have been people who donated $5 at a time [or] $10 at a time because you know maybe they didn't make a lot or maybe they couldn't afford to give a ton of money, but they gave what they could and at the end of the day that's made all the difference in the world for so many Kentuckians,” Coleman said.
It’s the action of neighbors helping neighbors.
“It helped out, it really did especially for my morale,” Habern said.
The Team Kentucky COVID-19 Memorial Fund will help create a permanent memorial on Capitol grounds.