This morning several of our Campus Life staff members gathered at the Hub to distribute Samford volunteer shirts to over 200 volunteers headed out into the communities and to service agencies to respond to the tornado disaster in our surrounding communities. Community Service Council officers will staff the Samford Give Back donation truck tonight at the Avett Brothers concert. To those of you who served, thank you and please let me know via email if you are willing to share your experiences.
Dr. Westmoreland and others have said that this is going to be a marathon, not a sprint. I suspect that after today, those of you who were in these hard hit communities or working in distribution centers can personally attest to just how long the service response will need to be to offer our love and support.
For tomorrow, there are no set specific service sites communicated to me...yet. If service opportunities present themselves, they will be posted on the facebook pages of Christian Service Mission (http://www.facebook.com/#!/ChristianServiceMission) the blog of Mission Birmingham (http://missionbirmingham.jimdo.com/).
Don't question or ask what you will be doing. Simply come with a servant heart, ready to do what needs to be done.
United Way is looking for volunteers to man their 2-1-1 phone line, http://blog.al.com/spotnews/2011/04/united_way_needs_volunteers_fo.html
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.
Hands on Birmingham
Sign up to volunteer through Hands on Birmingham:
Birmingham Bapthis Disaster Relief
Birmingham Baptist Disaster Relief is offering training for disaster relief deployment.
Medical volunteers can sign up at Alabama Department of Public Health
Samford Gives Back truck will be parked in the lower lot by the West Gate on Sunday and will accept donations from 1-4. On Monday morning, the truck will be staffed by 8:00 am for employees and students arriving for the day. It will remain open until the close of the work day or until the truck is full. It will be delivered to Christian Service Mission.
- Diapers of all sizes, adult and infant, and wet wipes
- Bottled and Gallon Drinking Water
- Non-Perishable food
- Personal care products (soap, wipes, deodorant, toothpaste, combs, brushes, etc)
- Feminine care products
- Cleaning supplies
- First-aid items
- Work gloves
- Clothing (t-shirts, pants, socks, undergarments, etc.)
- Other times that can be for immediate need (new towels, baby formula, food, and bottles, linens, laundry detergent
At the Avett Brothers Concert on Saturday night, collection efforts will continue and the Avett Brothers themselves have agreed to donate autographed guitar, banjo, and concert posters, that will be given away in a drawing. Your donation of money or items listed below will provide you with an opportunity to participate in this drawing. All proceeds will be provided to the Christian Service Mission. Donations can be dropped at the Samford Gives Back truck.
Mission Birmingham is also collecting supplies for distribution in disaster areas and is seeking volunteers to come help put together care packages. We understand that they are also putting together service site initiatives and will communicate with Samford as soon as these needs are known so that we may assist.
Dawson Memorial Baptist Church is sponsoring a much needed blood drive on Sunday, May 1st 7:30am – 12:30 pm. Look for signs in front of the church which is located at 1114 Oxmoor Rd in Homewood.
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/
I encourage you to go to the Christian Service Mission facebook 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 as of today, these families are going into the fifth day of utter chaos, many 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 200 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.
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.
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 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.