From the Heart – April 2019

Apr 3, 2019 | Newsletters

From the Heart

April 2019


OBR has been helping communities for almost 8 years. Most of you have only seen what we have done after disaster strikes. Truth be told since early on we have used our cooking talents to help others whether after disaster or in a community that had a need. That is because of the heart of our volunteers. At the end of 2018 we made the decision to formalize the top three areas we had been helping most in. We will focus on the fight on hunger, military/veterans and the first responders when not on disasters. We hired Jarrid “Jay” Collins a retired Green Beret to lead these non-disaster programs at the end of 2018. We are calling these non-disaster programs the Always Serving Project (ASP). These programs will add consistency to our inconsistent disaster relief program that is the heart of what we do.

We are excited to formalize the work we have been doing in these core areas as well as the leadership of Jay joining our team. We hope you get a chance to meet Jay soon and learn more about what is coming. Learn more at:

Will Cleaver and Stan Hays
Co-Founders of Operation BBQ Relief

A Look Back at 2018

Do you ever feel like you just blinked and 2018 was “POOF” – “GONE” just like that? if you’ve already forgotten all that you accomplished with OBR, here’s a reminder of what YOU did to help those in need!

Between January and December of 2018, there were 9 disasters in 9 different states. Those disasters included 3 tornadoes, 2 floods, 2 fires and 2 hurricanes.

Over the course of only 69 days in 2018, 1,160,828 hot bbq meals were served!

What’s more, is that the number of meals served since the birth of OBR totals 2,912,520. This has happened over 54 deployments, in 25 states, over the course of 317 days in deployment. These are amazing figures and thank you to all of you for giving so selflessly.


Making Good

Operation BBQ Relief will be making its television show debut.  Cosmic Productions and BYU TV followed OBR in the aftermath of Hurricane Florence.  This new series, “Making Good”, is an amazing heartwarming look at people and organizations doing good from the inside out.  The show’s season will air in May. BYU TV will air a series sneak peak on Sunday, April 7th at 3:00 PM EST.  We were honored to be chosen to be involved and blown away to be featured in their sneak peak.  Please tune in to BYU TV to watch.  BYU TV is on many basic cable lineups.  If you don’t have that as an option, you can stream it live on

3:00 PM EST
“Making Good” on BYU TV
Episode – Operation BBQ Relief
In the wake of Hurricane Florence, Kirby travels to Wilmington, North Carolina to join a team of BBQ pitmasters who deliver hot meals to victims.  While Kirby helps prepare and distribute meals, and gets a firsthand look at the devastation.


Upcoming Events


Apr 3rd – 6th – National BBQ Association Convention, Kansas City, MO

Apr 7th – “Doing Good” TV Show Airs, BYU TV

Apr 13th – Pig Beach BBQ Fundraising Event, Brooklyn, NY

Apr 26th – 28th – Stagecoach Festival, Indio, CA


Click Here for other event info.
Interested in volunteering for an event, please email for more information.


Team OBR Takes World Champion Title


Congrats to the whole OBR Team on becoming WORLD CHAMPIONS!

Head Pitmaster – Dewayne Daniel
Ribs – Mark Lambert
Brisket – Joey Smith
Chicken – Scott Guy
and a whole cast of supporting volunteers!

Any suggestions for topics for the newsletter?
Please email your suggestions to:

OBR’s Always Serving Project

You may have been asking yourself, “How can I participate more with OBR?” outside of a disaster, such as a hurricane, tornado, or wildfire. The Breaking Bread Tour, part of the Always Serving Project, may be just what you’re looking for.

We invite you to join our movement, which begins on April 28. Together, we will cycle, hand cycle and run across America to bring awareness to hunger in our communities. We will connect, inspire and serve in 8 communities across the U.S., aiming to break bread with as many people as possible throughout the tour. We plan to provide hot BBQ meals to 10,000 people per community. We will start our trek in Los Angeles, CA, and end in Tampa, FL, on June 16, at the 2019 DoD Warrior Games where we will support athletes and families throughout the games.

Why are we doing this? Face facts, many things divide people today. Hunger is an issue in every state and many children go to school everyday without breakfast or lunch. OBR believes in bringing people together by connecting, inspiring and serving communities through the Healing Power of BBQ.

While dates may change slightly, here is the schedule.

April 28th – Los Angeles, CA
May 5th-6th – Phoenix, Arizona
May 13th – El Paso, Texas
May 20th – San Antonio, Texas
May 25-26th – Houston, Texas
June 2nd – Hammond, Louisiana
June 9th – Panama City Beach, Florida
June 20th – Tampa Bay, Florida
June 21-30th – DoD Warrior Games (Tampa, Florida)

OBR has decided to actively pursue solutions to end hunger once and for all by providing a hot BBQ meal to those in need, year round.
Join the movement.
Join the #BreakingBreadTour.


If you want to get involved please click the link below for more information!

The Breaking Bread Tour Needs Your Help

If you want to be involved in The Breaking Bread Tour, please let us know. We need volunteers to help make this event amazing. There are many opportunities. We are looking for people to:

  • Run
  • Cook
  • Serve
  • Join in along the route

If you can help, please email us at

Do you have a RV that could be our mobile epicenter and a place for the team to sleep? Do you have large a truck with heavy towing capacity? We need two trucks to make it from LA to Tampa. We are looking for ways to enhance the experience for our teams and keep expenses down. We need your help. If you have a solution please email

We Are Proud to Announce

Operation BBQ Relief’s Cookbook, Operation BBQ, hits the shelf April 9th. There are 200 recipes from Grand Champion Pitmasters.  You can order your cookbook now and know that OBR’s portion of the proceeds are going to go to serving the One Hot BBQ Meal That Matters.  Help us help others with this tasty investment in your collection.  Order your Cookbook today at:

Amazon, Barnes & Noble, Indigo, The Book Depository, Book-A-Million, and wherever books are sold!

OBR Cares

Operation BBQ Relief now has a Critical Incident Stress Management Program. As we carry out our mission, sometimes our volunteers are put in some very stressful situations, whether it be on a deployment or doing work behind the scenes during non-deployment times. The effects may not be felt at the moment but might be in a day or two, a week, months or can be triggered years later. We just want you to know OBR is here and willing to help.

We have three trained and certified personnel willing to help you. It is very easy to contact them. Just send an email to and your email will be answered ASAP. All cases are STRICTLY CONFIDENTIAL.

I urge anyone who is dealing with any stress management issue that is affecting their personal life to please reach out and let our team help you!

Ways to Help

Team OBR has accomplished a lot since our inception. In the last seven years, we have grown from a startup organization to being one of the largest providers of hot meals during disasters. Our BBQ background prepares us to be really great problem solvers and so much of disaster relief is solving big problems to help others. One problem that we are trying to solve is the peaks and valleys of funding between deployments as the ongoing expenses do not go away when we are not deployed. A few of these expenses are vehicle and trailer maintenance, warehouse space, storage, and insurance.

We are asking for your help in 2019 toward a monthly giving campaign. This campaign allows our supporters to budget their monthly contributions throughout the year and allows OBR to better manage our ongoing expenses. Our 2019 annual goal is to add 1,000 new monthly supporters during the year. Thank you for being part of Operation BBQ Relief and helping us help others. If you wish to sign up for a monthly giving program, click here or click below to enroll.

Other Ways To Help

Volunteer – We are always in need of volunteers. Let us know your skills and come join Team OBR.
Company matching contribution – Most large companies will match your contribution. Ask your HR Department and double up your donation.
In-kind Donation – If you have equipment or a product that we use your donation is always appreciated.

Corporate Supporters



Join the #iamOBR movement with a tax deductible monthly contribution where you can select donation options to help support Operation BBQ Relief.


Operation BBQ Relief relies solely on volunteers like you. Whether you are a competition BBQ team, caterer, restaurateur or simply an individual or group wanting to help when disaster strikes, we want you to be a part of this rewarding experience in helping people.