Teams have helped Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Isaac and wildfire victims nationwide
OKLAHOMA – When others may have forgotten the people affected by recent natural disasters, Oklahomans have been quietly assisting the needy through the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma’s (BGCO) disaster relief efforts. This week concludes the longest continuous deployment of the group’s disaster relief volunteer efforts in its 40 year history.
The organization has had teams actively deployed on disaster response since June 2012.
“Someone from Oklahoma Baptist disaster relief has been working continuously for the past nine months,” said Sam Porter, BGCO disaster relief state director. “We’ve been helping others with the wildfires in New Mexico and Colorado, back to Oklahoma in our wildfire efforts, with Hurricane Isaac assistance and, finally, in New Jersey, Staten Island, Long Island and Brooklyn with Hurricane Sandy relief.”
The organization has had a maximum number of volunteers serving out of state, with 105 Oklahomans volunteering for two weeks in New Jersey to a low of 20 volunteers in New York, New Orleans, Colorado or New Mexico. During the Oklahoma fire response in August 2012, Oklahoma Baptists had about 250 volunteers on the ground every day for 21 days to clean up 305 of the 602 Oklahoma homes affected.
Team members still in Brooklyn who have been helping Hurricane Sandy victims are wrapping up this week, helping repair the church they’ve been staying in while there.
“Our teams want to leave the place better then when they found it,” Porter said. “But, the need never ends. I’m going to Haiti next week to follow up on some of our efforts from the earthquake in 2010. Since then, we’ve installed 120 water wells, built 66 family homes, rebuilt three churches in Port-au-Prince and held three separate week-long medical clinics for survivors shortly after the 7.1 magnitude earthquake.”
For updates on Oklahoma Baptist volunteers, or to make a tax-deductible donation to the Baptists’ disaster relief operation, visit www.okdisasterhelp.com.
About the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma
The Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) consists of 1,800-plus Southern Baptist churches throughout the state. The mission of the BGCO is to assist the local church to fulfill its Biblical mission and be a channel for cooperative ministry in Oklahoma, the nation and the world.