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Alabama nonprofits help Florida hurricane survivors

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BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) – Right now, local nonprofits are in Florida helping those devastated by Hurricane Ian.

Supply Ministries and the Alabama Baptist State Mission Board make sure people get the support they need and a hot meal.

Leaders of both organizations have said this kind of work is a labor of love, and they are doing it because they have witnessed the devastation here in Birmingham first hand and want people to know that someone is cared enough to prepare them a hot meal and offer them support.

“Coming from Alabama we have a lot of tornadoes and even outside of hurricanes we have a lot of winds and you’ve seen it first hand, you want to help others,” said Refuel Ministries President Darrin Jarvis.

Jarvis does not take his job lightly.

From New York to the Gulf Coast and now Florida, he and the team at Refuel Ministers are doing their best to provide support to those affected by Hurricane Ian.

“It’s a relief for them because a lot of these people haven’t had a hot meal since the storm came through. People are giving them MREs and different things to keep them going for as long as they can, but they really want that hot meal and that’s what we provide for them,” Jarvis said.

Refuel Ministries has been in Port Charlotte since Wednesday and said it has served up to 2,000 meals a day since arriving and Jarvis hopes to reach thousands more.

“With the internet being so slow here and spotty, they are having a hard time letting communities know that we are here to deliver the food in the next few days, we expect large crowds to arrive,” Jarvis explained.

The Alabama Baptist State Mission Board is also in Florida, and Mark Wakefield said his team has already received 600 job applications.

“I see owners who often have no hope because they feel abandoned, they feel completely overwhelmed and someone comes up and says hey we’re going to help you, we’re going to do it for free and we’re going to be with you while we help you,” Wakefield said.

Wakefield expects his team to be in Florida for at least the next two months.

If you would like to make a monetary donation, visit the Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief website.

If you would like to help Refuel Ministries, you can send a check to 78 Lake Kathryn Drive Sterrett, AL 35147 or Venmo @darrinjarvis-refuelministries.

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