Story by Elisabeth Hirtzinger, ACS Coordinator for Springfield First Church, originally published in Ohio Conference's FaithPoints
During the overnight hours of Memorial Day through the following early Tuesday morning, the west central side of Ohio was hit by a large storm. As daylight hit, the damage was revealed, and authorities confirmed that 200 people were injured with one fatality. The storm, which included 14 confirmed tornadoes, destroyed homes and neighborhoods. Tens of thousands of people lost water.
On May 28, Ohio Conference's Springfield First church began a drive to collect items for the tornado victims. The Springfield area was spared damage from these storms, with the majority of the damage occurring in the counties just west and southwest of Springfield. Within 17 hours after starting a donation drive and asking for participants via Facebook on multiple community groups, church and community members donated more than 26 cases of water (over 500 bottles). Volunteers also donated non-perishable food and personal hygiene items. Two bags of cat food and two bags of dog food were also donated.
Items were taken to the Red Cross shelter at the Mt. Enon Baptist Church in Dayton. Some items were personally hand-delivered to those in need within the community who were unable to travel to the church. More collections will be organized as the need continues.