Summer disaster recovery trips need volunteers

Texas Baptist Men disaster relief workers worked to clear debris in Jamestown, Colo., after the James River flooded the mining town northwest of Boulder. (TBM PHOTOS)

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DALLAS—Texas Baptists’ Disaster Recovery is seeking volunteers for summer trips to Colorado, Arkansas, Eagle Pass and Fritch to assist areas devastated by floods, wildfires and tornadoes.

“Every year, thousands of homes are destroyed and lives are lost by disasters. Recovery from these disasters is long, hard and costly,” said Marla Bearden, disaster recovery specialist with the Baptist General Convention of Texas. “The goal of recovery is to bring a community back to a new normal after a disaster, restoring both physical structures and the holistic wellbeing of survivors.”  

tbm eaglepass400Texas Baptist Men disaster relief volunteers remove water-damaged drywall from homes in Eagle Pass.Residents in Estes Park, Colo., experienced extreme flooding last September. Trips are planned June 22-27, July 9-12 and Aug. 3-9 to help residents with rebuilding.

Texas Baptists’ Disaster Recovery has partnered with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Arkansas to respond to damage caused by tornadoes in April. A weeklong trip is planned for July to Mayflower, Ark., where volunteers will help residents rebuild homes.

Eagle Pass suffered extreme flooding last June, and Texas Baptists’ Disaster Recovery has partnered with Texas Baptist River Ministry for a June 22-28 trip. Construction projects will be in progress in Eagle Pass, as well as in Piedras Negras, Mexico—the first work for Texas Baptists’ Disaster Recovery in Mexico.

“The need here is great,” said Bearden. “There is money to buy materials, but volunteers are desperately needed.”

Cleaning up after Fritch wildfires

In May, wildfires destroyed more than 100 homes in the Texas Panhandle near Fritch. A disaster recovery trip is planned for July to provide help in clearing land and removing debris left from destroyed mobile homes.

Long-term recovery begins several weeks after a disaster, and the long trek back usually continues for months, even years, Bearden explained. Texas Baptists’ Disaster Recovery assists communities throughout the process of long-term recovery.   

“We rebuild communities, reconnect people with local churches and restore hope,” Bearden said. “The goal is to involve our Texas Baptist churches in disaster recovery mission trips.”

To support the effort:

To learn more and support recovery efforts, visit or mail checks to 333 N. Washington, Dallas, TX, 75246. For more information on volunteering for a disaster recovery trip, contact Bearden at or (214) 828-5383 or Gerald Davis at or (214) 828-5392.

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