Friday, April 3, 2020 (New information since the April 1 update is in bold type.)
As you know, the coronavirus situation is a rapidly evolving one, with new developments on a daily or even hourly basis. In the developing picture of how SC Baptist Disaster Relief can help our state to deal with this crisis, here is the latest update:
- We are donating PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) normally used in our mud-out ministry, to hospitals/clinics in need.
To date, 12,317 N-95 respirators (masks), have been donated to a total of 16 facilities. Additionally, 2,731 Tyvek suits, 1,040 goggles, and 35,000 pairs of gloves have been donated. All of these are from supplies left over after the flooding and hurricanes of recent years in our state.
- Every volunteer and each church is encouraged to be aware of needs in your own community where you may be able to help. Please be the hands and feet of Jesus to serve your neighbors. Ideas can be found HERE in the "How Can I Serve?" section. In serving the physical needs, as always, give emotional and spiritual encouragement as well – offer the hope that comes from a relationship with Christ.
- An additional option for those able to get out to serve is the School Feeding Initiative. Volunteers are desperately needed to help prepare and distribute meals to school children. If you have a contact in your local school system, connect with them to arrange to volunteer. If you do not know who to contact, click HERE for instructions on how to volunteer.
- Although everyone should continue to stay home unless absolutely necessary to go out, DR Chaplains are encouraged to wear their Disaster Relief shirt or hat when they do need to leave home. Being in your DR shirt will perhaps give you opportunities to open conversations for emotional & spiritual care of those around you. Please maintain the safety distances of 6 feet!
- The April 18 DR training in Easley has been cancelled. Instead, the fall training will be expanded to become a state-wide event rather than a midlands event. The date for that training is Oct. 10.
- The Chapain Training in May at White Oak has now been cancelled as well, due to the uncertainty of when it will be safe to gather in groups again. A reschedule date will be announced later, possibly for late summer or for the fall.
- SC Baptist DR Director Randy Creamer is in constant contact with Emergency Management officials and leaders from related volunteer organizations regarding the situation in our state and possible responses. At this point there are no plans to activate DR units except for the shower units listed below. If that changes, information will be posted, unit leaders will be contacted, and the appropriate volunteers will be notified.
- Two shower units were moved into place and hooked up on Friday, March 20 to assist in ministry to the homeless during the virus outbreak, since hygiene is the best defense for prevention of COVID-19. The Saluda Association unit is set up in Anderson, and the Southside, Florence unit is set up in Florence. Personnel with the homeless ministries are cleaning the showers.
- As always, updates will be posted on the SC Baptist DR web page and Facebook page, so please check these sources before contacting the DOC (Disaster Operations Center) with questions.
- Pray without ceasing, follow the recommended precautions, and remain calm. God is bigger than coronavirus!