Illinois Baptist Disaster Relief volunteers mobilized in the Metro East region after mid-August rain overwhelmed drainage systems and damaged many homes.
“The people are desperate for our help,” said Sharon Carty, a Disaster Relief volunteer from Emmanuel Baptist Church in Carlinville. Carty was one of the volunteers at a Multi-Agency Response Center (MARC) at Granite City High School. The MARC is designed to allow homeowners to meet with a variety of agencies offering to help.
The ongoing response in Granite City includes flood recovery, feeding, and shower/laundry facilities. Disaster Relief received more than 400 job requests; so far, 13 people have accepted Christ through the ministry.
Illinois Disaster Relief teams also responded in Alexander County and in Grayville, Ill., where an afternoon storm Aug. 18 felled more than 100 large trees. David Smith, pastor of First Baptist Grayville, said the church building didn’t sustain damage, but several church members needed help at their homes. Smith and a small group of volunteers spent Monday assessing the damage and helping homeowners.
“By mid-morning Tuesday, we had completed five homes, but that was just a scratch on the surface of the damage,” Smith said. The pastor eventually connected with Butch Porter, IBSA’s state director of Disaster Relief. Within minutes, Smith said, more help was on the way. Volunteers arrived from FBC Galatia, FBC Harrisburg, and Salem South Baptist Association.
“With the help of over 60 volunteers from Disaster Relief and members and friends of Grayville FBC, we finished over 60 homes,” Smith said.
For more information about opportunities to serve and upcoming training sessions, go to IBSA.org/DR.