The Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma has sent teams of disaster relief workers to aid in the Colorado fire cleanup effort
OKLAHOMA CITY – In the time since the devastating May tornadoes, Oklahomans have proven themselves on a national scale as being an expressly generous, giving group of people. This reputation is once again being proven in the Black Forest area of Colorado, where teams of disaster relief volunteers from the Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma (BGCO) have been helping with fire cleanup efforts, despite the recent disasters facing their home state.
For over a month, BGCO Disaster Relief teams have been working in the area northeast of Colorado Springs, helping clear 55 square miles of completely devastated forest. In addition to clearing 80-foot tall trees in the forest areas, BGCO workers are also aiding the cleanup of more than 500 residences that were destroyed.
“We have a formal partnership between the Colorado and Oklahoma Baptist conventions,” said BGCO Disaster Relief Director Sam Porter. “Through this partnership, the BGCO has been able to send two 10-person disaster relief teams every week since the beginning of our involvement, in addition to a seven-man administration team to oversee the effort.
“Oklahoma churches and volunteers are worn out,” Porter said. “But when there is a statewide trained organization such as the BGCO, we are able to help these people reload and allow their services to reach beyond Oklahoma. We have an abundance of volunteers that feel called to do this. These people have valuable skills and are able to make a significant difference in someone else’s life.”
The BGCO aid has dramatically helped the Colorado relief effort, as their Baptist disaster relief team only recently reached 200 members. Since the cleanup started, there have been between four and 10 Southern Baptist teams on the recovery site from across the country. Oklahoma disaster relief teams will remain in Colorado for two to three more weeks, depending on the severity of the need.
For updates on Oklahoma Baptist volunteers, or to make a tax-deductible donation to the Baptists’ disaster relief operation, visit www.okdisasterhelp.com.