The Southern Baptist Convention, with over 28,000 trained volunteers that are on-call for local, state and national disaster relief response, prepared over 2 million meals for the victims of the slew of recent Hurricanes to the Gulf Shore states. With the response operations still underway, Southern Baptists are expected to break the 2.5 million-meals record set during the Hurricane Andrew response in 1992.
“As of today, we have about 65 mobile disaster relief units on site, including about 1,300 volunteers, and most of those are in Florida with cleanup and recovery units still on site in Alabama,” explained Jim Burton, director of the North American Mission Board (NAMB)’s volunteer mobilization team.
Mickey Caison, manager of the NAMB’s Disaster Operations Center near Atlanta, explained that long-term disaster relief efforts are currently being planned and is underway across Southwest Florida and the Panhandle by the end of the year.
“Using Southern Baptist volunteers through NAMB’s Campers on Mission, Baptist Builders, and youth mission teams, we’re hoping to get a significant start on rebuilding this winter,” Caison said.
In total, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief officials estimated that the value of labor provided by the more than 8,000 Southern Baptist volunteers added to more than $5 million. To date, more than 6,300 cleanup and recovery projects have been completed by volunteers from 30 states, and 2.1 million meals were prepared.
Contributions for the disaster relief response can be sent to the NAMB via online at: www.namb.net/disasterrelief or mailed to North American Mission Board, P.O. Box 116543, Atlanta, Ga., 30368-6543.