Birmingham-based nonprofit prepares to ‘refuel’ Mississippi tornado victims

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) – Since Friday night’s devastating and deadly tornadoes in Mississippi, many people have been trying to find ways to help with relief and recovery.

Refuel Ministries, a Birmingham-based nonprofit organization, leaves Tuesday afternoon to “refuel” the community and volunteers in Mississippi.

Refuel Ministries will bring a trailer full of food and kitchen supplies to Winona, Mississippi for ten days, cooking hot, fresh meals for those affected and volunteers. The organization says it will partner with God’s Pit Crew during the trip.

“When you really get to that community, you’re always shocked at how bad it really is,” says Bridgette Jarvis, co-director of the nonprofit.

Since Hurricane Katrina, Darrin and Bridgette Jarvis with Refuel Ministries have traveled to the heart of disaster zones armed with pots big enough to feed hundreds of people at a time, ready to cook hearty meals like jambalaya and “cowboy stew.” ” for people who have lost everything.

“That’s our heart, going out and helping them and recharging them by feeding them, feeding the first responders,” Bridgette says.

Refuel Ministries says this will be their first trip feeding a group of volunteers three meals a day in addition to what they do for those affected.

“People who have been devastated by the loss of a home really sometimes just walk around and don’t really know what to do or ‘what can I do?’” says Bridgette. “Then when you give them a meal and just talk to them, spend time with them and listen to them, that’s really all they need at that point.”

The American Red Cross has been helping communities like Amory, Silver City and Rolling Fork since Sunday. The Red Cross says many of the affected areas are impoverished and many of the people affected have been through similar experiences before.

“The number of people I’ve talked to moved here after Hurricane Katrina. So, they’ve seen multiple disasters, they’ve seen devastation more than once,” says Annette Rowland, a spokeswoman for the Red Cross. “There have also been people here who have survived multiple tornadoes and have lost their homes to multiple tornadoes.”

The Mississippi Emergency Management Agency asks volunteers not to self-deploy and to coordinate with Volunteer Mississippi at the link here.

To learn more about how you can support Refuel Ministries, message them on Facebook here.

To make a financial donation to the Red Cross, click the link here or text TORNADO to 90999 for a $10 donation added to your cell phone bill.


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