The Tornado on Sunday Evening

A Message from Bishop Benfield

I want to report on the reports that we have concerning the tornado that went through central Arkansas last night and the help that might be needed.

Ginger Bailey, a coordinator of our Disaster Relief Team, is heading up Arkansas’s Episcopal Church’s response to the tornado. She has already been working to coordinate our response. She reports that we need to know that the areas most affected have been sealed off to keep unnecessary people out of the way who might hamper relief efforts. The officials in the areas are assessing exactly what the residents need.

The Rev. Teri Daily of St. Peter’s Church in Conway is working with the shelter at Antioch Baptist Church. People at that shelter say that they are still assessing the immediate needs and will get back with Teri as soon as they know how we can help.

We are already hearing that the best way to help immediately is likely to be financial support so that relief workers can buy in bulk any relief kits that are needed. Therefore, if you wish to donate to help with relief work, you can donate online to the Bishop Discretionary Fund or send money to the “Bishop’s Discretionary Fund, Diocese of Arkansas, P.O. Box 164558, Little Rock, AR 72216” and mark the donation for “tornado relief.” My office will then distribute it to the local churches and shelters as Ginger Bailey and her team inform us of the needs of each location.

At a future date, we will know more about opportunities to volunteer with long-term clean-up projects and will let you know.

My thanks to everyone who is concerned about the destruction caused by this storm and your willingness to help.

Larry Benfield