Cheatham County nonprofit helps neighbors stay afloat amid tornado recovery

The ARK giving out donations
Posted at 6:04 PM, Dec 20, 2021

KINGSTON SPRINGS, Tenn. (WTVF) — It's been more than a week since an EF2 tornado blew through Cheatham County — tearing apart dozens of homes, taking down trees, power lines and poles.

The Ark Community Resource Center in Cheatham County has been there every step of the recovery. In fact, it always been a place you turn to when you need a little help to get by.

The nonprofit made such a huge impact on Jack Kapanka, he decided to join the board of directors.

"I was in a bad car accident back in 2010 and it helped my family. As soon as I got better, I joined the board of directors and tried to help out ever since,” Kapanka said.

Kapanka has made a big effort to really get to know the people living in his community.

“He’s one of the kindest souls in Cheatham County. He knows where the need is in the community and he’s always out looking out and take care of folks in the best way,” Kingston Springs Mayor Tony Gross said.

A little assistance is what the community needs after cleanup efforts have continued.

Donations have been pouring in from the public. Items anyone would need to stay warm, hydrated, and fed.

Starting Monday, the Ark will offer “Free Open Shopping” for anyone in the county affected by the tornado.

Anyone can stop by Datco Inc off Highway 70 in Kingston Springs and pick up supplies.

Datco will be open Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 4 to 6 p.m.

They will keep the shop open with the necessities until services are no longer needed. They will be closed on Christmas Eve and New Year's Eve.

Kapanka is taking it a step further and driving the Ark’s van around delivering items personally to people who can't make it out to the shop.

Many of the residents are in need of gift cards, like Jonny Thomas, who hunkered down inside his home with his wife when the tornado came through.

Kapanka spotted Thomas cleaning up debris in front of his home and gave him a gift card to help out.

"This is the kind of people that actually care and want to help others in times like this," Thomas said.

On Christmas Eve, members of the Ark will be personally delivering presents to kids in the county to make sure they have something from Santa to open on Christmas.

If you would like to help the community out, click here. For more information on how to receive help from the Ark, click here.