As you may have heard in the news, the Midwest got rocked with some major storms. One of the hardest hit areas was Harrisburg, IL., where an EF4 tornado ripped through the town. Between 250-300 homes were destroyed in the small town of 9,100. One of the crews going out to assist in the aftermath is Operation BBQ Relief.
(Logo borrowed from Operation BBQ Relief website)
Operation BBQ Relief is the perfect embodiment of what BBQ people are all about. It was born in May 2011 out of the response of competition BBQ teams from eight states answering the need to help feed displaced families and emergency personnel in the wake of the Joplin, MO disaster. Operation BBQ Relief is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit organization whose mission is to provide hope and compassion to those affected by natural disasters through cooking and catering of BBQ meals. The group prides itself on rapid mobilization of teams into any areas where natural disasters strike.
These guys need your help in the wake of the disaster in not only Harrisburg, IL, but also in Harveyville, KS. Below are several ways you can help:
- Financial Aid – monetary assistance is crucial in an effort like this. Businesses will donate goods to assist, but there are always other expenses. You can make a donation to Operation BBQ Relief by clicking on the Donate button at the top of their web page: http://www.operationbbqrelief.org.
- Volunteer – it takes a lot of hands to prepare the food to feed the large number of people that they will be feeding. In Harrisburg, they will be setting up at the Methodist Church at 122 West Poplar, Harrisburg, IL. In Harveyville, KS, they will be setting up at the Fire House at 270 Main St., Harveyville, KS. Wherever you choose to go, look for the smokers.
- Donate Goods – not only does it take a lot of manpower to do this, but it takes a lot of other goods. I asked Stan Hays (one of the head members of Operation BBQ Relief) what items they most need, and he provided the following list. Most of these items can be found at stores like Sam’s, Costco, or Restaurant Depot.
- Aluminum Pans, both full and half-pan size
- Disposable gloves (sizes L and XL)
- Clam shells (styrofoam containers)
- Paper plates
- Aluminum foil (large rolls)
- Napkins/Paper towels
- Wood chunks for the BBQ smokers
- #10 cans of corn & beans (the large cans found at Sam’s/Costco)
- Fresh fruit
- Individual packs of potato chips
- Silverware packs
If you need more information or want to help, please contact Stan Hays at [email protected]. You can also keep up with the latest news on Operation BBQ Relief efforts on their Facebook page. I highly encourage you to help however you can. Every little bit makes a difference. Thank you.