Church group holds cookout for tornado victims

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KENTWOOD, Mich. ( July 13, 2014) — A local church held a cook out in the center of all the devistation from last Sunday’s tornado in Kentwood.

Renaissance Church didn’t just feed the community, but they also showed up with dozens of volunteers to help clean-up debris.

Pastor Dennis McMurray from Renaissance Church in Kentwood said it was a last minute idea to take members of Sunday’s morning services out to the streets to help in any way they could.

“Woke up at about midnight and couldn’t get it out of my spirit and got up there early this morning thinking about it. Went into our Sunday school class and we planned it in about 15 minutes and here we are with 200 hot dogs, 200 buns and about 75 volunteers later,” said McMurray.

McMurray said that he told everyone to change out of their Sunday’s best and lend a hand to clean-up.

“This devastation could have touched my neighborhood. It could have touched my daughter’s home. It could have touched my neighbors, my friends, my church members. It could have been any of us,” said volunteer Vanessa Landry.

Angela Clark and her daughter Audrey said that their home was spared in the tornado, with only a couple trees toppling in their yard. They said that they’ve spend the last week helping others.

“It’s just great to see it. I never would have expected to see this much damage and everyone coming together, especially from churches. So, it’s really nice,” said Audrey Clark.

Sarah Saigeon lives up the street and was just passing by when she saw volunteers giving away free food to a community that has been through a lot devastation within the past week.

“I mean chips and a hot dog might not seem like a lot, but it’s really a grand gesture when you know it’s your neighborhood people pulling together and just offering it to you just out of respect caring for their neighbors. It’s really a wonderful thing,” said Saigeon.

McMurray said that it’s important for others to remember the work in Kentwood isn’t done, and still isn’t too late for anyone looking to help.

“Very active. They are trying to put their lives back together, and so the little bit that we are doing is just a small sliver compared to what they have to do,” said McMurray.

A community meeting will be held Monday July 14th, at 6:30 p.m. at Kelloggsville Christian Reformed Church. The facility is located at 610 52nd Street SE.

Community leaders and several organizations will be present at the meeting to answer questions from community members affected by the storm on July 6th.


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