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Volunteer Groups Come to Quapaw to Help Victims of the Tornado - KOAM TV 7

Church Volunteers Help in QuapawChurch Volunteers Help in Quapaw

Church Volunteers Help in Quapaw

Volunteer Groups Come to Quapaw to Help Victims of the Tornado

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QUAPAW, OKLAHOMA -     Day two after the tornado is all about clearing debris. And total strangers are in town volunteering to help.

  With chainsaws roaring, Rhema Bible church volunteers worked to clear a massive tree now entangled with two boats belonging to Jack Wilkerson.  The Quapaw resident is grateful for the help.  

“This really helps. I’ve had friends down working but we couldn’t accomplish what they’ve done,” says Wilkerson.

It was covered with tree limbs, shingles and siding before the crews came to help. Much of the debris including the metal siding was  blown from a nearby church in what Wilkerson calls a brief tornado.

“It was here and gone probably within a minute, maybe less.  But, it was violent when it was here,” says Wilkerson.

His house was moved off the foundation separating the ceiling from walls and dropping cabinets. While Wilkerson has insurance  on his house, there's comfort coming with the volunteer crew.”

He says, “It makes all the difference in the world. It takes a whole load off you. Makes you feel a lot better.”

The church has ten volunteers working now but expect to have fifty boots on the ground this weekend. It’s part of what members call their outside ministry.

Reggie Knowles, a Rhema church disaster volunteer says, “This is what I like to call real ministry, where we actually help people in all walks of life.  Just to be able to help them. We're not asking for anything.  We're not soliciting donations.  We're just here giving back.”

Like members at Rhema church, the Southern Baptist Convention has  disaster teams ready to deploy. The Washington- Osage Baptist group is serving up 300 meals at a time in Quapaw at lunch and dinner time.

Director Robert Wadsworth says, “You know, we just want to be the hands and feet of Christ. We just want to come out. People are hurting. People are in chaotic moods. They don’t have much. And just a hot meal and a hug or a pat on the back. It says a lot to ministry and let people know there’s brighter days coming.”

And Knowles agrees saying, “It’s just good to be available to help people.  They're in a very tragic situation and that’s where we get our reward, just to help them.

Officials at Quapaw city hall say many residents have friends and family helping with the cleanup effort.  Organizations or outside individuals planning to volunteer are asked to register at city hall or with the fire department so hours worked can be logged.

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