Thursday Afternoon from East Chattanooga

We rushed a second team here and they have already DOUBLED our meal distribution. The tornado that ripped through Chattanooga was devastating. Please go here to help and see below for the latest. --Gary

The damage we are seeing and the stories we are hearing take your breath away.

First off, there was almost no warning. One man said they had about 30 seconds from when the power went out to when the tornado hit. The family was all climbing into the bathtub when they saw the roof getting blown off their house.

+ + Tornado picks up house with family inside

Another family in the hard-hit East Brainerd area was huddled in their bathroom when they felt the entire house shake, like in an earthquake. It was only after the tornado passed that they realized the storm had literally picked up their house off its foundation and moved it (and them) about 75 feet!

It's a miracle that many more didn't lose their lives. This EF-3 tornado was more than 3/4-mile wide, struck in the middle of the night, and hit some heavily populated areas. That's why the need is so great. Disaster workers, volunteers and families are all here, combing through the wreckage and seeing what is salvageable. 

+ + We just added a second kitchen

Yesterday, it was clear that we needed to bring in a second team to help meet the need. So I spent much of the day on the phone making arrangements, and by lunch today our second team was up and running at a second location. This has already doubled the number of meals we are providing from just yesterday.

I know these are tough times for everyone. But our neighbors here in Chattanooga just had their entire worlds turned upside down. 

I'm asking every friend of Mercy Chefs to go the EXTRA MILE with me right now. We just doubled our capacity, and the need here is only going to grow as the word gets out. Please prayerfully consider how you can help and then go here to make your tax-deductible gift now to feed tornado victims and volunteers while we continue other outreaches:

If you already helped recently, THANK YOU SO MUCH! I am so grateful for your support. Of course, with our meals doubling, we still need more help!

+ + The need is exploding everywhere

Our Mercy Chefs resources are being stretched like perhaps never before. Our outreach effort in tornado-stricken Seneca, South Carolina, is filling a critical need. Power is still out there in the entire town and many folks are dependent on Mercy Chefs' resources just to make it through. And our coronavirus crisis response efforts continue to expand. I just got word that our Dallas outreach has a two-mile long line of cars most of the day. I urgently need to resupply that effort immediately.

In all, Mercy Chefs is engaged in more than 17 different locations while we fully deploy two teams to help those in Chattanooga who are still reeling from the Easter Sunday tornado. I need your help TODAY to reach those we are helping TODAY. And I need additional resources because the demand grows with each passing day and there is no end in sight. Please go here to help!

Most importantly, I'm asking you to pray for our nation. Pray or the good folks in Chattanooga and Seneca and across the South who were hit by tornadoes this past weekend. Pray for those who are among the 22 million recently unemployed who may find themselves turning to Mercy Chefs for their next meal. And pray for our team. We lean on your prayers as we seek His wisdom and favor each and every step of the way during these critical deployments.

Thank you and God bless,

Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs

P.S. It's so painful to see the destruction these massive tornadoes cause. But every time we deploy, we see God's hand of mercy and love -- extended through the prayers and generosity of friends like you. Thank you for making it possible for Mercy Chefs to "feed body and soul" during these difficult times. As I noted, we just doubled our meals in Chattanooga and we could use your help. Go here:

COVID RESPONSE UPDATE -- I'm just amazed at how the Lord is using our COVID-19 response outreaches. By this weekend, we'll have provided more than 70,000 meals to needy families and elderly shut-ins. Go here for the latest photos and updates on our coronavirus crisis response.