TN volunteers turned away from Sandy recovery - WSMV Channel 4

TN volunteers turned away from Sandy recovery

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Hundreds of Tennesseans were inspired to give their time to local organizations trying to make a difference after Hurricane Sandy left so much devastation on the East Coast.

That includes dozens from the Tennessee Baptist Convention who loaded up a convoy of trucks and started driving north.

However, when they got to the disaster region, they were turned away.

David Acres, Disaster Relief Director for the Tennessee Baptist Convention, rallied an army of roughly 40 volunteers who planned to take mobile kitchens and supply trucks to New Jersey and New York to and cook thousands of meals for those in need.

"We did move probably seven or eight vehicles from here to the New Jersey area," Acres said.

But when the group arrived in Lakehurst, NJ, on Sunday, their trucks were turned away.

"This is kind of what happens in disasters. It doesn't always play out the way you want it to play out," Acres said.

Acres said that because mobile kitchens from Kentucky, Arkansas and North Carolina were already in place, Tennessee's trucks apparently weren't needed in New York or New Jersey. Plus, there was no place to set up near the disaster areas.

"It was very difficult to find a good secure area to be able to set our equipment up and to be able to cook," Acres said.

He added that the two-day trip wasn't in vain. The local volunteers stayed overnight at McGuire Air Force Base to minister to members of the military.

"And they decided that's what God had them up there for was just to make contact with people they were there to see. Even though they didn't get to cook any meals, they still got to show the love of Jesus Christ to the military people they come in contact with," Acres said.

The volunteers also said none of the food they took will be wasted.

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