Oklahoma Baptist volunteers help as efforts turn to tornado clean-up

An estimated 10,000 meals will be served Thursday; Oklahoma Baptists supply all meals for American Red Cross and Salvation Army 

MOORE, Okla. – As volunteer efforts turn to clean up after the devastating Moore, Okla. tornadoes on Monday, May 20, Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief teams are positioned to prepare an estimated 10,000 meals on Thursday, May 23 with 6,700 served on Wednesday, May 22 and more than 2,000 served on Tuesday, May 21.

“In addition to feeding victims of the storms and our volunteers, we prepare all the meals for the American Red Cross and Salvation Army,” said Sam Porter, Disaster Relief director for the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma. “Also, the need during the upcoming Memorial Day holiday weekend is likely to double with 20,000 meals needed.”

Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief teams have so far supplied about 140 skilled volunteers each day and expect around 250 over the weekend, all with specialized skills, including electricians, cooks and heavy machinery operators.

“We are so blessed to have so many volunteers who care about helping others, not only from Oklahoma but from the entire nation as well” Porter said. “We’re expecting 20 Southern Baptist groups from at least 12 other states to come alongside the large number of Oklahoma Baptists already serving. The goal now is to help residents and homeowners clear their lots in preparation for rebuilding efforts.”

In addition to the physical labor, Oklahoma Baptist chaplains are providing spiritual comfort to victims still recovering with the emotional trauma and devastation. Chaplains were on the ground after the storm helping families whose children were at the devastated schools.

“The Oklahoma spirit can be seen throughout all the outpouring of prayers, time, effort and gifts given by neighbors and strangers alike,” Porter said. “This is true not only for Moore, but also the other cities hit by storms the day before.”

More than 60 Oklahoma Baptist volunteers are still in Shawnee, Okla. and surrounding areas assisting with recovery efforts there, including a mobile command center, chaplains, four chainsaw teams clearing debris and trees from properties and a mobile feeding unit that is supplying meals for volunteers and victims for a 30-mile radius in Prague, Carney and Little Axe, Okla.

“While Moore is certainly the center of the devastation, other communities that were hit the day before still need quite a bit of help,” Porter said. “We are blessed to have the opportunity to help all Oklahomans affected by the storms.”

Those interested in helping can make a tax-deductible donation to the BGCO Disaster Relief ministry, by visiting www.bgco.org/donate or calling (405) 942-3800. For photos, information and updates, visit the Oklahoma Baptists’ blog at www.okdisasterhelp.com. One-hundred percent of donations received will go toward relief efforts in Oklahoma.

About the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma

The Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) consists of 1,800-plus Southern Baptist churches throughout the state. The mission of the BGCO is to assist the local church to fulfill its Biblical mission and be a channel for cooperative ministry in Oklahoma, the nation and the world.

Posted in Press Release, Tornado
  • bgco

    Wilma,

    BGCO DR still has volunteers in all areas impacted by the tornadoes. We don’t leave anybody out until everyone is helped.

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