Somebody Cares network partners from all over the country are in Florida helping with Hurricane Michael relief. Hot meals are being served, groceries and other aid distributed and the hope of Jesus shared.
Somebody Cares responder Mark Roye, shared "People here are so blessed with a hot meal. We heard many times that this was the first hot meal people have had since the storm hit. One lady that stayed said that she and her family had to run and jump into a fire truck when tornadoes came. The truck began to lift up. She was so happy to receive prayer."
That is the difference we offer, not only tangible help, but spiritual care as well.
One team in Panama City served 400 meals for dinner the first day and gave many other families sausages to cook on their own grills. Today we have already served 1000 meals for lunch and have started preparing dinner for more. There are no stores or restaurants open at all. No power, no water.
As people begin filtering back into communities to see what is left, many are finding nothing. One young lady said that when they went to their parents nothing was left—not even the slab.
Seasoned responders are all saying the same thing, it is the worst storm disaster area they have ever seen. Mark Roye explained the damage is like "a hurricane and a tornado mixed together."
"Another of our ministry partners, J.D. Smith of Impact Ministries, commented, "In 25 years I haven't had these many calls for help or seen this level of hopelessness. ... And ... I've seen a lot."
Homes, businesses, schools and churches have been damaged or destroyed. This relief and recovery process for many will take months and even years. The needs are desperate and they are real. After a long string of disasters, many of us are physically and emotionally tired.
But this is not a time to shrink back. During a time of so much division and rancor in our nation, we need the church to be a unified and tangible expression of God's love following this storm as well.
This disaster is taking a toll on everyone. Signs of trauma are apparent as we minister to those impacted in the community. People need prayer. Responders need prayer. Community leaders need prayer. Please pray.
Please also prayerfully consider how you can help with resources. Financial gifts will equip teams on the ground to continue serving meals and helping with clean-up/repairs, transport essential items for distribution to distressed families, help local churches recover so they can reach out long term in their communities and meet special needs. Donations can be given online here; through Zelle to Donate@SomebodyCares.org; or by mailing it to: Somebody Cares America, c/o Hurricane Michael Relief, PO Box 925308, Houston TX 77292.
If your church or organization is organizing a collection for Michael relief, please make sure you have a plan for transporting those supplies into the disaster zone. We can help direct bulk supplies to areas of great need. Feel free to email SomebodyCares@SomebodyCares.org with details of your collection and proposed delivery timeframe so we can help you get it to the right place.
- Immediate supplies on the ground include water and other drinks, toilet paper, hygiene items, diapers and baby care essential, non-perishable food, work gloves, garbage bags and clean-up supplies.
- Bigger needs include: generators, tarps, chainsaws with accompanying protective gear, garbage cans, box fans, portable A/C units, plastic bins with covers and large coolers.
- Helpful comfort items include: new stuffed animals for children, new pillows, new sheets, new towels and portable camping chairs.
- Gift cards in $25 and $50 denominations are also really helpful to families who have lost everything.
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