Operation BBQ Relief
Operation BBQ Relief is a 501(c)3 not-for-profit corporation founded in May, 2011 in response to a need for relief efforts in tornado-stricken Joplin, Missouri. On Sunday evening, May 22, a massive multi-vortex EF5 tornado plowed through the southwest Missouri community of about 50,000 residents, killing over 140 people and injuring more than 1,000. It left a path of almost total destruction six miles long and over a half mile wide. It is now classified as the second deadliest tornado in U.S. history.
In the wake of this nearly unprecedented destruction, competition barbecue teams from eight states answered the call to help feed displaced families and police, fire, National Guard and emergency personnel. The group, headed by Stan Hays (County Line Smokers), Jeff Stith (Big Creek BBQ) and Will Cleaver (Sticks N Chicks BBQ), was able to serve over 120,000 barbecue meals in less than two weeks during the operation in Joplin. Food was served from our location in the community and delivered to shelters, hospitals, senior living communities and the Humane Society. Volunteers also loaded food into vehicles and delivered directly to families in the impacted areas within the tornado’s footprint. The operation was made possible by many businesses who contributed food and supplies and people from across the country who donated cash.
As a result of efforts in Joplin, Operation BBQ Relief was born. The Joplin operation will be used as a model for future disasters such as hurricanes, wildfires, earthquakes, floods and other tornados. We are a not-for-profit corporation registered in all fifty states and ready to respond to natural disaster emergencies across the United States.
The vision of Operation BBQ Relief is that all people involved in relief efforts during natural disasters will understand the true meaning of compassion for those who have lost possessions and loved ones and that they will further utilize all of their God-given skills and abilities to better the lives of those affected.
The mission of Operation BBQ Relief is to provide compassion and to offer hope and friendship to those whose lives have been affected by natural disasters across the United States through our expertise in cooking and catering barbecue meals and our ability to quickly mobilize our teams into any area where nature disrupts and tears apart the lives of Americans.
We value honesty, compassion, friendship, hard work and respect for others and for resources with which we are provided. Decisions and actions of Operation BBQ Relief will always be made and carried out with these values in mind. We want the communities we serve to be able to state without reservation that Operation BBQ Relief upheld these values while making a positive impact in the lives of their citizens.