Many of our neighbors were hit by the storm that produced up to 90 MPH straight line winds on July 12th. While some of us had just a few tree branches to rake up, others are currently living in homes with a tarp of the roof, and at least three homeowners have homes that were considered total losses.
Bridges of Hope is proud to be participating in a still ongoing effort to care for those in our community who were impacted by this storm. In the days following the storm, we participated in twice daily briefings at the Relief Center at Timberwood Church along with the Crow Wing County Sheriff’s Department, Highway Department & Community Services teams, Red Cross, Salvation Army, Nisswa Chamber, Minnesota Power, Crow Wing Power, Lutheran Social Services, multiple disaster response teams, and many others.
Many of the folks at these briefings had experience significant damage to their own properties, yet they still showed up each day to coordinate the response for the entire community. It was incredibly moving to see the care for our community that was demonstrated by all involved.
Early on, the Initiative Foundation, Crow Wing Power, individuals, and multiple churches stepped up with donations to the Storm Response Fund – – THANK YOU!
People experienced power outages that lasted several days, and some up to a week. This, coupled with significant property damage, caused extreme stress for many of our neighbors. While our agency partners were attending to immediate needs such as serving meals and distributing water at the Relief Center, Bridges of Hope heard from more than 140 households impacted by the storm.
Volunteers from AmeriCorps
We had the privilege of working with relief groups such as Nechama Jewish Response to Disaster, a Southern Baptist relief group, Catholic United, Menonite Disaster Response, Home Depot, AmeriCorps, and many others and connected them with 46 households who were elderly, disabled, or facing some other barrier to assess & address emergent tree removal and yard clean-up need. At least 38 of those had their needs met by these relief groups while some resolved their own situations or were referred to professional services.
After a week without power and the stress of storm clean up, a number of households also sought assistance from Bridges for mental health concerns, food, and other issues. We worked as quickly as possible to provide referrals and assistance in these situations. We will continue to work with those affected by the storm in the coming weeks. We know that with the huge impact this storm had on our local resorts and other businesses, some of you may have experienced lost wages or other issues.
If you or someone you know were impacted by the storm and need assistance, please call Bridges of Hope at 218-825-7682 and a staff will speak with you about your situation.
We want to take this time to say a special thank you to the following businesses and churches who partnered with us to feed volunteers for the past three weeks!
- Salvation Army
- Church members at Trinity, Lord of Life, and Timberwood.
- Nisswa Chamber who coordinated donated meals from: Raffterty’s in Nisswa, Wendy’s in Nisswa, Prairie Bay, Nisswa Legion, and Zorbaz.
- Mid-MN Federal Credit Union
- Donors to the Bridges of Hope Storm Relief Fund
We’ve seen many messages of thanks over the past three weeks (here is one example from Tom & Marlene who were affected by the storm).
On behalf of the staff & board at Bridges of Hope, I want to take this opportunity to say THANK YOU to everyone involved in the storm relief effort. We are truly grateful to be a part of this community!