MUHLENBERG CO, Ky (WEHT) – A Kentucky native in California is helping tornado victims, even when she is thousands of miles away.
California business owner, Mandy Lile grew up in Muhlenberg County and comes home every year. This time, it happened to be on December 10th.
“I just happened to be home during that tornado. So just being in my mother’s basement and knowing it missed us was a really scary feeling,” said Lile.
Lile’s mother’s house s suffered damage, but it is still standing. But that’s not the case for many of Lile’s friends.
“It was hard for me to leave because I felt guilty about leaving that morning and getting on the plane because I felt like there was something I needed to do more of,” she said.
That’s when Lile came up with the idea of wooden spoons, to go along with one of her skin care products.
The wood comes from trees damaged by the tornado in the neighborhood she grew up in, and from her grandmother’s former farm. “Sis and D’s spoons” in Mississippi turns the wood into the spoons.
Lile says she knew it was a good idea from the start.
“When I opened the bag, it just felt right,” she said. “They turned out super cute. He stamped the name of the product ‘Higher Good’ on all the spoons, then printed Kentucky on the back of all the spoons. So each spoon made from the area will have Kentucky stamped on it,” she said.
Lile says she hopes to inspire other people to think outside of the box.
“I know it’s a bad memory when you think about it. At the same time, I feel like there are no coincidences in life. And as much as I don’t want a tornado to go through anybody’s home or state or anywhere, things happen and we don’t know why. And we just have to roll with it. And so, I think the thing I am trying to do is to tell people to find the gratitude in what happened.”
The spoons come exclusively with the ‘Higher Good’ product and around 100 will be made. They are available for presale now.