Missouri Baptist Relief Needs College Student Volunteers

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Responding to natural disasters can be a life changing experience. You can become a trained disaster relief volunteer January 25-26 at Hannibal-LaGrange University.

MBC Disaster Relief Specialist Dwain Carter moves a disaster relief oven to be used by feeding units.

MBC Director Dwain Carter hopes college students will begin filling out some of the ranks for Disaster Relief volunteers.

The first of four opportunities this year to become a trained disaster relief (DR) volunteer is fast approaching. Hannibal-LaGrange University will host the training Jan. 25-26 on campus.

Missouri Baptists have responded to fires in Colorado, New Mexico, Oklahoma and New Jersey, New York, Mississippi and Louisiana for debris removal, feeding and mud-out in the last six months. There are more than 4,000 trained DR volunteers in the state, but when disaster strikes and availability is not always a given, there can never be too many. There are four opportunities to get trained in 2013:

  • Hannibal: Jan. 25-26 at Hannibal-LaGrange University
  • Bolivar: Feb. 22-23 at Southwest Baptist University
  • Independence: April 19-20 at Country Meadows Baptist Church
  • Dexter: Oct. 18-19 at First Baptist Church

Though many volunteers are older or retirees, the Missouri Baptist Convention's (MBC) DR Director Dwain Carter said he hopes college students will begin filling out some of the ranks, hence two training sites on college campuses. Carter added that many employers might give workers time off without using vacation if it was clear the time was for responding to disasters.

Training costs $40 and registration is available online or by calling Debra at 1-800-736-6227.

The training offered at each site will include:

  • Introduction to Disaster Relief
  • Mass care (feeding)
  • Chain saw
  • Child care
  • Shower unit
  • Mud out
  • Communication
  • Blue Hat (by invitation only)
  • Assessment (by invitation only)
  • Chaplain

Volunteers must be 18 years old and a member of a Southern Baptist church to be certified as a Disaster Relief Volunteer. All trainees must have a letter of recommendation signed by your pastor or director of missions and sign a background check authorization.

Non Southern Baptists may receive training at a reduced cost (currently $20) for all areas except Chaplaincy, Assessment, Blue Hat, and Child Care and serve as a “walk on” but not be certified or have the Disaster Relief badge, cap or shirt. Those serving as a “walk on” will need a letter from either the Southern Baptist pastor they are involved in disaster relief with or from their own pastor as well as a signed background check authorization.

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Rob Phillips

Don Hinkle
The Pathway
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