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Volunteer brings smiles to children in time of disaster

FLOMATON, Ala. (BP)–In the days following Hurricane Dennis, in the parking lot of Little Escambia Baptist Church in Flomaton, Ala., you could see the familiar sight of disaster relief volunteers reaching through the front windows of cars to provide victims with much-needed ice, hot meals and other supplies. But there was a new sight -— Kaye Lee reaching through the back window of the car to hand over a goodie bag and a hug to a surprised and grateful child.

After Hurricanes Charley and Ivan, Lee, a member of the Etowah Baptist Association’s disaster relief team, noticed that while families were having their needs met, one group was being left out.

“I felt so sorry for the children because we would hand out cleaning supplies for households and they would look at me like, ‘Do you not have anything for me?’” Lee recounted. “God laid it on my heart” to put together goodie bags for the children in disaster areas, she said.

A member of White Springs Baptist Church in Rainbow City, Ala., Lee asked her church for help. Soon, as word spread about the new idea, four other churches had become involved in the project.

The five churches provided a variety of items, such as coloring books, crayons, toothbrushes, toys and stuffed animals. White Springs’ Encouragers widows group put the bags together to give out during the next hurricane season.

“The widows group can’t come here and volunteer,” Lee noted, “so it’s their way of sending their love to the children.”

And it is working. When Hurricane Dennis hit, Lee took her bags to Flomaton where they were received with open arms.

“One little boy hugged me three times and said thank you because he was so proud to get something,” Lee said.

The bags also include a note that says, “God loves you” –- “so they know that God does love them and that He hasn’t deserted them,” Lee said.

While the bags are easy to make, they can have a big impact, Lee said, noting, “This is something that GAs, RAs, WMU, anyone can do” to send with their own church’s disaster relief team to hand out God’s love to children.
Brittany Burcham is an intern for communications services at the Alabama Baptist State Board of Missions. She is a member of the Vaughn Forest Baptist Church in Montgomery, Ala., and a junior at Baylor University majoring in journalism/public relations.

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  • Brittany Burcham