Loving West, Texas

Jun 10, 2013 05:54 AM EDT
The Baptist General Convention of Texas (Texas Baptists) is organizing Loving West, a disaster recovery effort in West, Texas beginning June 15. Hundreds of volunteers have signed up for the week-long event to help with demolition efforts for many of the homes that were affected by the West Fertilizer Co. plant explosion in April.
West EMTs Russell Lebkowsky and Terase Alexander hug after a memorial service for the victims of the fertilizer plant explosion last week, at Baylor University in Waco, Texas, April 25, 2013. REUTERS/Richard Rodriguez

The Baptist General Convention of Texas (Texas Baptists) is organizing Loving West, a disaster recovery effort in West, Texas beginning June 15. Hundreds of volunteers have signed up for the week-long event to help with demolition efforts for many of the homes that were affected by the West Fertilizer Co. plant explosion in April.

Texas Baptists’ disaster recovery teams are responding to tragedies around the world, sending volunteers to places like Oklahoma, Granbury, Japan, and to Haiti to help with recent disasters. The organization initiated the volunteer effort in West with the hopes of helping those who were either underinsured or uninsured and sustained significant damage to their homes. Around 400 volunteers have registered to help demolish the houses, the first step to rebuilding the small Texas city.

Disaster Response Specialist Marla Bearden said that the Baptist General Convention of Texas also believes in sharing the Gospel with the communities that they help rebuild, with plans to hold worship services in relief areas.

In addition to demolition, Loving West volunteers can also help pick up debris, mow yards, and sort through the “massive amount” of donations that the city has received, which are currently being held at the local Salvation Army - “whatever will help with [the community’s] needs,” Bearden said. She encouraged those interested to sign up for the event, welcoming those who may only be able to volunteer for one or two days.

Registration information for Loving West and other disaster recovery efforts can be found on their website: texasbaptists.org/disaster.