Country superstar Alan Jackson wanted to raise money for tornado disaster relief that devastated his hometown, so he teamed up with two corporate sponsors for his first in-person concert in more than a year.
The sold-out benefit concert, Where I Come From: Tornado Benefit Featuring Alan Jackson, raised a total of $2 million dollars for local relief efforts. It also was live streamed on Facebook and available to watch for a few additional days, reaching an additional 1 million fans worldwide for an additional fundraising impact.
The June 26 event that also included appearances by fellow country artists, Chris Young and Caylee Hammack, was held in Newnan, Georgia, which is still in the midst of recovering from a EF-4 tornado that damaged more than 1,700 homes with its 170-mile winds in March, according to local station WXIA.
"It’s good to be back down here in my hometown of Newnan, Georgia,” Jackson, one of the 10 best-selling male vocalists of all-time, told the crowd of 20,000 fans. “I’m from Newnan … my wife, Denise, is from Newnan … we were both born and raised here … and all of our childhood and young adult memories come from this area. When we saw what that tornado did, coming through here a few months ago, it broke my heart. It broke Denise’s heart. We had relatives affected by it and friends. The high school that we went to got hit. I was hoping we’d be able to do something to try to help down here and … it’s just been amazing how this community came together to make this happen.”
Cornerstone Building Brands, the largest manufacturer of exterior building products in North America donated building materials, valued at $500,000, to Habitat for Humanity’s nationwide Disaster Risk Reduction and Response program. Those products will help repair damaged homes and rebuild affordable housing in Jackson’s hometown and other communities impacted by natural disasters. Additionally, the Cary, North Carolina-based business contributed $100,000 to the Coweta Community Foundation while Newnan, Georgia-based dealership, Southtowne Chevrolet, donated $105,000. The foundation will use the funds for recovery efforts, such as insurance deductible relief, temporary shelter and storage, rebuilding and restoration.
Cornerstone Building Brands also has ties to the community with about 1,800 employees — about a tenth of its workforce — employed at six nearby manufacturing plants, as well as its previous work with Jackson through its Home for Good project, which works to help alleviate the shortage of affordable housing in partnership with Habitat for Humanity International. Since the inception of the project in 2016, the company has donated more than $2.5 million in exterior building products to rebuild or remodel more than 550 homes in more than 90 communities while hundreds of its employees have volunteered on home builds in more than 30 cities.
“We’re excited to work with Alan Jackson, our first Home for Good project ambassador, to respond to the need to rebuild housing in his hometown of Newnan,” said James S. Metcalf, chairman and CEO of Cornerstone Building Brands. “At Cornerstone Building Brands, our purpose is to positively contribute to the communities where we live, work and play. This community is an important part of Cornerstone Building Brands and our broader work toward affordable and resilient housing across the U.S.”
Donations can still be made to the Coweta Community Foundation for disaster relief efforts via Facebook, by phone (text “Give” to 844-737-4859), via Venmo (@CowetaFoundation) or through the foundation’s website.