Operation Blessing Coordinates Efforts in Harrisburg

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CBN's Operation Blessing International is responding to tornado-stricken Harrisburg, Ill., where violent storms struck earlier this week.

The city was hit hard by a deadly storm system that also struck parts of Kansas and Missouri.

On Sunday, Operation Blessing's community-wide volunteer day proved "very successful and productive," Jody Herrington-Gettys, Operation Blessing's U.S. director of relief operations told CBN News.

"We coordinated over 1,077 volunteers and served 575 meals. The day started as volunteers began to arrive at 7:00 a.m.," she said. 

"Our team gave them their work assignments, safety briefing, and sent them out into the community.  The clean-up was a 'transformation' for the area and gave very encouraging for the residents.  The staff was able to connect with and pray with residents throughout the community. Emergency Management and volunteers were very happy and appreciative," Herrington-Gettys explained.

Saturday, Operation Blessing coordinated a "Mass Volunteer Day" with emergency management officials, incoming volunteers, and relief agencies.

Operation Blessing was responsible for checking the credentials of volunteers, assigning work, equipping them with tools, providing lunch for volunteers and doing its best "to keep everyone safe and operations moving smooth."

Friday afternoon, residents had to flee to nearby storm shelters as the sound of tornado sirens filled the air again.

More storms came through the area just 48 hours after a tornado leveled Harrisburg, leaving six dead, more than 100 injured and at least 300 homes damaged or destroyed. After the warning ended and the storms moved through, there were no more reports of injuries or destruction.

The disaster relief organization, which is headquartered in Virginia Beach, Va., deployed its mobile kitchen and construction trailer to the storm-stricken city.

The kitchen continues to provide free meals for storm victims and the trailer has tools, equipment and cleanup gear for volunteer work.

CBN News has a crew on the scene in Harrisburg. Be sure to watch the CBN News Channel's Morning News at 8:00 a.m. ET and "The 700 Club" on Monday for the latest information about cleanup efforts. Check local listings for the broadcast of "The 700 Club" in your area.

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