Texas Baptist Men disaster relief volunteers completed work in the Rio Grande Valley after Hurricane Hanna, responded rapidly when a summer storm damaged trees in North Texas and stood ready to serve after 112 mph winds hit the Midwest.
TBM crews devoted more than 4,800 volunteer hours to help Weslaco residents recover from the effects of Hurricane Hanna. Volunteers made more than 400 contacts, completing 34 flood recovery projects and 24 chainsaw jobs.
Heavy equipment operators logged 53 hours, food-service crews prepared more than 1,300 meals, and support teams provided access to 270 showers and washed more than 150 loads of laundry. TBM volunteers also distributed 86 Bibles and recorded 43 professions of faith in Christ.
Damaging winds and hail accompanied powerful thunderstorms that rolled through North Texas on Aug. 16. By 7 a.m. the next day, TBM chainsaw crews from Collin County were working in Allen, removing dangerous limbs and clearing fallen trees from homes.
“The reason we are here is not to cut these trees up,” said Dwain Carter, TBM disaster relief director. “The reason we’re here is to share the love of Christ.”
The desire to bring “help, hope and healing” motivates TBM disaster relief volunteers, he added.
“The help is what you see,” Carter continued. “It’s the actual physical work, which gives the homeowner the hope that everything’s going to be OK. And when you have those two combined, then the spiritual aspect comes in. … We share the help. We give a little hope. And God comes in with the healing part of it all.”
While dealing with disasters in Texas, TBM volunteers also were placed on alert for possible deployment to the Midwest after a derecho—a widespread line of intense windstorms that left 200,000 people in Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois, Indiana, Wisconsin and Michigan without electricity.
TBM emergency food-service, chainsaw, shower/laundry, chaplaincy and incident management teams all remained on alert and prepared to respond if mobilized.
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To support TBM disaster relief financially, click on TBMTX.org/donate or mail a check to Texas Baptist Men, 5351 Catron Drive, Dallas, TX 75227.