It is not about the experience we gain from performing service but the service and love we provide to others in the process. It has been inspiring to me to hear the stories of what volunteers have been doing in the last few days. While it is inspiring to see the outpouring of love and service to the communities in need, it is most inspiring to me to hear from volunteers how their own perspective is forever changed by their experience. My prayer is that we will all feel a calling to reflect on our role in this world and how we might be willing to change our daily roles to be more Christ-like. At tomorrow's worship service (read below), you will be able to see pictures and hear the stories of how we are changing lives in our service to the community right now.
Samford Gives Back volunteer shirts remain available to you at the Hub in the University Center from 8:00 am - 8:00 pm 7 days a week. We have ordered more shirts so there should be no shortage. Please do pick up a shirt if you've not already done so. These shirts clearly identify you as a legitimate volunteer compared to unwelcomed sightseers or worse, looters. Make sure your shirt shows that you are there to do good work.
Please also remember to wear closed toed shoes if you are going into the community for volunteer work.
Don't question or ask what you will be doing. Simply come with a servant heart, ready to do what needs to be done.
Samford Gives Back truck will be parked in the lower lot from 8-9 am on Tuesday morning but after that it will be driven to Mission Birmingham to drop off donations. We will not man a donation truck after tomorrow morning. Instead we will direct your donations to area churches and business that will maintain donation sites on a regular basis in the coming weeks. Donations that are DESPERATELY needed as of 5/2/11 are as follows. We are no longer accepting clothing as the service agencies have indicated that is not a primary need right now:
- Diapers of all sizes, adult and infant, and wet wipes
- Bottled and Gallon Drinking Water
- Tarps of all sizes
- Rubbermaid containers of all sizes
- Personal care products (soap, wipes, deodorant, toothpaste, combs, brushes, etc)
- Feminine care products
- Cleaning supplies
- First-aid items
- Bug spray
- Trash bags and ziploc storage bags of all sizes
- New towels, baby formula, food, and bottles, linens, laundry detergent
Mission Birmingham<http://missionbirmingham.jimdo.com/> is also collecting supplies for distribution in disaster areas and is seeking volunteers to come help put together care packages.
Family Voices of Alabama has set up a special donation and assistance page to assist families with special health care needs children that may have been affected by the tornadoes. You can learn more at http://www.familyvoicesal.org/
Ashley Gassner in Brooks 122 and Abi Williams in Brooks Hall 107 are collecting infant and child items for birminghammommy.com's relief efforts. You can learn more at http://magiccitymom.com/2011/05/moms-for-children-helping-the-children-affected-by-the-alabama-tornados/
VOLUNTEERS NEEDED AT The Foundry: Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday we will be sorting/sizing clothing donations at Bessemer City Hall Auditorium located on the corner of 18th Street North and 3rd Avenue. We need volunteers to help sort and size from 8:30 AM until 8:30 PM. All you need to do is show up. Email firstname.lastname@example.org if you can help
BB&T Bank Blood Drive
BB&T bank will sponsor a blood drive with the American Red Cross on Tuesday, May 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at the Shades Valley Branch, 2501 20th Place South, Birmingham, Ala., 35223
The Birmingham Baptist Association and Baptist Health System Medical Unit
The Birmingham Baptist Assoc and Baptist Health System have set up a medical unit, feeding stations and supply distribution center at Scott Elementary School in Pratt City--Hwy 78 and Hibernan Street. If you can assist as medical professional, checking in patients, distributing food and supplies please come tomorrow beginning at 6:30 AM.
Critical need for psychiatrist and TRAINED shock, grief and depression counselors in Pratt City. Please call Anne Lucas at 205-746-6850 if you are qualified and can help.
Birmingham Baptist Association Feeding Unit
Also there is a big need for people to man the Birmingham Baptist Association feeding unit 3825 Ave W in West End behind the fire station---other volunteer needs exist also.
United Way is looking for volunteers to man their 2-1-1 phone line, Students can email their availability to email@example.com to sign up for a 4 hr shift (any times are appreciated). Students will be trained to answer phones at the emergency hotline to direct calls as necessary
Hands On Birmingham
Hands On Birmingham has specific site needs available for volunteers. If you've not already formed a volunteer team or signed up as an individual you can do so here: http://www.handsonbirmingham.org/specialevents/viewSpecialEvent.php?_mode=eventDetail&_action=eventDetail&ixSpecialEvent=423
From Alabama Possible you can review numerous links to community agencies and register online for volunteer opportunities that will communicated to you as soon as they are able to create opportunities for registered individuals and groups.
Christian Service Mission
Timely updates on additional service and resource needs are being posted on the Christian Service Mission facebook site. Addresses where you can drive to and go into the community from a set location are also listed. http://www.facebook.com/ChristianServiceMission
Birmingham Baptist Disaster Relief
Birmingham Baptist Disaster Relief is offering training for disaster relief deployment.
Christian Service Mission
Come to Christian Service Mission headquarters at 3600 3rd Avenue South, Birmingham 35222. From there they will direct you to where you can go for cleanup efforts, serve hot meals, etc. Relief efforts are daily from 7:00 am - 8:00 pm each weekday. We will be serving in the following communities with additional communities that may be added based on communicated needs each day:
- Pleasant Grove
- Pratt City
Samaritan's Purse/Mission Birmingham
Samaritan's Purse/Mission Birmingham will continue to send daily teams every weekday from 7 am and 1 pm. (This is the group that meets at Garywood Assembly of God at 2730 Allison-Bonnet Memorial Drive, Hueytown, 35023)
Medical volunteers can sign up at Alabama Department of Public Health<http://www.adph.org/volunteer/Default.asp?id=2760>
Tuscaloosa Area Volunteers
For those of you who have been interested in helping out the Tuscaloosa area. The main Tuscaloosa area seems to be pretty covered by volunteers. We know that the smaller surrounding communities are in need. The best way to find out about needs in the Tuscaloosa area is by twitter at one or more of the following accounts:
Tuesday May 3rd at 10:00am in Reid Chapel there will be a prayer service for those affected by recent storms. This is not a Convocation event, but simply a service for faculty, staff and students to join together to pray for those in our community who are suffering and in need.
I encourage you to go to the Christian Service Mission facebook page and Mission Birmingham's page and view some of the pictures of the relief efforts. There are also pictures of homes and families affected. When you do, remember that these people are experiencing grief, anxiety of missing loved ones, or lack of resources for the foreseeable future. Pray for them that their hearts would be comforted by the love of Christ and through the love and support offered to them by all of us in their time of need.
Reports from Tuscaloosa say that there are still 75 Bama Dining employees that they have not been able to reach and there are fears of additional fatalities among their dining staff. Pray specifically for the University of Alabama family.
Please remember that counseling is available should you need to talk to someone during this time. Please call Counseling at x2065, located in temporary offices on the 3rd floor of the University Center, in the Career Development Center conference room area.
Continue to check www.samford.edu<http://www.samford.edu> for information about how you can donate and serve through a variety of local agencies as well as assist students, faculty, and staff at Samford through donating to the emergency assistance fund. I will continue to update you daily on additional ways you can give, serve, and pray as we join hearts and hands in support of the greater community around us.