By Chris Turner
FRANKLIN — The Tennessee Baptist Mission Board recently received a significant financial grant to support Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief (TBDR) work related to the recent hurricane that primarily blasted North Carolina and parts of South Carolina, causing widespread flooding and decimating communities along the coast.
TBMB was officially notified Oct. 17 of the grant, which amounts to $200,000. It was awarded with the conditions that the donor’s identity remain confidential and that the funds be used “to support disaster relief efforts related to Hurricane Florence.”
“It was an unexpected gift and an extremely welcomed blessing,” said Randy C. Davis, president and executive director of the Tennessee Baptist Mission Board. “We appreciate the confidence the donor has in Tennessee Baptist Disaster Relief’s ability to be good stewards of these resources and to administer them in such a way that people are served. I feel a gift like this is a testimony to the great work our disaster relief volunteers do. These unsung heroes often serve unnoticed, but their great work has been noticed in a most tangible way.”
TBDR volunteers have served nonstop in North Carolina since Hurricane Florence made landfall in North Carolina Sept. 14, dumping as much as 35 inches of rain in some places and becoming the wettest tropical cyclone recorded in the Carolinas, and also the eighth-wettest ever recorded in the contiguous United States. One estimate has North Carolina’s property damage and economic loss at $17 billion, more than Hurricane Matthew and Hurricane Floyd combined.
“Over the past 12 months, hurricanes have wreaked havoc along the Gulf Coast, Eastern Seaboard and in the Caribbean,” said Wes Jones, TBDR director. “Tennessee Baptists have answered the call time and time again. We’ve sent hundreds of volunteers to minister and serve in all these situations. Even now, we are lining up some of our Baptist Collegiate Ministries to serve in North Carolina during their Christmas break.”
Jones said that Tennessee Baptists have been faithful to financially support TBDR through direct donations and through the Golden Offering for Tennessee Missions, but he said receiving the grant is welcomed good news.
“In every one of these disaster situations, the needs are so great,” he said. “We work strategically and try our best to be good stewards of our resources, but we often have to make some tough calls based on available funds. This grant enables us to stretch the generosity extended to us by Tennessee Baptists and Tennessee Baptist churches.”
In 2018 alone, TBDR volunteers have invested thousands of volunteer days to serve in Florida, North Carolina, Georgia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Tennessee, Texas, Puerto Rico and Dominica. If you are interested in financially supporting TBDR, please visit TNDisasterRelief.org/contributions. All donations are tax deductible and 100 percent of receipts are applied directly to disaster relief, none for administrative overhead. B&R