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VIDEO: California relief efforts featured

SAN DIEGO (BP)–As the Southern California wildfires subside, the work of Southern Baptist disaster relief volunteers continues as they serve emergency workers and fire victims.

A video is available for online viewing or download shows the work of Baptist volunteers in the San Diego area: www.namb.net/cafiresvideo.

Southern Baptist volunteers continue to prepare meals and look toward other forms of assistance as the fires still burn in some parts of Southern California. Firefighters had contained 14 of the nearly two dozen fires that burned almost 500,000 acres or 778 square miles, CNN reported.

The number of meals prepared at PETCO Park in San Diego was slated to rise to 16,000 today (Oct. 26), from 8,000 on Oct. 25, Don Hargis, disaster relief coordinator for the California Southern Baptist Convention, told Baptist Press. As the fires move north, he is moving workers from San Diego up to San Bernardino to meet increasing needs there.

Hargis explained that the kitchen set up at the fairgrounds in San Bernardino was donated to the Red Cross by Sysco, a food distribution company. The Red Cross in turn gave the mobile unit to Southern Baptists to maintain and use for training, Hargis said, and Southern Baptist blue caps are taking the lead at the site.

Stretch Krege, a blue cap relief leader, told BP the San Bernardino feeding site is the first place he has seen Southern Baptists, the Red Cross and the Salvation Army working at one site.

“The Red Cross and Southern Baptists are cooking the meals, and the Salvation Army is serving the meals under the tent for the evacuees,” Krege said. “It’s exciting.”

Krege said he expects the kitchen to produce about 4,000 meals each day.

“We’ll do lunch and dinner, and then the Red Cross provides a continental breakfast,” he said.

Clean-up teams are starting to organize, Krege added, and disaster relief workers are gathering information from homeowners concerning their needs and applications that must be completed before workers can arrive on site.

“I just love doing this because the main thing is we serve God and we’re serving the people here and watching the ministry grow. When a disaster happens, people come together to help each other,” Krege said.

Donations for disaster relief efforts are needed. Online donations can be made at www.csbc.com or donations by check can be sent to California Southern Baptist Convention, Disaster Relief, 678 E Shaw Ave, Fresno 93710. Also, donations may be made to the North American Mission Board at www.namb.net.
Compiled by Mickey Noah, a writer with the North American Mission Board, and Baptist Press staff writer Erin Roach.

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