Volunteers flood church camp

By Ken Raymond and Tony Thornton Published: September 5, 2005
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With thousands of evacuees expected to arrive at the Falls Creek youth camp today, Oklahomans have offered so much help that officials are now turning volunteers away.

Ray Sanders, spokesman for the Oklahoma Baptist General Convention, said the camp has all the help it needs today.

Becky Hopper, who attends Quail Springs Baptist Church in Oklahoma City, was among those turned away. She and about 40 others from the church drove to Falls Creek this morning to deliver sheets, towels, linens and "buckets of blessings" - plastic pails filled with items for children and adults.

"It looked like every other Baptist church in the state had about that number there," she said, laughing, "and you know there's quite a lot of Baptist churches in this state. ... Everybody just dropped everything and headed down.

Michelann Ooten, spokeswoman for the Oklahoma Department of Emergency Management, said she wasn't shocked by the news.

"This doesn't surprise us at all," she said. "Oklahomans always come through. But somehow, we have to get the word out that this is going to be a long-term effort" and volunteers will be needed in the coming days.


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