May 10, 2011
12 days later...
It has been amazing to me to watch our ALCBF community organize after the unimaginable disaster that occurred in our state on April 27th. It is also so very amazing to talk to people all around the country who just want to be of some service to people in need here in Alabama. Here is where we are in a very focused effort to help:
We have identified four sites where we will stay until at least April 27, 2012 - the one year anniversary of the storm...
- McDonald's Chapel is in the Birmingham area. We have been able to rally around community leaders there. We have also begun to form friendships and strategies for adopting families within the community. This is slow and unsure work right now. There is much to be done as folks wait...for FEMA...for insurance...for guidance as to whether to rebuild or to leave the community. We are waiting a bit too, though we have cleared trees, tarped roofs, gathered and delivered supplies, and listened to needs and stories. Contact Terri or myself if you or your group wants to help in McDonald's Chapel but also understand we are in a bit of a waiting game too. Covenant Church in Elba, Crosscreek in Pelham, Shades Crest in Birmingham, Baptist Church of the Covenant in Birmingham, Riverchase in Hoover and Southside in Birmingham have all begun to rally around this community. I am sure there are and will be other folks and churches helping too.
As we mentioned in a previous email, our supplies needs are very narrow at this time. Please follow our Facebook page (www.facebook.com/alabamacbf) or website for the most current list of needs. As of Tuesday morning, McDonald's Chapel needs:
Cereal Canned food Gatorade/Powerade Canned drinks Dishwashing liquid/Laundry detergent Shampoo Conditioner Dog/Cat food Bug spray/Insect repellent
Dishwashing liquid/Laundry detergent
Bug spray/Insect repellent
- Lockhart Community is in Harvest, Al, near Huntsville. We have discovered a poor, devastated community that is also trying to assess and develop a plan for next steps. Locust Grove Baptist Church in New Market has committed to partner with the folks at Lockhart, again for the coming year. They have invited ALCBF to join them and assist them in this relationship. There have already been volunteers in the short term and now plans are being made with community leaders at Lockhart for adopting families to help. If you or your church would like to find out more about helping Lockhart, contact one of us at ALCBF.
We will share supplies needed in Lockhart as soon as we are able. You can follow a website set up about their needs at: www.harvestyouthclub.com.
- Rosedale is a poor community that was demolished in West Tuscaloosa. Calvary Baptist Church has a plan for bringing restoration to the people of that community. Alabama CBF has been invited to partner with them as they plan and dream this plan. This kind of plan, again, is long term, and relationships and strategies are already being formed. There will be opportunities to help in this community that we will be communicating along the way. University Baptist Church in Montevallo and Woodland Forest are also connected with Rosedale.
Woodland Forest is collecting and storing supplies at their church. As of last Friday, they could use:
Adult packaged underwear
Formula (especially the premixed kind)
- Webster's Chapel is the community next to First Baptist Church of Williams, one of our most committed Alabama CBF churches. There is immense devastation and poverty in this community. Williams has modeled a loving and holistic response to their community. They have been joined by Heritage Baptist Church in Heflin, Auburn First Baptist Church, First Baptist of Rome, Georgia, Vestavia Hills Baptist Church in Birmingham, and Mountain Brook Baptist Church in Birmingham, among other churches and folks. There is work on the ground now in this community; contact us if you want to help.
FBC Williams does not need any supplies at this time. They put all updates on their site: http://fbcwilliams.org/.
We are sending supplies to FBC Fort Payne to be distributed in the Northeast part of our state. Supply lists change regularly, so please watch our website for this.
We are also partnering with Volunteers of America and have received help and encouragement from national CBF disaster response leadership.
Please watch our website and read our emails for changing information. We are putting new information on Facebook as well (www.facebook.com/alabamacbf).
Mostly know that we are at work in this tragedy as an ALCBF family, and you can join in. It is slow, changing, and unclear work sometimes. It calls for great flexibility and faith. But it is right and good, and we are finding that God is very much in the midst of it.