Operation Blessing hopes students will ‘Opt In’ in 2007.

By January 15, 2007

USA (MNN)–Operation Blessing’s volunteer program just started a new movement called ‘Opt In’. It mobilizes college students into chapters to educate and recruit other student volunteers for disaster relief.

OBI’s Karen Ball says the program just launched and they’re still in the process of forming a governance, however, they’re in the process of recruiting a New Orleans work team.

She’s quick to point out that the program addresses all kinds of needs. “Sometimes you hear about people in your community whose home has been badly damaged through a flood or a fire, and they don’t have insurance, and they’re not able to physically do those repairs themselves. We would hope that an Opt-In chapter would adopt that family and go in and help them with their rebuilding work.”

As to a connection with a local church, that’s likely not long in coming. Ball says meeting physical needs brings opportunity to share the hope of Christ.

She points to the New Orleans rebuilding project as a key example. “Other people that may not be Christian see all of these people coming in by the hundreds and the thousands to help them with their rebuilding. We’ve seen firsthand how it’s changed people’s lives and they’ve given their lives to God.”

In the year since Hurricane Katrina hit, Operation Blessing partners have empowered our staff and volunteers to provide relief and recovery to Gulf Coast communities through 279 cash grants totaling more than $4.7 million. Nearly 900,000 meals served from three food kitchens, and teams distributed more than 11.4 million pounds of food and supplies.

Over 119,000 hours of volunteer service that includes house-gutting, debris removal, mosquito fish distribution, and more. Click here if you want to help.

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