KNOTT COUNTY, KY (WOWK) — Sadness, destruction and tears are almost everywhere you turn after severe flooding in southeastern Kentucky, but the kindness of strangers is making people smile.
Possibly some of the smiles are coming from celebrity sightings. Kentucky’s own Chris Stapleton and Tyler Childers have been spotted in the area — not performing, but pitching in to help.
From mud-covered streets, to businesses, to damaged community homes, people have been posting pictures with Stapleton and Childers. Residents seem a little surprised, but they are grateful for the help.
Knott County Schools posted Facebook photos of Stapleton and several local law enforcement officers moving items out of houses in the community. The school system said Stapleton, along with two deputies from the Knott County Sheriff’s Office, an officer from the Shelbyville Police Department, and Josh Richardson, a Kentucky State Police officer, all helped with the flood cleanup.
The Shelby County Sheriff’s Office also posted a Facebook photo of its deputies and Knott County deputies alongside Stapleton during the flood cleanup. The Sheriff’s Office said its deputies were quick to respond when the Knott County Sheriff’s Office requested support following the recent natural disaster.
Stapleton also visited the Dairy Queen in Paintsville, Kentucky, and a distribution center in eastern Kentucky.
The employees with the Paintsville Dairy Queen took to Facebook to express their thanks.
“We had a surprise customer today at our DQ!!! Had to come and get him a Footlong and Blizzard!!! We just want to thank him for being here and helping out all of Eastern Kentucky during this difficult time! Chris Stapleton is a class act and we are proud he is from our home town!! Thank you Chris!!”Paintsville Dairy Queen via Facebook
Tyler Childers also made several visits around eastern Kentucky, including to Community Agricultural Nutritional Enterprises, Inc. (CANE), a kitchen that served food to the community on Sunday.
Childers, along with his wife and singer-songwriter, Senora May, and musician Wayne Graham delivered supplies to the kitchen and enjoyed a burger there.
“I know these people wanted no attention, and I share this with hesitation, but I know how good I felt to look up and see that those who we look at as our heros and legends show up for us [with] no expectations or desire for attention,” CANE posted on its Facebook page. “Today has been plain old hard, but lots of love and hope in between.”
Childers has also been active on Facebook by sharing various links to help eastern Kentucky flood victims. Those links include the Team Eastern Kentucky Flood Relief Fund, the Appalshop Flood Support Resources webpage, the Hindman Settlement School donate page, and more.
In addition, Stapleton created the “Outlaw State of Kind Hometown Fund” to donate money to the Kentucky Red Cross and Appalachia Crisis Fund for those in need. To donate, click here.