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."
+ + First meals THIS EVENING
Mercy Chefs team members have been arriving here in Nashville all day and we immediately began setting up our mobile kitchen (pictured here) so we can serve our first meals this evening for dinner. As I write, our team is preparing and serving meals from our base at Zeal Church on the western side of the city near where the first tornado touched down. Meals will be served from the church and also distributed to other area locations.
Tonight, we're delivering meals to a women's shelter with 300 people that has no power and needs meals. There are many small communities surrounding Nashville that also need our help, and we are answering the call.
Because of the urgent need, I have already mobilized a SECOND Mercy Chefs mobile kitchen. That kitchen will arrive tomorrow night and will help expand our capacity as we plan to serve meals in East Nashville and to communities farther east.
That means very soon we will have TWO MOBILE KITCHENS fully deployed and serving meals.
My team is moving as fast as humanly possible to meet the need here. Now, I'm turning to dear friends like you for help.
Will you prayerfully consider how you can partner with us right now as we serve meals tonight and rush to get a second mobile kitchen set up to meet the enormous need here in the Nashville area? Go here to make your tax-deductible gift and help sponsor hot meals for Nashville area tornado victims, first responders and volunteers, while we continue other vital efforts:
Support from friends like you is making it possible for Mercy Chefs to be on the ground and serving meals just one day after the tornadoes hit. I want to move as quickly as possible to meet the need, but as always we depend on the prayers and generosity of friends like you.
We can feed about 20 people for $50; 40 for $100. Perhaps the Lord has blessed you and you can help sponsor an entire meal for 300 people in the women's shelter (about $750). Every gift will help. We'll serve thousands of meals just between now and the weekend.
Finally, please continue to pray. As I mentioned, first responders and rescue workers are still looking for the missing. Nashville and these surrounding communities have been hit hard. These good folks urgently need our prayers and our financial support.
Thanks and God bless you!
Gary LeBlanc, Mercy Chefs
P.S. We've been on the ground for just a few hours, and the need is already growing beyond our initial projections. As I noted, we just added a women's shelter with 300 people and we have another mobile kitchen already in route. Everywhere we turn, there is need. Please help. Go here: