Volunteers from Amarillo return home after providing relief to those affected by Hurricane Ida

Published: Oct. 4, 2021 at 6:00 PM CDT
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AMARILLO, Texas (KFDA) - After helping those affected by Hurricane Ida, a group of volunteers from Amarillo have returned home from Louisiana.

Paramount Baptist Church works with Texas Baptist Men to send volunteers out whenever disaster strikes whether it’s local or not.

“We do some local work around here too you know from the people in the church you know so anytime there’s a disaster in the United States we’ve been to Washington and we’ve been South Carolina we’ve even had couple of our people go to Israel working on the team, so it’s not just local it’s anywhere there’s a disaster anywhere anytime anyplace we go,” said Ernest McNabb, team supervisor, Paramount Baptist Church.

They sent about two dozen volunteers to Saint Amant, LaPlace and Gonzales in Louisiana to help remove fallen trees and limbs.

“We worked on trees that were 75 to 100 foot tall maybe some of them a little smaller than that, but a lot on houses in driveways taking them off to houses,” said McNabb.

He says the estimate they received if people were to harvest the trees themselves or have them taken down could range from anywhere between $1500 to $4000 and says a lot of people had close to three to four trees, which would become very costly to remove.

Many were without insurance or did not have the money, McNabb says they were able to work on about 20 to 25 homes and cut down the trees and then stack them along side the road where FEMA then picked up the trees.

The team says it was a blessing to be able to help all who were affected, while also sharing their love of Christ.

“You can see the expression on their face change from the time we get there to the time we leave because when we leave it’s finished, cleaned up and they’re getting their life back to normal,” said McNabb.

While the Amarillo team has returned home, TBM says they still have other teams out on the ground in Louisiana and should be there throughout this week.

Besides taking down trees, TBM also provides resources such as, food, flood recovery and offers free showering and they also provide relief to other disasters, not just hurricanes.

“We respond to hurricanes, tornadoes, we responded to the ice storm that hit this last year, we responded to the COVID issue, we just kind of opened to however we can help people,” said David Wells, director of disaster relief, TBM.

TBM says the survivors they help are always so thankful.

“The one thing that I’ve seen with disaster relief as it crosses all racial, ethnic and social barriers it just crosses all of them because that they they’re kind of can handle it myself but then when you get into it and you start visiting g with them they realized I can’t handle it by myself so they’re all very thankful for us,” said Wells.

The whole reason TBM does what they do is to share the gospel.

“We’re wanting to offer that to others and that’s part of why we’re there, you know to do that during this time we’ve had I think it’s like 24 salvation’s, but we’ve touched a lot of lives during this time too,” said Wells.

Wells mentions the Amarillo team is always ready to help out when disaster strikes.

“They’re a hard working team and being so far away from everything else they’re always ready to travel and it seems like everything we have a lot of it’s down on the coast, so you know they travel two days to get somewhere, so they are a very resilient group, very strong in sharing the gospel, very strong group in the work of doing, the quality of work to do is always excellent,” said Wells.

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