Cooperative Baptists are joining in national efforts to help those affected by deadly tornadoes that ravaged parts of Lee County, Alabama, on Sunday.
Television station WRBL in Columbus, Georgia, has reported that the death toll has reached 23 in the Alabama county that is located about 60 miles east of Montgomery, and is home to the cities of Auburn and Opelika.
The deaths and heaviest damage occurred along Highway 51 and Lee Road 38, the station reported online.
It also described “widespread damage in the area. Many homes have been destroyed and there are also reports of several injuries.”
The Lee County Emergency Management Agency posted a form online where the persons missing in the storms can be reported.
The two twisters were part of a larger storm system that struck parts of Florida, Georgia and South Carolina.
“As you know, Alabama was, once again, hit by devastating tornadoes. Our hearts are broken over the loss of life and the horrible damage,” Terri Byrd, coordinator of Alabama CBF, said in remarks to its supporters and shared with Baptist News Global on Monday.
“We are not first responders; but, we have already begun to evaluate ways we can respond,” Byrd said.
Those ways include asking for donations of batteries, insect repellent and tarps. Byrd said arrangements have been made for First Baptist Church in Auburn to receive those items, which will be distributed to first responders working in the area.
“This is our initial response. One thing we have learned is that needs change very quickly,” Byrd said.
CBF specializes in long-term disaster recovery rather than as a first-responder group. Typically, its efforts gear up once first-responder efforts wind-down.
“As soon as we discern if work teams are welcome and there is coordination of those efforts, we will let you know,” Byrd said in her appeal.
Contributions can be made online or via mail to Alabama CBF, PO Box 361864, Hoover, AL, 35236.