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TORNADO RELIEF PROJECT UPDATE: Recreating Family Portraits

April 14, 2022

While it has been a while since our last follow-up, we want you to know the staff and volunteers of God's Pit Crew have been very busy finalizing plans for their trip to Bremen, KY. In recent weeks, they started purchasing furniture, decorations, and other household items they plan to use to make Autumn and her children truly feel at home in their new space. They have also secured the majority of their building materials, and everything is wrapped and ready to roll out inside their Danville, VA warehouse.

Perhaps the most heartwarming update of all.... they have begun the thoughtful process of recreating some of their family portraits. Autumn didn't just lose her home and all her belongings in the tornado. She also lost her husband, her best friend, the father of her children. We can't imagine the overwhelming emotions she and the kids are going to feel when they see these memories adorning the walls of their new home. Stay tuned. We're getting so close to the big day!

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Tornado Relief Project Update: Blessing the Beams

Feb. 24, 2022

Work on Autumn’s house has officially begun! Staff and volunteers with God's Pit Crew have started assembling the framework - which they actually build in sections inside their Virginia warehouse. Soon, they will transport these down to Kentucky where the real work will begin. GPC has an amazing volunteer base of close to 400 people. During our visit to the facility, we were told by the founder that these men and women will “bless the beams” before they're loaded up, forming a prayer circle and asking God to be with the families. Members of the community are also invited to sign the pieces with inspirational messages that will remain a hidden, but very significant, part of the home's foundation.

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    Tornado Relief Project Update: Making a House a “Home”

    Feb. 23, 2022

    A lot of exciting progress has been taking place in Kentucky since our last update to the Tornado Relief Project. Autumn, the widow and single mother to whom we introduced you last month, was able to review the blueprints to their new home! 

    When Team PRP first met with the staff at God's Pitt Crew (the Virginia non-profit we have teamed up with for this rebuild), they shared with us that the children were having an incredibly difficult time in the aftermath of the tornado. 

    In one terrifying night, the six-year-old and 12-year-old lost their home, all their belongings… and saddest of all, their father. We were told they’d been clinging to their mother’s side, and bedtime was still filled with terror-filled nightmares.

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    Last week, in large part due to the generosity of you, our Team PRP family, Audriana and Alexander finally had a reason to smile. GPC founders Randy and Terri Johnson flew back to Kentucky and met with them to go over the architect’s designs and to discuss plans for their fresh start. 

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    As you’ll hear from Terri in our newest video, for a brief moment, first grader Alexander got to be a little boy again—full of hope and wonder—staking claim to his bedroom before his sister could! And Autumn was able to share a very sentimental request with Terri that has to do with the outside of the house. You’ll have to watch the video to learn more.

    In the coming weeks, as permits begin to get approved and the framing begins on site at God’s Pit Crew (make sure you’ve joined our members only FB group for that update coming soon!), we will be starting another round of giving. There’s no pressure, and zero obligation. If you are interested in participating and continuing in this journey, you can email giving@teamprp.com . Randy tells us they have added plans to build a storm shelter in the new home. They don’t want Autumn, Audriana, or Alexander to live in fear every time they hear the sirens and warnings. 

    We have also had discussions of how we may be able to bless them with a new vehicle. If you have any ideas or suggestions, please reach out to the giving email address or contact Jarret directly at jhann@teamprp.com 

    This has been, and will continue to be, an amazing example of Team PRP’s Cultural Values of Selflessness and Helping Each Other… in action. 

    We are changing lives.

    YOU are changing lives.

    Tornado Relief Project: Autumn’s Story

    In late January, Team PRP’s Jarret Hann, Jessica Wauhop, and Board Member Marty Myers made the trip to Danville, VA to present a check for $100,000 to God’s Pit Crew. That’s the money many of you so graciously donated just before Christmas when you learned of the devastating and deadly tornadoes in the Midwest.
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    The visit had a profound effect on all three as they spoke with staff, toured the 200,00 square-foot facility, and learned of the work that’s being done by not just these employees, but an inspiring team of more than 400 volunteers.
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      In 2021 alone, God’s Pit Crew:

      • Responded to 14 disasters
      • Delivered 101 truckloads (3,004,609 lbs) of disaster relief products
      • Distributed 15,092 “Blessing Buckets”
      • Completed three major rebuild projects

      Team PRP is proud to partner with this non-profit due to its mission statement, which in part reads: “…to bring hope, healing, and restoration to hurting people in times of crisis.” As you know, two of our cultural values are to Help Each Other and to practice Selflessness. We like to think this mindset extends outside the framework of just our organization, and into the neighboring communities of our member yards, our valued vendors, and our trusted affiliates across the country. 

      In this case, it has taken us to Bremen, KY. 

      That’s where not one, not two, but three new homes will be built in the coming months for tornado survivors. One of those rebuilds is thanks largely in part, to a $100,000 donation.

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      Bremen is also where Autumn, a young woman in her mid-30’s, is adjusting to life as a widow and single mother of two young children. She lost her home, her car, and all her belongings when the massive tornado ripped through her hometown that night. The biggest loss, a truly unimaginable tragedy, was the death of her husband. The family of four was pulled out of their closet, where they huddled together, by the sheer and impressive force of the massive twister. They awoke trapped under debris – unsure of where they were. They were able to hear each other’s screams, but unable to reach each other due to their individual injuries. 

      It’s a night that changed their lives forever. But now, thanks to your generosity, Autumn has experienced another life-changing moment. And this one brings her hope. It brings healing. And it starts the slow process of turning a heartbreaking story into a heartwarming one. 

      If after watching Autumn’s story, you feel compelled to donate more to this ongoing project—or maybe get involved for the first time—you can email giving@teamprp.com with your information and someone from Team PRP will be in touch soon.

      We look forward to sharing updates with you throughout this journey which you can follow in three ways: our newsletter, in our member Facebook group, and on our website.

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