MILTON, Pa. – When the Strobels heard about the Kentucky tornados, they hoped for a way to help. So, it was no surprise when they received a phone call from Kenton Hunt, disaster relief (DR) director for Pennsylvania and New Jersey, asking if they would be willing to deliver DR buckets full of hygiene items to residents devastated by the storm.
They readily agreed, picking up donated items from Baptist Resource Network churches across western and central Pennsylvania.
“We delivered over 100 fully-packed buckets, as well as enough loose items to fill 100 more,” said Bob Strobel, now serving as interim pastor of Hillview Baptist Church in Williamsport.
He and his wife Patty drove nearly 450 miles to Pennsylvania’s Clarion, Verona, Erie, Kittanning, Altoona, Harrisburg, and Winfield to pick up the supplies (while others picked up supplies in Bloomsburg, Philadelphia and southern New Jersey) and another 600 miles to Kentucky to deliver them.
In Princeton, Kentucky, they met up with Gary and Debbie Mills, of Country and Town Baptist, Mechanicsburg, who were manning the disaster relief’s shower unit, used by DR volunteers in nearby Fredonia.
Together, with many other volunteers from the area and from other states, they unloaded the hygiene supplies at a vacant grocery store that had been converted into a distribution center. There, residents could take what they needed.
“Folks just had to show up with their [identification cards], proving they lived there, and they could receive food and clothes and other supplies at no charge,” Bob explained. Patty noted that even generators were available for those affected by the storm.
Bob said the whole operation was peaceful.
“It didn’t appear that anyone was hoarding anything,” he said, noting while they were there, another trailer full of helpful items for the residents arrived from a Baptist association in Alabama.
It was a beautiful sight to see as the Strobels, Mills and the many volunteers interacted with the residents, expressing care and prayers for all.
“People were so appreciative,” Bob said. “We were blessed by it all.”
Bob Strobel serves as the transportation coordinator for PA/NJ Disaster Relief. Volunteers interested in providing transportation and have a large SUV or pickup to help move equipment for PA/NJ Disaster Relief can contact Strobel at (724) 510-1736. Learn more here.