Christian Appalachian Project Works to Meet Needs of Arkansas Tornado Survivors

Submitted by tadams on Wed, 04/19/2023

PINE BLUFF, Ark. – (April 17, 2023) The news cycle moves at the speed of light, but families recovering from natural disasters are still struggling to put their lives back together. Christian Appalachian Project's (CAP) Operation Sharing program sent two tractor trailer loads of clothing, water, food, and other essential items to devastated communities in Arkansas. The storm outbreak across several southern and midwestern states led to 50 tornado reports that left death and destruction in its wake. One EF3 tornado cut a 30-mile path through central Arkansas.

“Each community has its own challenges based on where the tornadoes touched down. There are some areas where there is just nothing left but rubble, total destruction,” said Derick Easter, pastor of New St. Hurricane Baptist Church and president of the Board of Directors for the Hurricane Outreach Distribution Center. “People can’t get back to collect belongings and in many cases vehicles are damaged or destroyed. The items we have received from these two Operation Sharing deliveries will help us meet immediate needs today as well as other identified needs in the weeks to come.”

Operation Sharing partners with churches, schools, and other nonprofits to meet needs in all 13 Appalachian states, plus Arkansas and Missouri. Donated items from corporate partners are made available to local communities at no additional costs. The church began a partnership last year with CAP to receive these donations and built a distribution center in the community to expand their outreach to families in need.

“We are excited to partner with CAP’s Operation Sharing,” Easter said. “We know that these families are going to need so much help for a long time to come. CAP’s Operation Sharing has already offered to deliver building supplies to help families get back on their feet, but right now, we are meeting immediate needs and assessing next steps.”

CAP is used to responding to natural disasters and knows that it takes strategic partners to get essential items in the hands of people who need it the most. The two semis contained nearly 80 pallets for Wynne, Little Rock, and Pine Bluff. 

“CAP is there for the long haul. We will work through Operation Sharing to continue to meet emerging needs as families determine how to get back to some sense of normalcy,” said Ben Ridner, manager of CAP’s Operation Sharing program in Corbin, Kentucky. “We are still helping families in Kentucky that were impacted by natural disasters in 2022. We will continue to work with Pastor Easter and the distribution center to get people what they need as we make plans for additional deliveries.”

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