Group continues efforts to help storm victims
by James Phillips
Jun 05, 2011 | 2069 views | 0 0 comments | 8 8 recommendations | email to a friend | print
Charles Harper, of Missions Unlimited, sorts boxes filled with baby supplies that will be delivered to area storm victims Photo by: James Phillips
Charles Harper, of Missions Unlimited, sorts boxes filled with baby supplies that will be delivered to area storm victims Photo by: James Phillips
Since tornadoes struck Walker County and surrounding areas on April 27, Missions Unlimited has been helping to meet the needs of the storms’ victims.

The Jasper-based group has helped in disasters across the globe since 1976, including during the Haiti earthquake and the Japan tsunami, and is currently receiving around 11,000 pounds of food per day that is being dispersed in tornado-stricken areas in Alabama and other areas.

“We are very thankful for the amount of support that we’ve received since the tornadoes hit in April,” said Charles Harper, operations manager for Missions Unlimited. “We are receiving so much each day that we’ve been able to help take care of our local folks and send things to other areas.”

Donations to Missions Unlimited have come from across the United States. Harper said the group has received truckloads from as far west as California. He said many donations have also come from within Alabama, including Pilgrim’s Pride in Guntersville donating more than 3,000 pounds of fresh chicken last week.

“I spent a day going to Guntersville to get the chicken and then delivering a lot of it to the Freewill Baptist Church in Cordova,” Harper said. “What Cordova couldn’t use, we’ve put in our freezers and will hand out to folks as they are needed.”

Harper said the group has also received help from state government officials and local businesses.

“Sen. Greg Reed and Wayne Walker, who is the state’s deputy ag commissioner, have been a big help to us,” he said. “We’ve also had a lot of help from Sides TV, Scott Crump Toyota and Williams Furniture. Each of those businesses have let us use vehicles to pickup and transport a lot of the donations that we’ve received.”

Missions Unlimited is providing relief help in Walker County on a daily basis, and Harper said the group has distributed items in Hackleburg, Phil Campbell, Tuscaloosa, Pleasant Grove and Cullman.

Harper said the group is still accepting donations of any kind. He said monetary donations to help with fuel costs can also be made, and the group is looking for a reliable truck after one of its trucks was recently stolen.

“The truck was recovered, but it’s not in driving shape,” Harper said. “If anyone has something reliable, we would greatly appreciate it.”

For more information on Missions Unlimited, Harper can be reached at 205-544-8784. Items for donation can be brought to the group’s downtown Jasper warehouse located behind the Salvation Army.

“We are continuing to ask for help, because we are looking at the long-term needs of the people who have been affected by the storms,” he said. “This is going to be a six-month or longer process, and we will be here to help as long as our help is needed.”