UK students move to assist SEC family in Alabama

By Joy Priest

After a huge tornado tore its way through Tuscaloosa, Ala., Wednesday, it turned the lives of people and students at the University of Alabama upside down, and UK students mobilized to assist.

“We’re just trying to help our fellow brothers and sisters down in Alabama and out SEC family,” SG President Ryan Smith said. “It’s just an unbelievably devastating event that’s happened down there, I just can’t imagine.”

An organization called Wrap Up America is leading the efforts in Lexington.

Smith, who is on the board for Wrap Up America, characterized it as an organization that collects blankets as donations to distribute to the homeless populations and underprivileged families across America. There are currently six cities with a Wrap Up America chapter.

“We got the news about Alabama last night and this morning,” Grant Mills, the Lexington visionary for Wrap Up America, said. “We thought there was surely a way that UK students … could help.”

Mills, who graduated from UK in 2009, said he saw a need and from there he began to work.

Today, Wrap Up America has spread the word on social media sites, worked with UK Public Relations and are hoping to tweet about it from UK men’s basketball coach John Calipari’s Twitter account.

“We have a partnership with a company in Louisville called Dorm Buys. Through them we’re able to donate blankets as low as $3,” Mills said. “There are a lot of people that are displaced and living in friends and families houses.”

To help, visit and hit the link on the homepage. Mills said donations will be sent to the American Red Cross who will distribute them to those in need in Alabama.

“We want to offer assistance and help those in need, but also bring attention to the homelessness and the struggles that are going on in our backyard,” Smith said. “We want to help in any way we can and I know the UK community feels the same way.”

Wrap Up America is in the planning stages of hosting in event in Lexington during the fall.