‘Operation Relief’ donation drive collecting supplies for devastated tornado areas

NOW: ‘Operation Relief’ donation drive collecting supplies for devastated tornado areas
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SOUTH BEND, Ind.-- In the aftermath of this weekend's tornadoes, one local church and radio station is stepping up to collect and deliver supplies to devastated areas.  

Tornadoes devastated parts of Indiana and Mississippi this weekend, leaving neighborhoods destroyed and people desperate.  

One local church in South Bend, Interfaith Christian Union and radio station, WUBS, is stepping up to the plate with “Operation Relief.”  

“We’re using our horn. We’re using anybody’s horn that can get the word out to the people,” said Rev. Sylvester Williams Jr., executive director of the church, “because people want to help, they just need to know where, when, and how.”

“Operation Relief” is nothing new to Rev. Williams, who's helped give back to those in need for almost two decades now.

“'Operation Relief' went into existence during Katrina,” he said, “when we sent nine carloads of relief supplies to that devastated area.”

Elonda Wilder-Hamilton was running errands Monday, listening to WUBS on the radio, and heard about “Operation Relief.”  

“He put the call out, and I just responded to the call,” she said.

She says her relationship with Rev. Williams and his family goes back to the 1980s, and she knew the least she could do was donate.  

“You hear people talking about doing a ‘drive-by.’ Instead of drive-by bullets, we do drive-by blessings,” she said, “and so I just responded to the call.”

The church is collecting supplies for those impacted by the tornadoes, including but not limited to:  

  • Tents or tarps
  • Diapers and female hygiene products
  • Disinfectant and cleaning products
  • Toiletries
  • Food gift cards
  • Generators  

Checks for monetary donations can be made out to ICU/ Operation Relief. Items can be dropped off at 702 Lincolnway West in South Bend. Donation hours are weekdays from noon to 4 p.m., Sundays at 10 a.m. to 2 p.m., and Saturdays upon request.  

After 30 days, Interfaith Christian Union will take all the donations to a distribution center in Mississippi to be delivered to those in tornado-impacted areas.

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