Thank you for your prayers, donations, prayers and encouragement over the last 10 days. SMRM has actively been working with and ministering to workers, employers, community leaders, guests, residents of Gatlinburg and national disaster relief agencies over these days.
We are now positioned to start planning our ministries for the next phases of help and recovery for our beautiful community. SMRM is a small, flexible and nimble ministry whose purpose is to reveal the presence of God in the smoke. There are many organizations working to help rebuild our community at the moment. Each one has a specific purpose. SMRM cannot do everything – so we have decided to maximize our strengths to the glory of God and live into our vision. Below are some specific ways you can assist us as we serve our #MountainTough Community.
1. FINANCIAL DONATIONS: This continues to be the easiest and most effective way to directly impact families who have lost everything in the fire. Thanks to Southern Bank and Trust in Clarkesville, GA we are able to purchase Visa gifts cards with your donations without at costs! Last night Bill spoke to worker at the hotel he is staying in while his house gets cleaned. The man had friends who had lost everything in the fire, but had no connection to resources for help. We were able to give him cards to assist his friends and their families in rebuilding the basics of their lives. Thank you.
2. NON-MONETARY DONATIONS: SMRM will receive the following NEW items:
SMALL APPLIANCES: coffee makers, toasters, toaster ovens, etc.
KITCHENWARE: silverware, plates, glasses, pots, pans, etc.
HOUSEWARE: sheets, pillows, towels, bath clothes, blankets.
HOUSE SUPPLIES: vacuum cleaners, mops, brooms, etc.
Disclaimer: Sevier County is NO longer allowing ANY clothes to be donated in the community. There are literally warehouses full of used clothing. SMRM will NOT receive any clothes. If anyone wants to donate use clothing – ask them to donate to their nearest thrift store. C
**SMRM will NOT receive any USED items. The people here are getting their lives back together – we want to honor that with our best gifts.
SMRM is working to find a church in Knoxville who can store these donated goods. We will then use our SMRM dorm at Camp Smoky as a distribution point.
3. VOLUNTEERS: At the moment, SMRM is NOT receiving mission or work teams. There are other disaster relief agencies in the area who will be facilitating groups more quickly. We will examine ways mission teams can come along and help us after the first of the year. Please be on the lookout in January for ways your church or mission group can come serve in 2017! We look forward to wonderful mission moments together.
4. CHRISTMAS DAY EMPLOYEE MINISTRY: Every Christmas, SMRM provides 100 goodie bags to the employees at Ober Gatlinburg who work. We need one church to take on this ministry this year. Here’s what we need: 100 gift bags. Inside needs to be: Winter hat OR glove OR Scarfs, Chap Stick, hand santizer, and other winter goodies. If your church would like to take on this challenge – or at least part of it – please contact Jessie Perry at firstname.lastname@example.org.
5. PRAYER: Prayers for friends who lost everything and are not living scattered lives. Prayers for workers and international students who are living without any income. Prayers for community leaders who are working around the clock to get Gatlinburg back open. Prayers for Bill Black as he continues to lead from his own scattered life – while his home was spared, there is smoke damage and Bill is living out of hotel for a couple of weeks.