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Ministries to provide help to tornado victims

Brad Ingram, Amber Ingram, Amber Holley, Jamie Holley and Marrianne DuBose (not shown) are working to help tornado victims.| Kendra Bolling/Star-News

After a disaster, many will say that help “beyond their biggest dreams” arrived.

To help make that official for those in North Alabama following last week’s devastating tornados, two local outreach groups – Beyond Measure Ministries and Rescue Outreach Center – are joining forces with area churches to volunteer with Samaritan’s Purse.

In the days since April 27, more than 1,000 volunteers have helped homeowners look for belongings in the midst of ruined houses, removing debris, making emergency repairs and “showing tornado victims that God hasn’t forgotten them,” said the website for the nondenominational evangelical Christian organization providing spiritual and physical aid to hurting people around the world.

This weekend, the local group of volunteers, headed by Jamie Holley of Beyond Measures and Brad Ingram of ROC, will join the team to aid in the effort.

“I’d like to say that I’m doing it because it makes me feel good,” Ingram said. “But as a Christian, it’s our obligation to help our fellow man. The Bible’s pretty black and white about it.

“Right now, there’s a huge need for our brothers and sisters in North Alabama,” he said. “And we need to be there.”

Both Ingram and Holley said they felt led to organize a local effort, so they contacted Samaritan’s Purse.

“Turns out they were already at work in the field,” Holley said. “We knew we had to join in. We had thought we could leave (last) Saturday, but Samaritan’s Purse people said it would benefit them better if we could come Friday – that way we could work all day Saturday.”

The group, which is comprised of members of the two churches, as well as Southside Baptist Church and Bethany Baptist Church, will leave Friday at 4 p.m. from the J.C. Penney parking lot and return Sunday evening.

Thus far, a group of 20 or so are committed to the trip, but others wishing to join the group are welcome, the men said.

“They’ve asked that you bring a bring pair of work gloves, long pants and long T-shirts, as well as a sleeping bag and pillow,” Ingram said. “We’re also asking that you bring a flat of water, T-shirts and socks, first aid kits or whatever you can think of that the people there might need.”

Those unable to make this weekend’s work trip will have other opportunities. Ingram said he is planning to organize weekend events for the next 10 weeks.

For more information or to pledge attendance, call Ingram at 205-353-2100 or Holley at 334-343-4770.