Tornado relief work trip to Apison TN

Dear friends,

I will be traveling to Apison, TN (near Chattanooga) later this month with a group of about 30 people from Concord United Methodist Church (Beaver Falls, PA). We will be working with Open House Volunteers to help the Apison community recover and rebuild after April’s devastating tornadoes, which killed 8 people there and left many more homeless. See this CNN link for some aerial photos.

Many of the folks in our group were moved to help by the fact that they have been through this themselves; though our local tornado occurred over 20 years ago, the memory of the devastation to lives and property remains fresh in people’s minds. They know that recovery time is measured in years, not weeks.

For my part, I’ve participated in two work trips to post-Katrina Mississippi, so I know how necessary and rewarding this type of volunteer effort is. I feel very strongly that we who have so much are called upon to help our fellow humans to the best of our abilities. In my current situation (having recently lost my business), I have more time than money, so I’m glad to be able to donate work.

Assuming I’ll be able to find access to the internet somewhere down there (hopefully at the church where we’re staying), I plan to blog during the week-long trip, to keep folks up to date on how the work is progressing.

If you feel so moved, please click the Donate button below (the page might take a few seconds to load). Any funds raised beyond the couple hundred dollars needed for my transportation/food expenses will be used to purchase building materials and supplies while we are in Apison. I’ll post an update after the trip, so you can see how the money was spent. Our group has raised about $8,500 so far from fundraising events and individual donations. I have raised $170 so far toward my personal goal of $500 – thank you!

Note: I did look into various fundraising websites, but neither Open House Volunteers nor Concord Mission Fund are registered on any fundraising site, so I hope you’ll trust me that your donations will all go toward this trip. If you’ll be seeing me personally before the trip, you can avoid PayPal’s 3% processing fee by donating cash or a check payable to Concord Mission Fund, or a Home Depot card.

Thank you for your thoughts/prayers and donations!

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