Adventists Rally to Help Survivors Following Ohio Tornadoes
Story by Heidi Shoemaker and Visitor Staff
Following recent, severe storms in Ohio, Seventh-day Adventist members rallied to help. At least 14 tornadoes were confirmed in the Dayton/Miami Valley Ohio area, including a rare EF4 with 166 to 200 mph winds. As of June 5, Kettering Adventist HealthCare (KAHC) facilities have treated at least 175 people with storm-related injuries, and one person has been confirmed dead. Water and power outages also impacted the area.
"Soin banned together last night and helped all of those in need! The emergency room helped shelter many people stay safe and eased their anxieties from the storm! Just being there and being able to lend a voice of safety is what makes working in the emergency room worth it! Prayers to all impacted by the storm!” shared Alicia Kempf, a nursing assistant in the Emergency Department at Soin Medical Center in Beavercreek, Ohio., where many storm victims were treated.
KAHC made an initial donation of $10,000 to and worked with the Foodbank in Dayton to donate water. They are also providing meals to 700 people, four nights a week for two to three weeks, reports Elizabeth Long, manager of media and public relations for KAHC. She shares that their staff are aware of approximately 150 team members who have been impacted, including at least five who’ve lost their homes. KAHC’s Grandview Foundation has also set a special fund, with KAHC contributing $50,000, for donations that will be distributed to and used to support employees impacted.
The Good Neighbor House (GNH) in Dayton, Ohio, supported by multiple Ohio Conference churches, and working with several Allegheny West Conference (AWC) churches and community members, has worked to help impacted victims by supplying water, food, toiletries and cleaning supplies. GNH is also working with the United Way to coordinate volunteer efforts.
“This has been a devastating time for our community,” says Marcia Ehlers, GNH assistant director of Human Services and Outreach. “But as we open our day with prayer and watch the circle get bigger and bigger with our neighbors so hungry to have someone connect them with Christ and His comfort, we know He spared our agency any major damage to allow us to be His hands and heart to our neighbors at this time.”
AWC members trained in spiritual care assistance are also working with the Ohio Conference and KAHC to provide care. The Ethan Temple church in Clayton and the Hill Crest church in Dayton provided temporary relief to residents as well.
How to Help
Staff at Good Neighbor House (GNH) have requested donations of canned meat, water, non-electric can openers, toilet paper and hygiene products such as bar soap, toothbrushes and toothpaste.
Donations may be dropped off in person at GNH at 627 East First Street, Dayton, Ohio, Monday through Thursday from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., and Friday 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. Additional drop sites are located at the Centerville, Miamisburg and Kettering churches.
Donations may also be sent through GHN’s PayPal Account (goodneighborhouse.org), marked “Tornado Relief Efforts.”