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Operation BBQ Relief (OBR) - Deploying to Louisiana from Hurricane Laura - August 28, 2020

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    Operation BBQ Relief (OBR) - Deploying to Louisiana from Hurricane Laura - August 28, 2020

    From OBR today:

    Dear Sponsors, Partners, and Supporters,
    (You are receiving as a BCC but intended for you)

    Operation BBQ Relief has deployed to Lake Charles, LA to provide the healing power of BBQ to communities affected by Hurricane Laura. The Category 4 hurricane made landfall early Thursday morning with sustained winds of 150 mph. Our OBR team has been monitoring this storm and had our Command Center packed up and was staged about 4 hours from Lake Charles. I left Kansas City yesterday morning to begin the drive to Lake Charles to join our team in providing the one hot meal that matters.
    Over 380,000 individuals are without power as the death toll continues to increase. Families are homeless and in need of meals as the recovery efforts continue. We anticipate that we will provide upwards of 30,000 meals per day as so many communities are impacted by Hurricane Laura. Operation BBQ Relief is providing compassion, hope, and friendship to impacted individuals and organizations

    Please reach out to me if you have any contacts in Louisiana and Texas that may be interested in joining our efforts.
    We are grateful for your support as we share the healing power of BBQ. I encourage you to take a few minutes to read a story about the impact of Operation BBQ Relief.

    Much Respect,

    Stan Hays
    CEO - Operation BBQ Relief
    __________________________________________________ _

    Powerful Story on the Healing Power of BBQ
    My name is John. I live in Iowa City, IA, about 15 miles south of Cedar Rapids. As you of course know, Operation BBQ Relief has been operating in Cedar Rapids. Cedar Rapids has been decimated.

    I decided to write to you because I had such a meaningful experience with your organization earlier this week, and I wanted to share my story with someone at the organization.

    We saw an announcement somewhere--I think Facebook—that indicated people were needed to deliver food from a staging area to food distribution points, so my wife Deb and I signed up to take a shift.

    We left for our shift about 2:30 that afternoon. We arrived at and were directed to a large roped -off area in the parking lot. I remember thinking normally this area would be packed with cars—but due to the pandemic there was a lot of open space. When we entered the area we got into a line with about 10 other cars. When we drove in I noticed your large tractor trailer, several tents, about 15-20 people working on various tasks. The people working were wonderful. There was a crew who were loading cars. Once everything was ready we pulled up and they loaded our car with barbecue, beans, plastic cutlery, individual serving containers, etc and told us where to deliver it. The car was packed. We had a lot of food. Prior to driving into that parking lot I had never heard of your organization.

    It was about a 30 minute drive to our drop -off point—a community center in a residential neighborhood. As we made that drive through the neighborhoods the true extent of the destruction became apparent. As I am sure you know it was incredible. We rounded the corner in a residential neighborhood, and I saw probably 75 people in line at a small building. All kinds of people….young (including toddlers and babies in strollers) old, (some with walkers), multiracial—just a very diverse group by many criteria. They were, as I said in a line leading to a tent and some tables, staffed by about 10 volunteers. I will never ever forget the feeling I had when I turned the corner and saw those people waiting for us. The thought I had was this: “When there are hungry people who have been waiting in line after a devastating event, and you are arriving, and you have food for them…that is a very powerful experience.” I also remember thinking this is one of the most important things I have done.

    We pulled up and the volunteers helped us unload the food. Again, I will never forget the expressions of appreciation on peoples’ faces, and the verbal thanks people sent our way.

    It was just an incredible feeling.

    I am 70 years old and have had a lot of experiences. But I have never been the one delivering food to 100 people waiting in line—I have never been the one bringing the food. I shed a few tears as we drove home.

    I know this is just one story among many, many stories, and of course you all have this experience all the time. But I had never had it. And I decided I wanted to take the time to tell it to someone at the organization, just to reinforce in a personal way the difference you are making.

    Please pass my sincere thanks on to your people.

    Take care, and thank you for making a difference.

    All my best--


    __________________________________________________ ______________________

    Stan Hays

    CEO and Co-Founder

    OBR is my Amazon Smile charity.


    • zero_credit
      zero_credit commented
      Editing a comment
      What a great idea. I just did this too.

    Folks - if you can help in any way it's a great thing to do and very rewarding. Jim White can back me up on this.


    • Jim White
      Jim White commented
      Editing a comment
      Absolutely. I'd go this time, but I'm still trying to avoid the virus, even though I'm betting OBR has optimized things to reduce exposure for volunteers. Next year I definitely plan to be available again.


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