TORNADO RELIEF: UCHRA awarded $15K grant to assist victims

COOKEVILLE – The Upper Cumberland Human Resource Agency (UCHRA) has been awarded a $15,000 grant from United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties to assist Putnam County residents affected by the devastating March 3 tornado. 

Hours after the tornado devastated middle Tennessee – including the western half of Putnam County and Cookeville, United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties announced it would collect donations to assist those in need. All funds received by United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties will be distributed to those affected by the tornado. UCHRA was one of several organizations selected to distribute funds to survivors. 

“We are incredibly honored to have been selected as a recipient for tornado relief funds for Putnam County and are extremely thankful to United Way of Rutherford and Cannon Counties for awarding us this grant,” said LaNelle Godsey, UCHRA community services director. “We have seen how the tornado has affected both families within our agency and our customers and know that these funds will help the survivors meet some of their basic needs.”

Funds from this grant will be distributed to survivors via Walmart gift cards, providing survivors with basic assistance to meet various needs. Gift cards can be used to purchase food, medications, fuel, toiletries and many other necessities to help survivors recover. Gift card amounts will vary based on the number of people within the family. 

Individuals and families directly affected by the tornado can apply for assistance online, by visiting, or in person at the Putnam County UCHRA office located in Cookeville. All applicants will be verified and cross-referenced against the Survivor Database to ensure funds are distributed to survivors of the March 3 tornado. 

Applicants will be notified by email, or phone if email is not available, if they are eligible to receive support and are notified of where to pick up their gift card. 

Survivors are also encouraged to inquire about and apply for assistance available through UCHRA’s other programs and services including Low-Income Home Energy Assistance Program (LIHEAP), Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), Transportation, Self-sufficiency Training And Results program (STAR), Transforming, Educating and Advancing Multiple generations (TEAM) and Commodities. 

To apply for assistance, visit For more information, please contact the Putnam County UCHRA office at (931) 528-1127 or pick up an application. The Putnam County UCHRA office is located at 580 S. Jefferson Ave., Ste. B in Cookeville. 

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