Brad Paisley Challenges Fans to Raise $1 Million for West Virginia Flood Victims
West Virginia native Brad Paisley has watched as floodwaters have devastated his home state recently, and he's calling on his fans to help those affected. The singer has set up a GoFundMe account to aid those affected by the flooding, and he's challenging his fans to help him hit a goal of $1 million in donations.
Paisley, a native of Glen Dale, W.V., kickstarted the campaign by chipping in $100,000. On Wednesday (June 29), the singer shared on his Facebook page a video of himself performing John Denver's "Take Me Home, Country Roads" -- the chorus of which goes "Country roads, take me home / To the place I belong / West Virginia, mountain momma / Take me home, country roads" -- and asked his fans and followers for donations.
“There's been people saying, 'Are you gonna do a concert? Would you come up here? What's gonna happen?' As one of the celebrities from our state, I certainly have a responsibility to keep awareness up on this," Paisley says in the video. "And so, after carefully considering what would be the best thing to do, what we have decided to do is start a GoFundMe site ... and we can ensure that every dollar will go to the victims and toward cleanup of us."
The money from Paisley's GoFundMe account will be distributed by West Virginia Flood Relief 2016 -- the Brad Paisley Foundation at WESBANCO Trust Department in Wheeling, W.V., per a press release. While the artist has set that $1 million goal, he says in the video, "Anything over that would be great."
"We as a state are a very strong state. We have much love for one another, we band together in these times; we can do this," Paisley continues, adding that "eventually, maybe" he'll perform a benefit concert for the cause, but "now is not the time for that. Now is the time to, all of us, whether you're a West Virginian or just a fan of mine, or know a West Virginian or are an American, if you have a dollar or two to spare, send it to the site."
The flooding in West Virginia, which occurred on June 23, killed more than 20 people and destroyed a number of small towns. Forty-four of the state's 55 counties have declared a state of emergency, and three of those counties have been declared federal disaster sites. On Thursday (June 30), Paisley is headed home to see the devastation firsthand and meet some of those in charge of the GoFundMe money distribution.
"It's very important to me that this is done right, that every dollar goes there and that we see what we can do for this state," Paisley says.
Just 18 hours after the GoFundMe's launch, more than $233,000 has been raised. Readers can visit the GoFundMe page for West Virginia flood relief to donate.
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