John Webb and Patti Welty of Lawrence, Kansas were eagerly anticipating their upcoming vacation to Maui when wildfires broke out on the island on August 8. Instead of canceling their trip, they decided to go to Maui anyway.
“When we heard about the fire and the devastation, we thought about canceling the trip briefly,” John said. “But then Patti said ‘Hey, let’s see if we can help out while we’re there.’ I loved the idea so we started looking for opportunities to volunteer.”
Living only 45 minutes away from our headquarters in the Kansas City-area, Patti was already familiar with Operation BBQ Relief, but had never volunteered with us before. When they saw a recent KMBC interview with our Co-Founder and CEO Stan Hays about our efforts to bring the Healing Power of BBQ to Maui, they knew they had found a way to help out. John and Patti got connected to our crew on the ground and registered to volunteer at our drive through line at Whalers Village in Kaanapali, Hawaii, where they provided hot meals and hope to residents, relief workers, and first responders impacted by the fires.
“It was gratifying to see the outpouring of humanity, and it made us feel good to be doing something positive for people in need. We were struck by the level of care and concern by the people who staff OBR,” John said. “They not only feed people in crisis but they give out hugs when needed too! They are welcoming, fun loving folks who just want to help while at the same time are very professional and detail oriented. This is an impressive operation.”
Operation BBQ Relief provided a total of 31,610 meals to those impacted by the fires in Maui. None of this would be possible without the help and dedication of volunteers like John and Patti, who both plan to be involved with Operation BBQ Relief in the future.
“We will definitely volunteer with OBR again in the future but hopefully that won’t happen too soon. We would like to thank all the people we met while volunteering and thanks to OBR for the opportunity to serve others,” John said.
To learn how you can join our dedicated family of volunteers, visit https://operationbbqrelief.org/volunteer-obr.