This morning, I received the urgent update below from Mercy Chefs, Grassfire's disaster-relief partner. Chef Gary LeBlanc and his team are deploying into the heart of the Hurricane Florence disaster along the Carolina coast.
Mercy Chefs is still about $10,000 short of the funds they need for the first grocery bill! I'm hoping that Grassfire team members will step up in a big way this weekend and meet this need. Please see Gary's email below and go here to make your tax-deductible gift directly to Mercy Chefs to help with Hurricane Florence relief right now.
Gary's full report paints a picture of just how serious this storm is.
Most importantly, this is a way for you and I to directly help in the midst of this escalating crisis. Hundreds of thousands have lost power. Many have been rescued from rising waters. Gary's team will serve thousands of meals to disaster teams, victims and volunteers. Just $25 will help sponsor 10 meals; $50 will help get a hot meal to 20 people. Please go here to help, and see Gary's update.
--- Forwarded Message ---
From: Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs
To: Steve Elliott, Grassfire
Sent: Friday, September 14, 2018, 10:53 a.m. ET
Subject: We are deploying!
We are deploying! Mercy Chefs is rolling out at 8:00 a.m. ET Saturday morning from our base in Hampton Roads, Virginia, headed for Coastal Carolina. Hurricane Florence made landfall this morning with storm surges, heavy rain and sustained winds of 90 miles per hour. While we're grateful it hasn't been worse, Florence is still a very dangerous storm.
Flooding is expected to continue through the weekend. That's important because water is often the biggest killer in hurricanes. The storm surge happens first, followed by inland flooding. Hurricane Katrina unleashed a catastrophic flooding event in New Orleans, which is why insurance didn't cover so many of the victims' losses.
My team and I will lead a convoy of two mobile kitchens, a refrigerated box truck, an emergency-response vehicle and other assets into the hurricane zone. Mercy Chefs is partnering with Lifepoint Church in Wilmington, N.C., to distribute meals up and down the Carolina coast. The church is located about seven miles from the ocean — basically at the heart of this disaster.
+ + Your Tax-Deductible Gift Will Help THIS WEEKEND!
Initially, we expect to begin feeding first responders first and then expand our efforts to include victims and volunteers. Once evacuees are allowed back in to their homes, our meal counts should increase exponentially. Our team of five will grow on Sunday, when additional volunteer chefs arrive to help "feed body and soul" in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.
Our first grocery bill is expected to be $20,000, and we've only raised about half that amount so far. Still, Mercy Chefs will "hit the ground running" tomorrow in an effort to do what we can to help storm victims and first responders. Can I count on you to help us deploy teams to areas hit hard by Hurricane Florence?
Click here or on the banner below now to make your best tax-deductible gift to help Mercy Chefs begin serving emergency meals in North Carolina THIS WEEKEND, as we continue other vital relief efforts:
Over the past week, Mercy Chefs has been mobilizing assets and moving equipment into strategic locations, so we could respond as quickly as possible to the area of greatest need. But the costs associated with a multi-site emergency deployment are significant, so we could really use your support as we prepare to leave for North Carolina tomorrow morning.
This deployment is personal for us. We will be walking through the aftermath of this disaster with friends. So many people we know and love live right where Florence made landfall. Mercy Chefs urgently needs your support to be as effective as possible. Please click here to donate now.
Thank you, in advance, for helping us "feed body and soul" in Coastal Carolina.