Knitting Pipeline is sponsored by my Longaberger home businessn and Quince & Co.

Knitting Pipeline is sponsored by Quince & Co. and Knitcircus Yarns

Saturday, November 23, 2013

Tornado Day 7

Throughout this whole week I continue to think of the people of The Philippines. The situation there is so much worse than here. We have so many resources and facilities to help people in need.  Most homeowners have insurance that will replace many of their possessions and their homes. Help is coming from all directions. Sometimes people come to Crossroads wanting to help and we don't know how to assign them because most jobs are being fulfilled.  We appreciate each person who wants to help.  We try to find a job for everyone that comes especially when they have driven a distance.

I feel so fortunate that I have a role to play in helping people. Each day I learn a few new tasks and procedures so I can help in more ways in the kitchen and food line. In addition to mastering the big mixer for the mashed potatoes, I feel confident keeping the cans of fuel burning under the chafer pans. We write the time to change out the cans.  A can will burn for about 2 hours.  I also try to clean the counters and areas of the kitchen during prep work and cooking.

Today when I arrived about 8:30 AM there was a whole new team of chefs in the kitchen!  Most of them are chefs at Bradley University where my husband teaches. They knew exactly what they were doing. It was a relief to leave the cooking to them.  First I helped with getting cartons of potato salad in aluminum pans and in insulated boxes. Every single food item that has to be kept hot or cold is labeled and the time is written on the cover.  All items in the refrigerator should be dated.  I helped set up the chafer pans and got the cans of fuel lit so the water would be hot when the food started coming out.  Then I made the salad which is not much more than tossing washed lettuce into a bin, throwing in some chopped peppers and shredded carrots, and then mixing it all up. We put out salad dressings and that task is done.

They were serving a smaller breakfast line today as only Salvation Army workers and Crossroads workers were being fed.  Lunch was supposed to start at 11:30 AM but people were lining up at 11:00 AM and food was ready so we started serving.  The people just kept coming and we had a line that extended from the food table across the room and beyond.  With efficient serving I don't think anyone had to wait that long.  It was very cold and windy today.  People were so cold when they came in.

I want to emphasize that in the whole scheme of disaster relief I am doing one of the easier jobs.  Having picked through the rubble of my mother-in-law's small home, I know that this is a lot harder work.  Those who have been picking through the rubble say that it is depressing because much of the time the possessions are dirty, wet, or basically ruined. One worker today told me that if this happened to her she would just feel like walking away from it and not trying to get anything.  It seems worse when they find something of value and it is a mess.

Picking up debris in the neighborhoods and farm fields is an overwhelming task.  The growing piles of debris along the church lane are a constant reminder of how close the tornado came to the building.  Without this building we would not be able to feed so many people.

Nikki was keeping track of how many meals we served today.  She estimated 1,200 were served in house and perhaps 4,000 meals were sent out into the field.  It is hard to keep track because we just keep sending out food.  Most of the food is donated and that is a huge blessing. People are so generous with their resources.

The American Red Cross has moved from Crossroads UMC to Five Points, our local community center complex. If you are living in the area and want to help please go to Threads, Hope, and Love, our local clothing ministry. They are overwhelmed with donations and need help sorting out clothing. 

Tomorrow at Crossroads we will have church services at 8:30 AM and 11:00 AM.  I'm sure the church will be packed. People want to be together and worship. No meals are being served tomorrow at the church because we all need a day of rest.  Power is restored to most businesses in the area so folks can go to restaurants or grocery stores.  That was not the case on Sunday Nov 17th or Monday. On Monday, Tuesday, and Wednesday we will served breakfast to Salvation Army and some other workers.  A big meal will be open to the public from 11:30 to 1:30 and we will continue to send out meals to the field.  Thursday will be the Community Thanksgiving Dinner.

If you have not seen enough video of the tornado, this one is perhaps the most personal and also most terrifying.  Gone in 50 seconds.

Thank you all for your encouraging comments and support for Washington IL and all other towns and areas affected by the November 17 tornados.



twinsetjan said...

Paula, you and the folks of Washington have been in our thoughts and prayers. Glad to see you picked up your knitting on Instagram. The 7th day should be a day of rest... and knitting! XOXO

Unknown said...

Thinking of you and your family each day, just had to send my best wishes and prayers to you all in the mid-west of America.
Take care xxxx

Anonymous said...

Paula, it is interesting to read your blog posts from the kitchen point of view. It may be easier work, but important!

About Me

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I play the Great Highland Pipes, knit, observe nature, and read. My name on Ravelry is PrairiePiper. Find me on Instagram as KnittingPipeline.