Tennessee First Lady Thanks Mercy Chefs

Tennessee First Lady Maria Lee joined with our Mercy Chefs team in the Nashville area to help prepare hot meals for victims and volunteers. While with our team, First Lady Lee shared her appreciation for the Mercy Chefs team and friends like you who make it possible to serve these hot meals. Watch here:

"To have Mercy Chefs show up here in our city to bring comfort by providing a meal for those not only in this community but in the surrounding counties who have been affected is just a great confirmation of the hands and feet of Jesus at work through the hands and feet here at Mercy Chefs pulling together hot, comforting meals. In a very difficult time, it means a whole lot." -- Tennessee First Lady Maria Lee

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Tennessee relief update

Saturday Afternoon, Nashville

We've been continuing to provide hot meals to locations throughout Nashville as well as through our mobile kitchen in the hard-hit region of Mt. Juliet. Today, we served over 1,000 people in Mt. Juliet alone -- both victims and volunteers.

Every disaster deployment is unique. Here in Tennessee we have seen a great outpouring of volunteer support, unlike anything we've ever seen. As I noted to you yesterday, the First Lady of Tennessee, Maria Lee (in the center of the photo) 
joined our volunteer force in East Nashville. She jumped on the service line and helped our chefs back in the kitchen. Her Tennessee Serves initiative perfectly matches our desire to support neighbors helping neighbors in their communities in the aftermath of tragedies such as this one.

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TN tornado's shocking path of destruction

Thursday PM, Nashville

With every hour that passes, the true magnitude of this storm's devastation grows. For mile after mile, the track of the tornado is visible as it blew up neighborhoods, businesses, warehouses -- everything in its path. It looks like a series of bombs went off.
Other areas were badly damaged by the amount of debris dispersed by the winds.

A lady came to Mercy Chefs almost feeling a bit guilty because, while her home was damaged (she lost part of her roof and her property suffered significant damage), many of her neighbors lost everything. Their houses were destroyed and they are now left to pick through the rubble. This woman came to us in hopes that she could take back meals to her neighbors who had suffered so much. We loaded her up with as many meals as she could take. I'm sure she'll be back. We'll be ready with more meals.

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Nashville tornado update: "terrifying"

From Nashville, TN

I arrived in Nashville around midday and immediately knew the need here was going to be immense. The destruction is widespread. The death toll has climbed to 24 and there are many still missing.
Authorities still don't know precisely how many tornadoes touched down. One person who thankfully survived the storm's direct hit called living through the tornado "terrifying." 

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Nashville ravaged by tornadoes; 22 fatalities

Nashville and surrounding communities have been ravaged by deadly tornadoes that hit late last night. Initial reports indicate 48 buildings collapsed in Nashville alone, with 22 fatalities reported. A state of emergency has been declared and the situation is still quite dangerous as firefighters report as many as 30 rescue workers have been injured.

This is an unprecedented tornado disaster for the city of Nashville as an EF-3 tornado ripped through the downtown area around midnight and then hit surrounding communities. 

+ + We are deploying to Nashville as I write!

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Can you help with this?

We're approaching the end of the month and here's our situation...

This month, Mercy Chefs teams will serve well over 10,000 meals to recovering disaster victims, volunteers and hurting children. Every day, our team is creating and serving a "lifeline of hope" through these hot meals.

As of this morning, we are still short of our budgeted funding need for February with just a few days left in the month. And here's where it could get real challenging.

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My story

Sometimes we get so busy with the critical needs that Mercy Chefs is meeting every day that I forget to share with our dear friends and supporters how the Lord got hold of my heart and the amazing events that led up to the launch of this ministry.

I recently sat down for an interview with HeartThreads, a wonderful organization that produces short videos that tell inspiring stories. The interview gave me a chance to share my story. Here it is:

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Have I ever shared my story with you?

Have I ever shared my story with you?

Sometimes we get so busy with the critical needs that Mercy Chefs is meeting every day that I forget to share with our dear friends and supporters how the Lord got hold of my heart and the amazing events that led up to the launch of this ministry.

I recently sat down for an interview with HeartThreads, a wonderful organization that produces short videos that tell inspiring stories. The interview gave me a chance to share my story.

Here it is...

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3,300 kids still HOMELESS from storm

The superintendent of schools in Panama City recently released a report on the status of schools in the aftermath of Hurricane Michael.

While much work has been done to restore normalcy, one fact shocked me. The report indicated that 3,300 students are still "homeless or displaced form the storm"!
And he says, "More and more of our children are coming to school hungry."

Mercy Chefs is feeding hurting school kids in Panama City, every day, through a partnership with the local schools. We are also housing and feeding volunteer teams who are helping to rebuild homes.

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They slept through the night for the first time in weeks

It's difficult to explain what hunger will do to a child...

Let me share two stories with you of people your support recently helped.

First, we met a single mom with four sons. Trying to raise four boys by herself on a very limited budget is a challenge in itself, but with two of her sons being autistic, this family faces a serious uphill battle.

This mom shared with us that she often was so overwhelmed, that all she could do was pull out some cold cereal for dinner. It temporarily filled their stomachs and she survived another crisis.

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