Oklahoma tornado victims appreciate support

July 30, 2013

On behalf of the Coastal Delaware Volunteer Team, I would like to thank our families, friends, business colleagues as well as the wonderful coastal community we call home for supporting our recent mission to offer aid in the aftermath of the May tornado outbreak in Bethel Acres, Okla.

Bethel Acres is a small community located east of Shawnee, which was struck by an EF4 tornado May 19.  Situated in the direct path of the tornado, what was once a beautiful mobile home park with 80 homes, was flattened and reduced to five in the blink of an eye.  After the dust settled a total of 75 homes were completely destroyed and, even more tragically, one man lost his life. Many families have relocated and others are still living in tents around this small town two months after this catastrophic act of nature.

The Coastal Delaware Volunteer Team arrived ready to work hard and provide relief with the equipment we brought to move debris and level properties in preparation for the future reconstruction and building of new homes.

Soon after our arrival in Oklahoma the dots began to connect and we teamed up with John Michael Walls, a young volunteer from Milford. Working together, we set out to clear Lisa Lane so Miss Georgia could drive safely to her home, which is under blue tarp with the back half blown away.  John Michael plans to return with his bulldozer and continue offering his help in the ongoing recovery efforts by working in Oklahoma.

The Coastal Delaware Volunteer Team intends to continue to support to the Emmanuel Baptist Church, which has become the headquarters for both volunteers and victims of the tornado. The members of this small church have been feeding hundreds of folks every day with donations generously provided from around the country. I was blessed to be invited into their kitchen where I proudly represented coastal Delaware and worked with young volunteers from states as far away as Washington and California.

One Sunday afternoon, we delivered more than 300 packages of new underwear and socks to the Shawnee Mission which is located in a beautiful old vo tech school with huge storage capacity. Sarah, Marty and their many volunteers do an amazing job of feeding, clothing and ministering to those in need.  I would like to personally thank my team for taking time away from their loved ones and businesses to make this mission possible:

Denny Quillen and his amazing machine!  Denny Huss, Andy Beuhler, Tony Etze and our adopted member, John Michael Walls.  A special thanks to my Cadbury family for their prayers and encouragement and to Judy Quillen for finding accommodations for us. Bobbi Engel and her father for their love and good advice and Ruth and Ed for a fun fundraiser! The Cape Gazette, WBOC, County Bank, Atlantic Liquors, Just Comfort Shoes, Sussex Tree/STI Landscape and Azura Clothing were all instrumental in collecting donations and getting the word out.

Thanks to all of the compassionate and generous people in our community. The small gifts of many made this mission a success; the team from Delaware will be remembered.

Becky Carney
founder of Coastal Delaware Volunteer Team

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