LEXINGTON, Ky. (LEX 18) — A child actor in the 1980s, Soleil Moon Frye hit it big in the sitcom, "Punky Brewster". And along the way, made some dear friends in the Bluegrass.
"I have always loved Kentucky."
Now, an actor, director, and author, Soleil is a board member with CORE, the global crisis response team headed by Sean Penn.
"The kindness and humanity of the people I was able to witness was awe-inspiring."
Two of Soleil's best friends grew up in Kentucky... in the very region that was left devastated.
"This happened in a community that is so much of the people that I love, and the heart of soul of my relationships, so for me it was incredibly important to go," said Soleil.
CORE reports it had boots on the ground in Eastern Kentucky almost immediately after the flooding. Soleil spent several days there.
"Each and every person I met would ask us to go help a neighbor or a friend. It was immediately turning attention away from themselves and directing it on someone else in need."
That kindness of neighbor sacrificing for neighbor had a profound effect, Soleil says.
So did the images she can't yet forget.
"Roads you can't pass, no electricity, no water, no food, ( pause emotional) yeah, there's really no words to describe it."
Though she's back home in California with her children, Soleil says CORE is still handing out supplies, still lifting people up the same people who now inspire her.
"This is such a special part of our country. Those are special, beautiful people who have lost their homes, and so many have lost their lives."
"I'm still so emotional because, it's so hard to put into words, I just feel so much for this community. And I really want people to know and see what has happened there."