Here's my situation...

We are less than two weeks away from having our first Mercy Chefs team on the ground in Panama City to get started on the "retrofit" of the school we have been allocated. Our team will arrive on May 20th to perform work on the kitchen and convert  classrooms into bunkhouses.

In addition to the construction costs, we need to outfit the facilities for 80 beds -- mattresses, sheets, etc. The bunkhouse rooms are key because there is an urgent need for housing for workers and volunteers who will be coming this summer -- including counselors and youth development specialists who can help these kids through the debilitating trauma many are experiencing.

Then, our kitchen crew arrives on the 27th and by that weekend we'll have the formal launch of our "Beacon Of Hope" efforts to reach the thousands of children who have been forced into homelessness, as well as countless other storm victims still on the long road to recovery.

We have the plan in place. Now, I'm asking friends like you to step forward and partner with us to make this outreach a reality! As of earlier today, we were still far short of the funding we need to launch this "Beacon Of Hope." In fact, just the costs of outfitting the kitchen and retro-fitting the classrooms to bunkhouses will exceed $22,000I'm stepping out in faith trusting that you will step out with me!

In less than two weeks, I need to have our first team on the ground. And from there it's a sprint to have the facility ready by June 1 -- but we urgently need financial resources to make this happen so we can offer hot meals, hope and healing to children and families in crisis on the Florida Panhandle. Please go here to partner with Mercy Chefs to bring relief to Panama City and continue other vital efforts:

+ + "Forgotten Storm, Forgotten People"

It's ironic that Panama City borders the coastal area of Florida often called the "Forgotten Coast." Despite the President's visit later today to the region -- his first "campaign" visit for the 2020 cycle -- these good folks do feel forgotten. Locals are now calling Hurricane Michael the "forgotten storm" despite the fact that it is one of just four Category Five hurricanes in U.S. history to make landfall. Congress still hasn't yet authorized even a dollar of emergency funding for Hurricane Michael. Yes, FEMA has been there, but that funding is drying up. And there have been a reported 33,000 applications for help that have been denied!

This is why we're going back, but I need your help! Please prayerfully consider how you can partner with us and then go here to make you tax-deductible gift.

Thank you and God bless you!

Gary LeBlanc

P.S. It breaks my heart that "couch surfing" is a phrase that is now part of the local vernacular. It describes how countless Panama City residents are literally going house-to-house, sleeping on whatever couch they can find for the night. The emotional and psychological impact -- especially on the children -- has been devastating. Hundreds of kids are needing psychiatric help, and many more will face an urgent need of nutritious meals starting early June.

Our crew will be on the ground in LESS THAN TWO WEEKS! The costs of retro-fitting the school will exceed $22,000. I want to have all these costs covered, and more by next week! Please help. Go here: