TYLER, Texas (KETK) – Texas Baptist Men (TBM) is traveling to Mayfield, Kentucky, and other affected areas to provide assistance to the communities that were hit by the tornadoes.
TBM has been in service for more than 50 years, starting with providing food in collaboration with the Red Cross behind the scenes and starting to plan recovery efforts.
David Wells, Director of Disaster Relief for Texas Baptist Men, said that they will go to Mayfield, Kentucky, and other areas that need their assistance.
Wells said that TBM has chainsaw teams with trailers with chainsaws that will go to areas of destruction and can take care of trees that have fallen on houses and trees in the yard. These teams also have man lifts and skid steers.
The efforts are volunteer based and TBM provides food and shower units for the volunteers, food for some of the sites and a refrigeration trailer. Volunteers will be on the road Tuesday at the earliest.
The volunteers usually work for seven to 10 days, including their travel days. When one crew’s time is up, another team goes to work after them.
“They’re volunteers, we have about 5,000 volunteers. We have churches and associations that would own their own equipment. We train them, we guide them and give them places to go and work,” said Wells.
The teams on average will consist of 12-18 members.
When the volunteers are on assignment, they stay in the churches, TBM provides food work for them from there they do.
The chainsaw teams will not cut unless they have proper protection, and Wells says that safety is a priority for TBM.
“Our motto is bringing help, hope and healing to a hurting world, and we do whatever we can to do that. We bring chaplains along with each one of our teams so we can minister to people,” said Wells.
Throughout the time of the assignments, TBM keeps volunteers working to constantly provide help.
“We just praise the Lord for that opportunity to serve and we are trying to bring help there to those areas,” Wells said.