As sure as the sun rises and sets, the Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief will be there when disaster strikes.
Volunteers gathered a total of 8,500 N95 masks and delivered them to medical facilities throughout the state as the coronavirus crisis keeps growing around the world.
“This depletes our reserve, but we felt it was a good ministry opportunity,” said Kentucky Disaster Relief Director Coy Webb.
Kentucky Baptist DR uses the masks for volunteers to wear during floods, he said. Rodney Cude, an Associational Ministries Strategist in the Ohio River Baptist Association and a DR volunteer, came up with the idea, Webb said.
“They (the masks) came from a variety of different places,” Webb said. “Rodney called and thought we had N95 masks on the trailers and would we have any we could donate. I sent a note out to our leaders and we did an inventory of our trailer at Sanford.”
The masks went to Rockcastle Regional Hispital, Fort Logan Hospital, Madison County Health Department, Warren County EM, Warren County Hospice, Lincoln County Rural Health and Pineville Hospital.
A nurse at the hospital in Lincoln County told Webb they were much needed because the ones they were using had to be re-stapled. “They were very glad to get them,” Webb said.
A Kentucky Disaster Relief team that was deployed to Murray was asked to stand now because they had enough workers to cover their needs to feed senior citizens. But now a team will be responding to Caldwell County to assist in a school lunch program.
“It all shut down overnight,” Webb said. “God is always ahead of us though, isn’t He? It kind of switched our direction. It’s going to be the same core group going (to feed the schoolchildren).”
The team will serve April 6-10 and be providing breakfast and lunch for 550 students, he said. Carolyn Gray will be the Blue Hat and workers will be added to her team along with local area volunteers.
Kentucky Baptist DR will be working with the Caldwell-Lyons Baptist Association and First Baptist Church of Princeton. “We will do all food prep and local church volunteers will conduct deliveries,” Webb said.
Webb said he has learned to expect the unexpected when disaster strikes.
“Like all disaster response needs, can change rapidly and the coronavirus is much more complicated because it is a pandemic response,” he said. “All is very fluid day to day.”
Kentucky Baptist Disaster Relief teams are regarded as some of the best organized in the country.
Besides the coronavirus, the spring typically brings some of the worst weather conditions as it relates to floods and tornadoes. Several tornado warnings have been issued in the last week.