The sounds of hammers on nails and saws slicing through wood will echo from the parking lot at Bridges Christian Church in Russell as church members work to construct storage sheds for people in Oklahoma who are still recovering from the devastation of a tornado which struck the outskirts of Oklahoma City.
“This Saturday, we will have over 100 volunteers in our parking lot building sheds for Oklahoma. What the disaster relief groups have found is after a tornado, the people need sheds to keep their belongings in while they work with insurance and others to get back in a home. We will be building 21 sheds,” said church member Cheryl Deborde. “We were hoping to get more people in the community involved. Our mission group had talked about sending a group to Okla., but felt this would be the best way to use our funds to help others.”
Associate Minister Mark McKinney said the work will be done in two phases, starting with a “pre-cut” which begins at 5 p.m. today and continues at 8 a.m. Saturday. McKinney explained the pre-cut will take care of all sawing duties, allowing volunteers to make stacks of lumber to be used by assembly crews the next morning.
Building Hope For Oklahoma, a mission group based at Crossroads Christian Church in Evansville, Ind., provides all saws, hammers and other tools required for the job, he said.
Approximately 100 volunteers will meet at the church parking lot, following a leader’s instructions to retrieve the pre-cut parts and assemble them into components such as walls, which can be stacked aboard a large truck and shipped to Oklahoma, where final assembly will take place.
“All they do Saturday is hammer and nail, there’s no cutting,” McKinney explained, later adding they have enough volunteers to get the job done. Those who want to support the effort are encouraged to visit the work area Saturday and ask for a staff person who can accept financial contributions, he said.
The 2013 Moore tornado was rated as an EF5 storm that struck Moore, Okla., and adjacent areas on the afternoon of May 20, with peak winds estimated at 210 miles per hour, killing 23, plus another through indirect causes, and injuring 377.
TIM PRESTON can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org or (606) 326-2651.