LAPORTE, Colo. (CBS4) – More than 19,000 meals have been served to evacuees of the Cameron Peak and East Troublesome Fires thanks to the Southern Baptist Convention. While many see the American Red Cross delivering fresh meals to evacuees every day, few know it is actually the SBC’s Disaster Relief Colorado team that has prepared the food for the past seven weeks.
“We have fed close to 19,000 people. That is a lot,” said Cheryl Wood, Blue Hat Cook for the SBC’s Colorado team. “Evacuees don’t realize the Southern Baptists are preparing the meals.”READ MORE: University Of Colorado Refuses To Pay $17 Million Ransom Following Accellion Data Breach
For almost 50 days straight, Wood and 450 other volunteers have worked day and night to provide meals for, at times, thousands of evacuees. At a small church in Laporte, a town northwest of Fort Collins, the volunteers have cooked two meals per day through snow and ash, day and night.
Some, like Wood, have spent nearly two months living at the church to assure the meals continue.
“I’d rather be no place else than here,” Wood told CBS4’s Dillon Thomas.
Wood said her faith in Jesus Christ is what fuels her energy to provide for those in need. She said if Jesus could walk for weeks through a desert, she could work with few hours of sleep to provide for those in need.
“It specifically says in the Bible that we are to take care of the needy, the poor and the elderly. Being an evacuee, you are in need of meals,” Wood said.READ MORE: Denver Metro Area Water Parks Announce Summer Opening Dates
Ben Ferguson, a volunteer, lives at the edge of some of the evacuations. The western edge of Loveland has been placed on evacuation notice before. Ferguson lives in Loveland, and felt volunteering through the SBC was a great way to help his fellow Larimer County residents.
“I consider them neighbors. Some of them have been staying there for seven-to-eight weeks in a row now,” Ferguson said. “These people are suffering through a great ordeal, being displaced. A lot of them don’t know if they are going home or not. The least we can do is provide them a couple meals a day to at least ease that burden.”
The meals are served, most days, twice a day. Lunches are typically sandwiches and chips, while dinners are hot meals prepared on a rotation basis.
Ferguson said he was proud of the team for giving of their own time to make sure their neighbors have a warm meal. He encouraged others, especially amid an uncertain time, to give of themselves.
“Roll up your sleeves and go volunteer somewhere, it is amazing what you can get done when people work together and act selflessly,” Ferguson said.MORE NEWS: COVID Restrictions: Summit County To Remain In Level Yellow Until The End Of May
If you would like to have more information on the SBC’s team, or to volunteer, visit Colorado Disaster Relief.