When help was needed with COVID-19 vaccination clinics and food distribution in the Grand Strand, South Carolina Baptist Convention Disaster Relief volunteers answered the call. Before the vaccine became widely available in drugstores and other places, the McLeod Health System conducted mass vaccine clinics throughout Horry County. Local SCBC DR volunteers aided with traffic flow, registration, and monitoring the post-vaccination waiting areas.
The DR participation was coordinated by Kent Brown, a DR unit leader who attends Pleasant Hill Baptist Church in Longs.
When McLeod asked for assistance, Brown rallied 17 volunteers to serve at seven clinics during the months of February and March. Most of the volunteers served multiple times.
Kelly Hughes, McLeod Health representative, commented that many compliments were received regarding the DR team’s “positive attitude and friendly care for those who were elderly or anxious about getting the vaccine.” Hughes added, “No job was too small or too hard for your volunteers.”
In addition to the clinics, Brown and volunteer Mike Rummer assisted the Low Country Food Bank with food distribution for families in need. Three times in January and February, they helped to hand out bagged groceries at drive-through sites, aiding 1,550 families in the Myrtle Beach area.
The food distributions are ongoing, with Brown and Rummer continuing to volunteer regularly. Brown said they pray with every car that comes through. “It is really a joy,” he commented. “We get to witness to many people.” He reports over 10 salvations because of their efforts.
DR volunteers are encouraged to serve their local communities in between the times they deploy for the big events like hurricanes, tornadoes, or floods. Thanking the DR volunteers, Hughes said, “We are grateful to those in your organization who truly are the hands and feet of the Lord and have a servant’s heart to help.”
–Sue Harmon is Disaster Relief operations manager for the South Carolina Baptist Convention.