Tornado damage on Jefferson St.

NASHVILLE, Tenn. — September marks six months since a series of tornadoes swept through Tennessee, leaving behind a path of death and destruction.

The Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee (CFMT) recently released a six-month report to the community that summarizes and details the progress of its Middle Tennessee Emergency Response Fund, it established just hours after the tornadoes struck in the early morning hours of March 3.

Twenty-five people died — 19 of them in Putnam County, including five children — and 310 were injured in the series of tornadoes that stretched from West Tennessee through Northern Davidson County, North and East Nashville, Mt. Juliet and Lebanon in Wilson County and to Cookeville and Putnam County.

To date, 127 grants to 100 organizations have been deployed from the Middle Tennessee Emergency Response Fund, totaling more than $4,467,291. There is an additional $1,125,000 in pending grants to support the coordinated repair and rebuild effort, representing a partnership between Westminster Home Connection and 14 nonprofits and churches that have signed on to support tornado survivors with construction projects.

“Our grant making began with supporting immediate needs of tornado survivors, including clothing, food and temporary shelter, but with this recent announcement our grants reflect our shift into the recovery phase and our commitment to being here to support tornado survivors for months to come, “ said Amy Fair, CFMT Vice President of Donor Services.

Anyone experiencing a current, unmet need as a result of the tornadoes can continue to call the Tornado Recovery Connection helpline at 615-270-9255This call line is open 24/7 and messages are returned by case managers ASAP. 

Tornado Recovery Connection provides callers throughout Middle Tennessee with resources for immediate relief and helps identify those with long-term needs.

Among the top funding categories are direct financial assistance, housing and utilities, case management, mental and physical health, food assistance, and insurance and legal assistance, according to the CFMT report. Grants have been made across the affected areas of Middle Tennessee. 

The Fund has raised more than $12 million from 22,000-plus donors. Donors have reached out from all 50 states and 35 foreign countries ranging from Australia to the United Arab Emirates.

“We are so grateful and appreciative of those who have been willing to help and to give to the Emergency Response Fund, and we have ensured that each and every dollar has and will be used wisely and well,” said Ellen Lehman, CFMT president.

Recently, CFMT announces eight additional grants totaling $701,656 to area nonprofits and organizations helping those affected by the tornadoes.

Access to the grant application remains open and continues to accept requests for recovery assistance (legal, mental health/counseling, permanent housing, rebuilding/construction, and case management). The grant application also continues to accept requests for relief needs (food, shelter and short-term housing, clothing, cleanup and debris removal, and financial assistance).

According to the CFMT report, funding categories include:


·     Case Management $516,000
·     Cleanup/Debris Removal $285,656
·     Diapers/Formula $145,000
·     Direct Financial Assistance $634,800
·     Education Assistance $42,000
·     Food Assistance $286,000
·     Hygiene/Personal Care $9,000
·     Insurance/Legal Assistance $107,000
·     Medical Equipment $16,600
·     Mental/Physical Health $290,000
·     Multi-Purpose Assistance $1,232,485
·     Housing/Utilities $627,000
·     Repair/Rebuild $275,750


For more information, a full six-month report to the community, and updates on grant distributions and stories of our grantees, go to

To make a gift in support of Nashville and Middle Tennessee recovery efforts, visit

For more information about the Community Foundation of Middle Tennessee call 615-321-4939 or visit