Friday Midday from Cedar Rapids

Imagine having just 25 minutes of warning that essentially a hurricane was going to hit your city?

That's what happened here in Cedar Rapids. This derecho storm formed quite suddenly and quickly swept across the state of Iowa, giving residents here less than a half-hour's notice. With gusts as high as 145 mph, the storm lasted for more than an hour and encompassed the entire town. 

As of this morning virtually all of Cedar Rapids is still without power. Countless trees are down. Power lines are strewn across the city. No street lights are operational. Hospitals are running on generator power. And the corn crop which is the lifeblood of Iowa, has been decimated.

+ + First meals TODAY for dinner!

Earlier today we established our base of operations right in the heart of the need. Things are quickly coming together and we will be serving our first meals THIS EVENING FOR DINNER.

Today through this weekend Mercy Chefs will serve thousands of meals to Iowa storm victims and volunteers. We urgently need your help so we can do everything possible to meet this need. Will you partner with me? Go here to make your tax-deductible gift and help sponsor hot meals for Iowa storm victims while we continue other vital efforts:

Mercy Chefs will be serving as a hub for an extensive meal distribution network that will reach the hardest hit areas. We are working with a group of local churches here to get the meals out to those in most urgent need. Each of these congregations has been seriously impacted by this storm, but they are stepping up to help their community. 

Right now, my greatest concern is to reach those who have been hit the hardest and are the most vulnerable. For example, my team is working to ensure that the elderly care facilities are covered and have access to high-quality meals.

This is a critical time for the people of Cedar Rapids. The storm struck suddenly and with almost no notice. Locals are telling me this has never happened before. I've never heard of a storm that had the impact of a hurricane yet hit with no notice.

Please pray for the people here. And help as you can.

Thanks in advance, and God bless,

Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs

P.S. The need here is incredibly great and we're going to do everything we can to help. Your gift today through this weekend will make a huge difference. If the Lord has blessed you during these difficult times and you can make a generous gift of $500, $1,000, $2,000 or more, we will put it to work right away feeding hundreds or even thousands of people. Of course, every gift will help. Go here:

To donate by check, go here for mailing instructions.