Post-Disaster: volunteers will help feed the victims

Greensburg, KS June 4, 2007 - Members of the K...

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For Some, Helping With Disaster Relief Is Not Just Aid, It’s a Calling. NY Times, May 9. A closeup of the largest all-violunteer, post-disaster feeding operation in the U.S.

With the ability to feed 20,000 people from one mobile kitchen, and a chain of command so tightly run it would make a military officer proud, the Southern Baptist teams are the backbone of disaster relief here.

Nearly 95,000 Baptists across the country are trained to handle disasters like hurricanes and floods. After the Red Cross and the Salvation Army, the Baptist group is the biggest disaster relief organization in the country.

“We’re the best-kept secret out there,” said Ron Warren, cleanup and recovery coordinator for the Alabama Southern Baptist disaster relief group.

Of course, thousands of church members are doing their part to help the South recover from the tornadoes. They raise money, sort clothing donations and hand out water.

They are what the veterans of large faith-based relief efforts call S.U.V.’s — spontaneous untrained volunteers. The efforts are welcomed, but they have nothing on what the Southern Baptists bring to a disaster.

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