Dear Ocoee Outreach Mission Partners,
We are still planning on Ocoee Outreach this summer but with a few modifications. On top of the COVID-19 pandemic that is impacting all of our lives and communities, Cleveland was hit with 4 tornados the evening of Easter Sunday that caused significant damage especially in the impoverished community we work in the most. There were 157 homes damaged by the tornados with 26 totally destroyed and 23 homes with major damage. We did have several injuries but no fatalities (PTL!). Our neighbors to the south of us in Chattanooga/Hamilton County were not as fortunate and were hit much harder than we were. CrossNet Baptist Network/Ocoee Outreach has taken the lead in our local recovery/clean-up efforts over the past 2 weeks:
· We have mobilized 1,730 volunteers and utilized chainsaw teams, tractor/skid steer teams, roof/tarp teams, clean-up teams from Church groups, non-profits, businesses/organizations, etc…
· More than 200 projects have been completed
In the midst of the COVID-19 “Stay In Shelter” orders, we have also taken the lead in providing meals for the homeless at our Emergency Shelter through our Network/Associational Churches over a 4 week period of time.
We now have a new wave of families in need of home repair related to tornado damage on top of the many applications we already have on file from many disabled and low income families. There will be a huge need for Ocoee Outreach teams this summer. We continue to monitor COVID-19 as our Governor and local mayors end our “Stay in Shelter” orders on April 30 as the number of known cases has been decreasing.
Our situation is still fluid and could change but these are the modifications we have at this time:
· Our online Pre-Project Wknd. will now be May 15-16 and will be a Zoom event. We will send instructions and 1-2 hour time blocks you can sign-up for in a couple of weeks
· The week of June 21 will be our first week of Ocoee Outreach. If you were scheduled on one of the first 3 weeks of June we would love to try to add you to one of our other weeks
· We are adding the week of July 26 – August 1 to our summer calendar
· We are also adding the week of October 4 -10 (Fall break for our local school system)
· We will be taking extra pre-cautions and following guidelines to help safeguard our teams in the aftermath of COVID-19
· Our usual 60 day out deposits are now due 30 days before your trip
· Let me know if you need to reschedule to one of the new weeks we’ve opened up
We understand you will still need to make the best decision for your church mission team. We know that there are many that are now affected by the economic turbulence we are all experiencing. If it looks like your numbers will be much less than what you originally indicated, we still can use your team this summer. We have so much work to do and so many hurting families to share the love of Christ with. As you know we are very connected to the local church through our CrossNet Baptist Network. We know firsthand this is a challenging time for you and your church. We are praying for you.
Let me know what your thoughts are and where your church might be regarding Ocoee Outreach this summer. We will keep you updated on any changes.
In His Service,
CrossNet Baptist Network/Ocoee Outreach
2707 N. Ocoee St.
Cleveland, TN 37312