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Alabama church offers hot showers and hot meals for tornado victims

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By Taylor Barnhill  - bio | email 

MINOR HEIGHTS, AL (WTVM) -  Community members all over Alabama are doing a great job of hearing about a certain need, and meeting it. One church in Minor Heights is teaming up to bring victims a few luxuries from home.

When you reach the point of exhaustion sometimes you just want a hot shower and a hot meal. That's why the members of Westmont Baptist Church are opening their doors to tornado victims and the volunteers who are helping them.

 "Jesus said to go and do and so that's what they're doing," Pastor C.B. Scott says the minute they heard members of their community were victims of the tornado, they jumped into action to see what could be done. 

"We've got power, we've got everything. When it came back on these folks started cooking. Our facility is running so we are going to use it as long as we can," said Pastor Scott.

Other churches heard about their efforts and offered aid as well.

Peggy Cleveland attends First Baptist Church of Pelham and drove all the way to Minor Heights to help. She told News Leader Nine, "We had a van and three vehicles that were full. It's what we're put here on earth for, to help one another and my husband and I, at our age, we were lamenting because physically we aren't capable of doing a whole lot."

Pastor Scott explained the volunteers' main goal is to offer a place for people to get a little home-cooking, "I've been a first responder before in places and you get sandwiches, but you get tired of eating sandwiches. So when someone brings you a hot meal it makes you feel good, it makes you feel like you are in a home away from home a little bit. And we just want to do that for people."

And Johnny Crumpton with the Minor Fire Department certainly appreciates their hard work, "Coming in after you've been out helping folks in whatever capacity it is, whether its rendering medical aid, or chaplain duties. Coming in out of that, no matter what you're doing is always a good thing."

Along with giving residents a place to clean-up after sorting through debris, the church members are also delivering warm meals to families.

"It means a great deal to know that someone is out in this area taking care of us and they have food because once our food spoiled you can't eat it. We are truly blessed to have people that care, we are truly blessed, that's all I can say. We are in need out here," said Shirley Battle, whose home was badly damaged by a fallen tree, leaving her without power and water.

Even though these volunteers are working tirelessly, they say there is no cut-off date. They will continue to cook and continue to feed people until there is no longer a need. 

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