Tornado victims benefit from donations to Community Foundation

Posted at 11:10 PM, Mar 02, 2021
and last updated 2021-03-03 00:11:57-05

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — Within hours after the tornado hit Middle Tennessee one year ago, NewsChannel 5 partnered with the Community Foundation to set up a disaster relief fund -- and you responded.

So far, the fund has raised close to $13 million. More than half of that has gone directly to non-profits and other groups to help those in need like Josh and Tabitha Mundy. They’ll never forget the early morning hours of March 3, 2020.

"First thing we turned it on Channel 5 news, and the first sight we saw was our building," Josh Mundy said.

The building that housed his dry cleaning business, event space, and entrepreneur center which stood proudly on the corner of Seventh and Jefferson took a direct hit from the tornado.

"There was so many emotions just to really just to see the building in the state it was in, it was just, it was devastating," Mundy said.

It was devastating because, for 13 years, Josh along with his wife Tabitha, even their 7-year-old son Zion, worked tirelessly to build a business, and give back to the community.

They created "The Hub" a workspace for budding entrepreneurs and "The Fortitude Group" a non-profit providing housing and assistance to mentally ill men in North Nashville.

Tabitha Mundy says it’s to "...make sure they have warm meals every day. A nice, warm home to live in. If they need medication, we make sure that's provided for them."

The structure that housed the Mundy's business and non-profit didn't survive the tornado. Soon, another apartment building will rise on that busy corner. But that won't stop the Mundy's work helping the community.

And it’s thanks in large part to the generosity of strangers. "We try to do things quickly because we know right after a disaster, the light of day, and people want to know right away 'how can I help, where can I give?'" said Amy Fair, who directs donor services for the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee.

She says the response was swift. Donations poured in from all 50 states and 35 countries - complete strangers ready to help and donate money. Money that Josh and Tabitha would need, because the tornado also damaged the Fortitude Group's homes.

"One of our homes got really, really damaged, so we were able to pay either deposits or rent for them to transition to other places," Josh said.

The nonprofit survived. And although their business is gone, the Mundy family says they're looking forward to a brighter future with gratitude.

Josh says “the Community Foundation, they just wrapped their arms around us.” His wife Tabitha agrees. "It was completely devastating, however with that support it made things a little bit easier."

Donations continue to come in even one year later. Click here if you'd like to help.