The Dennison Tornado Project

Organized by: Heather Shelley

Heather's Photo


Meet The Dennison Family: Gregg, Sam, Kiely, Molly, Alex, Luke, Gabe, Ben and Ian. And Grandma Eileen. They're awesome peeps. They live on a farm in Northern Kentucky with some horses, chickens, dogs, a cat, a hamster or two, and a couple of parakeets. They are a wonderfully happy family of smart, funny grown-ups and kiddos. On the side, Luke and his Dad work with an organization called E-Nable using 3D printers to print helping hands for children all over the world! Luke was born without fingers on his left hand, so what started out as a curiosity has turned into a full-blown mission that Gregg and Luke do on the side. (Gregg is a full-time computer dude, with an hour commute each way, every day, so this side project is one of great love.)

On late December 23rd, the Dennison family was getting ready to get all snug in their beds for Christmas… but plans drastically changed when all 7 children (from 1-year to 18-years) huddled in the basement with Mom, Dad, and Grandma as a tornado ripped apart their home and barn. When it was all over, the devastation was heartbreaking and, obviously, very scary for the littles. When they were finally able to come up from the basement, everything they knew had been destroyed: the house and barn are a total loss, as well as everything in their home (pictures and furniture from grandparents and great-grandparents, clothes, memories, toys and all the Christmas gifts that would be exchanged just a day later). But there was - quite literally - a Christmas miracle! Not one person or animal was lost or hurt!

This family is far, far too humble to ask for anything. Gregg is my husband’s brother. I’ve known him and Sam since my husband and I started dating. They are wonderfully positive people with an outlook on life that I envy. (When my husband and I were struggling with having a child, they offered to help carry a baby if I weren’t able to do so myself. I’m telling you – this is a family of wonderful, resilient, amazing people.) They have a daughter headed to college in the fall and a little boy who is just over a year old... and five others in between. Now, they have to rebuild their home and try to reclaim whatever they can -- which is proving to be nearly impossible since it hasn't stopped raining the past three days. My husband and I would do anything for them, but in this situation, we feel truly helpless. Other than manual labor and a few clothes for the younger boys, we have nothing to offer. So, since they won’t ask for anything, I’ve started this page and wondered if you would join us in lending a hand for resources to help them get back on their feet. They lost everything. Hours before Christmas Eve. Putting back the pieces of a life is difficult... Add 7 children and everything they’ve ever known and it gets even more difficult. Also add in the fact they don’t want to be a burden to anyone, and well, you see this herculean task for what it is: insurmountable without intervention.

Would you help? Every little bit counts, and you will be helping a family that will not only be incredibly grateful, but also are wholly deserving.


Organized by

Heather Shelley

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