140619_HER07_43Karen King

Age: 55
Hometown: Monson
Cause: Disaster assistance and emergency preparation

The night after a tornado ripped through her hometown in 2011, Karen King took in 13 displaced family members, including a cousin whose house was turned upside down. The next morning, after learning that 175 properties were wrecked by the storm, King, a local realtor, rounded up a team of coworkers who waived commissions while helping victims find temporary housing. King volunteered as the town’s disaster coordinator, forming a group of volunteers known as Street Angels who went door to door informing residents available resources, including financial advisers who could help them navigate the insurance claim process. She also joined Monson’s Tornado Relief Committee, which distributed $250,000 to help homeowners pay for costs that insurance companies wouldn’t cover, such as professional tree removal services. With the town still in recovery, the Street Angels continue to help financially struggling neighbors repair their homes.

Says King:

Moving forward, we’re in preparedness mode. Getting people details about homeowners insurance is critical; we want our town to be ready if something like this ever happens again.”

Tap to read full story

Your browser is out of date. Please update your browser at