BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Since Friday night’s devastating and deadly tornadoes in Mississippi, many people have been trying to figure out ways they can help in relief and recovery.
Birmingham-based nonprofit Refuel Ministries leaves Tuesday afternoon to “refuel” the community and volunteers in Mississippi.
Refuel Ministries will take a trailer full of food and cooking supplies to Winona, Mississippi for ten days, cooking hot, fresh meals for those impacted and volunteers. The organization says it will be partnering with God’s Pit Crew during the trip.
“When you actually get to that community, you’re always so surprised by how bad it really is,” says Bridgette Jarvis, co-director of the nonprofit.
Since Hurricane Katrina, Darrin and Bridgette Jarvis with Refuel Ministries have traveled to the heart of disaster zones armed with pots big enough to feed hundreds of people at a time, ready to cook hearty meals like jambalaya and “cowboy stew” for people who have lost everything.
“That is our heart, to go out and help them and refuel them by feeding them, feeding the first responders,” says Bridgette.
Refuel Ministries says this will be its first trip feeding a volunteer group three meals a day on top of what they do for those impacted.
“The people that have been devastated by losing a home really are just sometimes walking around and not really knowing what to do or ‘what can I do?’,” says Bridgette. “Then when you hand them a meal and just talk with them and spend time with them and listen to them, that’s really all that they need at that time.”
The American Red Cross has been on the ground helping communities like Amory, Silver City and Rolling Fork since Sunday. The Red Cross says many of the affected areas are impoverished and a lot of the people impacted have gone through similar experiences before.
“The amount of people I’ve talked to that moved here after Hurricane Katrina. So, they’ve seen multiple disasters, have seen devastation more than once,” says Annette Rowland, Red Cross spokeswoman. “There have also been people here who have survived through multiple tornadoes and have lost their homes to multiple tornadoes.”
The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency asks volunteers not to self-deploy and to coordinate with Volunteer Mississippi at the link here.
For more information on how you can support Refuel Ministries, message them on Facebook here.
To make a financial donation to the Red Cross, click on the link here or text TORNADO to 90999 for a $10 donation added to your cell phone bill.