When David Stumbo went to bed on December 10, he felt like he had dodged a bullet. For days, weather forecasters had warned of a tornado threat in the Bowling Green, Kentucky area where he lived.
“Sure, we had some really bad rain pass over our house, but we didn’t see a tornado,” Stumbo said. “But then, my phone started blowing up.”
The news wasn’t good: in fact, there had been a tornado just a few miles away, and it was catastrophic. It cut a deadly path through the community, killing dozens of people and destroying homes and businesses across the city. The roof of Stumbo’s dealership, Toyota of Bowling Green, was torn off the building.
“It’s impossible to describe the scope of the damage. It just looks like a warzone here,” Stumbo said.
“This was a thriving town. To see it like this, it’s eerie. It’s heartbreaking. It will take years and years to rebuild.”
Stumbo is determined to do what he can to help. Within days, he partnered with civic leaders to find the best way to donate money and resources. For him, staying local was a priority.
“This town needs help, and I feel privileged that I can pitch in,” Stumbo said. “But I really wanted to make sure my money stayed here, in Bowling Green, so it will help the most people possible.”
Path of Destruction
The tornado ripped off part of the roof at Toyota of Bowling Green’s service department. The building was new.
Stumbo is using Toyota’s Dealer Match program to make his generosity go even further. He plans to donate at least $40,000 to The United Way of South Central Kentucky. The charity says 100% of the funds collected will go to organizations serving on the front line of the community’s recovery.
For Stumbo, he feels it’s the least he can do to help a community that’s been good to him and his business.
“We’ve been so blessed here in Bowling Green,” he said. “And it’s a privilege to give back and help the city get back on its feet.”