Give. Serve. Pray. News

An important update from Renie Moss, assistant dean for campus life, about service opportunities on Saturday, April 30 (4/29/11, 3:40 p.m.)

Posted on 2011-04-29 by Renie Moss 205-726-2116

Samford Community,

So many of us are hearing of needs and the natural initial reaction is to simply act before considering how the act in the most helpful way.  The disaster and service experts are telling us to volunteer through organized agencies and not to go out on our own.  You will be turned away if you do act on your own.  Although your intentions are good, understand that these disaster areas must be controlled for protection and out of respect for the affected citizens, what property they may have left, and to provide organization to the service initiatives now underway.  There are opportunities to serve and here are ways encourage the Samford community to go forth and serve.    Form a group of student organization members, gather your faculty or staff department, or gather age appropriate members of your family together and simply show up at one of the designated places listed below, ready to serve. The most recent need posted is medical volunteers so please note the link below if you have a medical expertise area that can be of service.   

Don't question or ask what you will be doing.  Simply come with a servant heart, ready to do what needs to be done. 

SERVE:  

There is a need for help in the Disaster area to clean and set up the command center in Pratt City on Saturday. If you would like to participate, you need to come to the HUB in the University Center at 7:00 am Saturday morning to receive a Samford service t-shirt that will identify you as a legitimate volunteer in the Disaster area.   T-shirts are on a rush to be printed and will be delivered late tonight to make our 7:00 am deadline.    Community officials communicated that volunteers need to have some kind of "uniform" to identify them as legitimate volunteers in these hard hit areas.  Meet at the listed address to be involved with these cleanup efforts.  If you are not able to come to the HUB tomorrow morning, be sure to wear a Samford t-shirt of some kind so that you can be identified as a designated volunteer.  We will have cleaning supplies to take to this command center as well and will give them to the volunteers that will be headed that way.  Please carpool to the site as parking is likely to be limited. 

After obtaining your t-shirt at the HUB, go directly to

Holy Trinity World Outreach  (take 20/59 toward Tuscaloosa, take US 78/Arkadelphia Rd exit off of 20/59, turn left on to US 78,  turn left onto 16th Avenue West  ) 1010 16th Ave West  Birmingham, AL 35204

In case you have trouble finding the church - Phone number of Pastor Eric Harris (205)  515-6781  

Volunteers arriving at that site will be sorted and divided into work groups to assist with disaster relief.  Come dressed ready to work and willing to do whatever you are directed to do.

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Christian Service Mission (3600 3rd Ave. S.) has asked for volunteers to come at 10:00 AM on Saturday morning to help receive donations and help sort and organize donations so that they can be quickly sent out for distribution.   It is likely that volunteers may be directed to service sites as well to prepare and deliver meals to the hard hit communities.  No matter the number that shows up Saturday morning, there will be work to do and volunteers will be vital to the operation.  By tomorrow morning they anticipate designated work sites in disaster areas as well so volunteers that come at 10:00 am may be diverted to work the disaster areas.  You also need to come to the HUB in the University Center between 8:00 – 9:00 am to receive a Samford service t-shirt that will identify you as a legitimate volunteer in the Disaster area should you be sent into the community.  Community officials communicated that volunteers need to have some kind of "uniform" to identify them as legitimate volunteers in these hard hit areas. 

In just the last 24 hours the Christian Service mission served an estimated 2000 meals.  Efforts are increasing so they need volunteers to help ramp up efforts to expand on Saturday.

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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.

Timely updates on additional service and resource needs are being posted on the Christian Service Mission facebook site. 

Sign up to volunteer through Hands on Birmingham

Birmingham Baptist Disaster Relief is offering training for disaster relief deployment.

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Medical volunteers can sign up at Alabama Department of Public Health 

GIVE:  

Beginning at 5:00 pm, Saturday morning a 24 foot truck will be parked in the Wright Center parking lot with a banner designated it as a site for donations of the following items: 

·         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,

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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.

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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.

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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. 

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The Samford Gives Back donation truck will remain the lower stadium parking lot by the west gate until Tuesday morning to continue to collect donations so employees as you go home for the weekend, consider returning on Monday with donations you and your family have gathered.  I know for my young children, this is a learning opportunity to teach them in a simple way, what hearts and hands of Christian love and service can look like, even at the age of 3 and 5. 

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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/ 

PRAY:  

In speaking to one fellow employee who was walking across campus today, he introduced me to his son, who is a student at the University of Alabama.  The student shared with me his story of being in his basement as his college house in Tuscaloosa was blown away above him.  There are no words that could accurately describe his experience and the experience of so many others in our communities.  In the midst of so much tragedy, it is important to remember to thank God for his mercy and grace in during this difficult time.  Please continue to pray for the victims but also pray for our community that we may show the love of Christ in our efforts to serve others.

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.

Resources

The following websites are for state or local organizations that may be coordinating disaster response efforts:

Contact

Philip Poole
Executive Director of Marketing and Communication
205-726-2828
ppoole@samford.edu