Alabama non-profit organizations help hurricane survivors in Florida

Published: Oct. 9, 2022 at 12:14 PM CDT
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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Right now, local non-profit organizations are in Florida helping those devastated by Hurricane Ian.

Refuel Ministries and the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions are making sure people are getting the support they need as well as a warm meal.

The leaders at both organizations said this type of work is a labor of love, and they do it because they’ve witnessed devastation firsthand here in Birmingham and want people to know someone cares enough to cook them a hot meal and offer support.

“Being from Alabama, we have a lot of tornadoes and even off the hurricanes we get a lot of winds and you’ve seen it firsthand you want to help other people,” said President of Refuel Ministries, Darrin Jarvis.

Jarvis doesn’t take his job lightly.

From New York, to the Gulf Cost, and now Florida, he and the team at Refuel Ministers are doing their best to offer support to those impacted by Hurricane Ian.

“It’s a relief to them because many of these people have not had a hot meal since the storm came through people give them MREs and different things to get them by for as long as they can but they really want that hot meal and that’s what we provide for them,” Jarvis said.

Refuel Ministries has been in Port Charlotte since Wednesday, and said they’ve served up to 2,000 meals a day since they’ve been there and Jarvis is hoping to reach thousands more.

“With the Internet being so slow here and spotty they’re having trouble getting the word out to the communities that we’re here providing the food within the next couple of days we expect large crowds to come through,” Jarvis explained.

The Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions is also in Florida and Mark Wakefield said his team has already received 600 job requests.

“I get to see homeowners who often have no hope because they feel abandoned, they feel absolutely overwhelmed and somebody comes along and says hey we’re going to help you we’re going to do it for free and we’re going to be with you while we help you,” Wakefield said.

Wakefield anticipates his team will be in Florida for at least the next couple of months.

If you’d like to make a monetary donation, visit the Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief website.

If you’re interested in helping Refuel Ministries, you can mail a check to 78 Lake Kathryn Drive Sterrett, AL 35147 or Venmo @darrinjarvis-refuelministries.

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