Volunteers feverishly try to fill jobs
    September 12 2011 by BR, BSC staff

    With Tropical Storm Maria turning away from the United States, disaster relief volunteers breathe a sigh of relief and continue filling jobs across North Carolina as well as other states.

    When Hurricane Irene hit North Carolina Aug. 27, North Carolina Baptist Men (NCBM) waited in the wings ready to respond to whatever the storm brought. Irene did not stop in North Carolina, but barreled up the East Coast wreaking havoc in the already-drenched Northeast. Tropical Storm Lee brought more rains to North Carolina and continued flooding the Eastern Seaboard.

    Currently, NCBM is operating sites at Hatteras, Belhaven (FBC, Smithton), Kinston, Greenville, New Bern, and Williamston.

    “People ask what I say to them. I really don’t. I just listen,” said Steve Wynn. “I let them tell their story.”

    By day three of helping coordinate Hurricane Irene recovery efforts in New Bern, Wynn already had plenty of opportunities to listen.

    One woman was so upset when she came to First Baptist Church in New Bern, she couldn’t even put into words her request. Volunteers followed up with her a few hours later and learned that her home is now condemned due to extensive water damage.

    NCBM expects volunteers to be needed at least several more weeks.

    The teams have begun to shift to recovery work, but early numbers indicate disaster volunteers have been busy: So far (as of Sept. 11), 21 have accepted Jesus as Savior; 6,385 have volunteered; 164,914 meals have been prepared; 1,143 recovery jobs completed; 102 children served through the Temporary Childcare ministry; 3,736 have used the shower unit; 874 laundry loads completed; and chaplaincy teams have made 746 contacts with those affected by Irene.

    Other state conventions have responded to North Carolina. There have been teams from Alabama, Arkansas, Florida, Kentucky, Mississippi, Missouri, Oklahoma, South Carolina, Texas and West Virginia.

    “In any disaster, we try to find out where we are needed most, and we have to base that on good information. We rely on our assessors to help us make these decisions,” said Richard Brunson, NCBM executive director-treasurer. “Then, we find hubs where we can serve out of. Places where volunteers can eat and sleep, and then go out into surrounding communities to work.”

    All the ministries of NCBM, including disaster relief efforts, are made possible by gifts to the North Carolina Missions Offering. For more information visit ncmissionsoffering.org. To volunteer, visit the website or call (800) 395-5102, ext. 5599.

    There are several stories about Hurricane Irene coverage in North Carolina as well as other states available on the Biblical Recorder’s website: BRnow.org.
    9/12/2011 8:54:00 AM by BR, BSC staff | with 0 comments

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