Update: Bill Black reports that his house (and the SMRM office) was NOT on the list of 37 homes destroyed in his neighborhood. He is hopeful. SMRM already has several volunteers on the ground along with our staff. Over the last 2 days they have been serving in the Evacuee Shelter and local command post. They welcomed evacuees who were tired and afraid to find the needed resources in the shelter. One of the volunteers ministered to children in the shelter over night by simply finding board games and giving them something to do with their hands and minds while everything else had been taken from them.
Wednesday will mark a transition in our ministry. Many outside volunteers from the Red Cross are now serving at the shelter. Our volunteers and staff will be heading into the community to assist individuals, campgrounds and businesses as they assess their property and work to get back on their feet.
At the moment, no outside teams are needed. We will be assessing this need on a daily basis and letting volunteers know when it will be safe to come in and help.
The biggest need at the moment is financial donations. The Red Cross has secured lots of supplies. Please consider a donation to SMRM today to help us as we serve on the ground and respond to needs on a daily basis. You can give at webonmission-com.webonmission.com/giving. We had some trouble yesterday from the Paypal side on our giving page. If you have trouble, please use another web browser or simply send a check to the SMRM post office box (yes, the Post Office in Gatlinburg survived). We could use gift cards – Visa, gas or generic.
Thank you again for your prayers. Today – pray for stamina for our volunteers; comfort for a community in grief; and safety for first responders as they search and serve throughout the community.