updated January 10, 2024

More than $1.7 Million Raised for Tornado Relief

December 22, 2023 —Thanks to the overwhelming generosity of individual donors, foundations, entertainment and business partners, Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee (CFMT) has raised over $1.7 million in donations and pledges for disaster relief following the devastating tornadoes on December 9, 2023.

Immediate Relief Grant Application

Nonprofit organizations working in the affected counties of Cheatham, Dickson, Montgomery, Robertson, Stewart, and Sumner can now apply for immediate relief grants from the Tennessee Emergency Response Fund (TERF). These funds support basic needs, temporary housing, food and nutrition services, direct financial assistance, and legal aid. If you believe your organization is eligible for funding, email grants@cfmt.org to inquire.


Partnership with World Central Kitchen

In an inspiring collaboration, CFMT has partnered with World Central Kitchen (WCK), founded by chef José Andrés in 2010. WCK notably set up in Clarksville on December 22, providing meal boxes to 350 survivors, each accompanied by a $100 gift card for the holiday season.

TDHS Child Care Disaster/Emergency Response and Recovery Grant

In partnership with the Tennessee Department of Human Services (TDHS), ChildcareTennessee, an initiative of CFMT, administers grants to support TDHS-licensed child care and early childhood education providers. Following the severe storms and tornadoes, TDHS has invited affected licensed child care agencies in Davidson, Dickson, Montgomery, and Sumner counties to apply for the TDHS Child Care Disaster/Emergency Response and Recovery Grant (FEMA DR-4751-TN). Eligible providers have been directly contacted by TDHS with application details.

Application Assistance

Tornado Response Fund and Tennessee Emergency Response Fund

All facets of our common life are touched by disaster: housing, transportation, jobs, education, healthcare, food, mental and behavioral health, and on and on. A holistic collaborative approach is required because the lift is big. It takes everyone.

In collaboration with the Metropolitan Government of Nashville and Davidson County and its Office of Emergency Management, the United Way and CFMT jointly support Davidson County’s disaster relief efforts through the Tornado Response Fund housed at the United Way. This fund aims to gather vital resources to assist in the immediate and ongoing recovery of survivors in the local community.

Simultaneously, the two organizations are directing donations to recovery efforts in Cheatham, Dickson, Montgomery, Robertson, Stewart, and Sumner counties through the Tennessee Emergency Response Fund housed at CFMT.

Tennessee Emergency Response Fund Allocation

Recovery can increase inequity in a community — especially for our uninsured or underinsured neighbors — or it can intentionally tackle it. We want our outreach to help individuals, families and neighborhoods build back better. And we want to be around for the long haul. Funding from the Tennessee Emergency Response Fund will be designated as follows:

  • Immediate Relief – up to 25% of fund received for immediate relief. (Funding through completion of immediate relief phase or 25% of fund is reached);
  • Employee Assistance – 25% of fund (This is in addition to immediate relief funding);
  • Long-Term Recovery – 50% of fund

The Importance of Long-Term Recovery Support

CFMT is acutely aware that more than 82% of all giving comes in during the first few days and that it goes to early relief. But long-term recovery is just that: long. It is also the most expensive stage of recovery but receives only 4% of donations. Our neighbors in Madison, Clarksville, Hendersonville, and beyond are on a long road to becoming whole again, and it will take much more financial support to get them there.

Your Contribution is Vital

We urge individuals, businesses, and organizations to contribute to these relief efforts. Your donations are critical in aiding our communities to recover and rebuild.

How to Find Help

For information on open Disaster Recovery Centers, visit Tennessee FEMA online. Additional resources for local residents in Cheatham, Dickson, Montgomery, Robertson, Stewart and Sumner counties can be accessed through Tennessee VOAD or via Tennessee Emergency Management Agency.

Davidson County residents impacted by the severe weather can visit Nashville VOAD’s website at www.NashvilleResponds.com or dial 211 to self-report needs.

How to Help

To volunteer, please visit Hands on Nashville at hon.org/tornado23 and choose Nashville or Clarksville for specific volunteer opportunities available.

Acknowledging Our Partners

We extend our heartfelt thanks to our individual, foundation, entertainment and business partners for their unwavering support in these trying times.

Together, we can make a difference in the lives of those affected by the December 9 tornadoes.

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