From the Heart – May – June 2021

Jun 1, 2021 | Newsletters

From the Heart

May 2021

Message from the Co-Founders

Ten years ago on May 24, 2011, we shared the very first BBQ meals to families and first responders affected by the Joplin, MO tornado. The meals, volunteers, and community inspired Operation BBQ Relief into the organization it is today. When all hope seemed lost, a group of BBQ pitmasters from nine states came together to cook comfort food. Driven by a desire to compassionately serve and rebuild hope, a couple hundred volunteers served 120,000 meals in just 11 days.

But little did we know, a couple hundred volunteers turned into thousands. One hundred twenty thousand meals turned into millions and this one act of love turned into a movement that spread across the nation.

As of 2021, Operation BBQ Relief has reached a milestone of over 9 million meals. That’s over 9 million hearts touched in the span of our movement.

These amazing accomplishments wouldn’t be possible without friendships, love, and support.

Thank you to the volunteers and staff who helped further the mission of Operation BBQ Relief. The hours of labor you put in the process will never be forgotten.

Thank you to the communities we have served whose resilience continues to strengthen us and empower all that we do.

Thank you to our partners who continue to push us towards new horizons.

Thank you to our supporters whose donations make our efforts of serving the one hot meal that matters possible.

Because of you, what we cook is more than just a meal.

Our meals inspire, ignite joy, and nourish souls.

Here’s to many more decades of friendship and sharing the healing power of BBQ.

Much gratitude,

Stan Hays, CEO
Will Cleaver, CPO and Head of Finance

10th Anniversary Video

Watch Stan Hays and Will Cleaver discuss the inspiration behind Operation BBQ Relief.

Operation BBQ Relief had an amazing day celebrating our 10th Anniversary with the first Celebrity BBQ Academy and Golf Classic. Thank you to the incredible sponsors, participants, volunteers, celebrities, chefs, and pitmasters that traveled near and far to make the event a success!

Photo credit: Ken Goodman Photography

10th Anniversary Cake

The perfect cake to celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Operation BBQ Relief!
Thank you Black Sheep Custom Cakes!

Operation BBQ Relief Throwback 10th Anniversary T-Shirt

Click Here to Purchase

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.