On May 24, Jim, Adrienne, Renee, Q and I set out for Moore, Oklahoma, to help feed the victims, first responders and cleanup crews. We were affiliated with Operation BBQ Relief, who were originally going to set us up at 149th and Santa Fe, right in the midst of the destruction. However, we were eventually set up at OBR’s second site, in the parking lot of Westmoore Community Church on Western Ave.
On the night we arrived, we retrieved about 750 pounds of pork from the Seaboard refrigerated trailer that had been delivered to the OBR command center for us, and prepared it for smoking overnight. On the second day, we chopped the meat, and made and distributed 2100 meals. We prepped the rest of the meat for smoking, and OBR had so many volunteer crews like ours, that they could bring us cooked meats, and loan us a grill team. We also got volunteers from WCC, the church where we were stationed.
Because we got such awesome volunteers, we were able to make 1000 meals in one hour on our third day, and ended up delivering a total of 2800 meals. The deliveries were made by a team of 2-4 people in a car, driving around the affected areas, and asking anyone we saw working if they were hungry. We also found large groups of volunteers working at places like the Orr Family Farm, where we were able to drop off quantities of 120 or more at mealtimes. At the end of the day, if we had any food left, we delivered it to a centralized supply location for distribution.
While I was out on deliveries with local volunteers, I was able to take some photos of the damage and cleanup efforts, as well as the two elementary schools that were in the tornado’s path. I also took several photos of stars that need a short explanation. Joplin, Missouri was hit by a tornado two years ago, and they made and painted these stars to give some hope to Moore. They sent them along with a group of volunteers to Moore, and displayed them around the damaged areas.
At the end of our run, we’d provided 8850 meals to people in need. We heard unimaginable stories, met some awesome people, and although I was exhausted, I wish I could have stayed longer.