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MN nonprofit sending truckload of supplies to Kentucky after deadly tornadoes

The need came at their busiest time of the year, but volunteers and workers rose to the challenge.

Two weeks ago, a historic tornado tore through Kentucky, killing 76 people.

That same storm system also produced several other tornadoes in five other states, which killed 90 more.

There's still a very long road ahead for the hundreds of thousands of people whose lives were impacted by those storms.

At MATTER, a global nonprofit based out of St. Louis Park, the rush is on to give thousands in Kentucky a little comfort over the holidays.

"The devastation, I just couldn't believe it. I thought it was a movie set,” MATTER VP of Resource Operations Victor Salamone says.

The destruction hit close to home for Salamone.

He used to live and work in Kentucky and still has close ties to the community.

"When I saw the pictures, it was just a sinking feeling, that I have many connections and many friends there,” Salamone says.

He immediately wanted to help, not knowing what he was getting into.

"The devastation just sat in and we started making phone calls. We just started asking, ‘how is the need’ and they just responded, ‘it's overwhelming."’

But the need was already so great here at home and worldwide.

At MATTER, Salamone says they were already committed to helping countless schools and impoverished communities around the world.

"You know, there's no good timing for something like this,” Salamone says. "It comes when it comes."

So, they set out to find whatever help they could find on such short notice, and help showed up.

RELATED: Babies survive Kentucky tornado that tossed them in bathtub

Dozens of volunteers came out to pack up snack packs, food and medical supplies, and when volunteers weren't enough, MATTER employees filled in.

"We have committed about 10,000 snack packs,” Salamone says.

Along with several boxes of food, cleaning products and medical supplies.

Salamone says a half semi-load of supplies will ship out on Tuesday and another half semi-load will go out after the holidays.

Every box comes with handwritten messages of hope and support for the people of Kentucky.

Many of them can't go home for the holidays this year, because there's no home to go back to.

But as devastating as these tornadoes were, Salamone says it's not the only tragedy they're dealing with right now.

When you're a worldwide nonprofit like they are, there's always another community in need.

"It is coming in nonstop. While you're here, every bay is filled. We've had three trucks coming in and out today alone,” Salamone says. "We have one load going all the way to Kenya."

And odds are after that, there'll be another community somewhere, that could also use some help.

"We are just so thankful for the community in which we live and serve,” Salamone says.

“It feels good. It's a lot of work, but it feels great."

To learn more about MATTER and its mission, click here.

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