Summer Disaster Recovery trips need volunteers

DALLAS - Texas Baptist Disaster Recovery is looking for volunteers to assist with summer trips responding to areas devastated by floods, wildfires and tornadoes. Recovery efforts will take place in Estes Park, Colorado; Mayflower, Arkansas; Eagle Pass, Texas; and Fritch, Texas.

"Every year, thousands of homes are destroyed and lives are lost by disasters. Recovery from these disasters is long, hard and costly," said Marla Bearden, disaster recovery specialist. "The goal of recovery is to bring a community back to a new normal after a disaster, restoring both physical structures and the holistic well-being of survivors."

Residents in Estes Park, Colorado, experienced extreme flooding in September 2013. TBDR has three trips planned to help those in the rebuilding phase on June 22-27, July 9-12 and Aug. 3-9.

TBDR has partnered with the Cooperative Baptist Fellowship of Arkansas to respond to damage caused by tornadoes in April. A week-long trip is being planned for July to Mayflower, Arkansas, where volunteers will help area residents rebuild homes.

Eagle Pass, Texas, was affected by extreme flooding in June 2013. TBDR has partnered with Texas Baptist River Ministry for a trip from June 22-28. Construction projects will be in progress on both sides of the border -- in Eagle Pass, as well as in Piedras Negras, Mexico. This marks the first work for Disaster Recovery in Mexico.

Arkansas DR Post

"The need here is great," said Bearden. "There is money to buy materials, but volunteers are desperately needed."

Most recently, in the month of May, wildfires destroyed more than 100 homes in the Texas Panhandle near Fritch. A Disaster Recovery trip is being planned for July, in partnership with a local Baptist Church in Fritch, to provide help in clearing land and removing debris left from destroyed mobile homes.

Long-term recovery begins several weeks after a disaster and the long trek back usually continues for months, even years. Texas Baptists Disaster Recovery assists communities throughout the process of long-term recovery.

"We rebuild communities, reconnect people with local churches and restore hope," Bearden said. "The goal is to involve our Texas Baptist Churches in disaster recovery mission trips. We invite you to be a part.

This work operates on volunteer efforts and on special gifts from Texas Baptists like you."

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