The storms that battered Kentucky a week ago today passed through in a matter of a few terrifying hours, but the damage they caused will be felt for years.
As is always the case, Kentuckians have proved their generosity in the days since the storms, rushing to help with open hearts, helpful hands and even large equipment.
Virtually every workplace has mounted an effort to collect the things that people need most desperately right now, like potable water, cleaning supplies, personal care items and the most basic clothing.
The Kentucky Cares Campaign, set up to help those hurt by the tornado, will get a boost today from a phone bank in conjunction with the Wildcats' first game in the SEC tournament.
These efforts will all help people begin to rebuild their lives, open their schools and clean up the wreckage.
Before too long, the stories of suffering and aid will begin to fade from the news but many communities will still face huge challenges as they try to repair or replace damaged infrastructure and get back into the business of daily life.
The Blue Grass Community Foundation has already begun to plan for that longer term. It has set up the Eastern Kentucky Tornado Rebuilding Fund to help in the months and years to come with these bigger projects.
It would be a good idea anywhere but is especially valuable in this case because some of the communities hit by the tornado were already suffering from devastating poverty and scarce public resources.
So, give generously today to the relief efforts. Thousands of Kentuckians need the most basic supplies.
But remember to give generously in the future — after the SEC Tournament and the Final Four — to help rebuild communities that have suffered so much.