From the Heart – October 2020

Oct 10, 2020 | Newsletters

From the Heart

October 2020

Message from CEO

Operation BBQ Relief is preparing to respond to Hurricane Delta as it has strengthened to a Category 3 hurricane with 115 mph winds. Jay Collins, Chief Programs Officer, is on the ground scouting locations around Lake Charles this morning. Less than 3 weeks ago, we left Lake Charles after serving approximately 380,000 meals over 3 weeks after Hurricane Laura. We are anticipating major damage to the area again and identifying needs for mass feeding ahead of landfall.

For me, one of the most humbling things you can do is share the one hot meal that matters to someone who lost their home to a disaster. There are times we have helped families and they are trying to find their life on their lawn. They pause and thank us for a pulled pork sandwich and the experience is truly humbling.

We don’t provide meals for that kind of a thank you, but that kind of a thank you can go so far. We remember that thank you for a long time. We remember that thank you when we think it’s thankless, and it’s 95 degrees and 200 percent humidity outside. We remember the thank yous that come from all these different people, and it makes a difference.

Everybody here has the ability to make a change.

I encourage you to take just 2 ½ minutes of your time to watch this powerful video on the healing power of BBQ.

Thank you from all of us at Operation BBQ Relief!

Much respect,

Stan Hays

Operation BBQ Relief Lake Charles Deployment
The One Hot Meal That Matters

Operation BBQ Relief Coast to Coast

In 50 days, Operation BBQ Relief has provided over 525,000 meals in response to the midwest derecho, hurricanes, and wildfires. Our disaster response team has answered the call coast to coast to address the fight on hunger during times of crisis. We received the note from a father in Orange Beach who went 10 days without power. His note highlights the extraordinary impact of meals served by Operation BBQ Relief throughout the country.

“A few weeks ago, my daughter was a recipient of your saving meals after the storm in Cedar Rapids. Little did I know that just a few short weeks later, I’d be enjoying one of the tasty, hot meals you provided in our area Orange Beach after Hurricane Sally visited. Operation BBQ Relief ROCKS! Thank you!” -Cliff, Orange Beach

The 3 Piles

Will Cleaver, Co-Founder and Chief People Office

In today’s world, we are all pulled in many directions – work, life, self. Each one of these areas are pulling at each other and challenging us for our time and attention. The list of never-ending tasks just continues to grow. You can’t manage everything. You feel like you can never get everything done. The to-do list never ends. The hard truth is you will never finish your list. The race never ends. There is no finish line and your list will always continue to grow.

Don’t fight what can’t be fought. Sounds simple, yet complex. How do you prioritize how to let go? How do you shut down one area to focus on another?

I look at this challenge in a simple way. You have 3 piles – things you need to get done, things you would like to get done, and things honestly you will never get done. The trick is to realize each of these piles and work on what needs to get done first. Then work on what you would like to get done and distinguish the pile of things you will never get done and let go of it. This is a constant cycle of evaluation and moving items between piles each and every day.

If managed, you make progress and realize you need to let go of the things that really just don’t matter. The act of walking through process each day whether on paper or in your head allows you to prioritize and focus.

Focus leads to clarity. Clarity leads to direction. Direction leads to accomplishment.

Camp Chef Debut – Lake Charles, LA

Jon Hansel, Director, Camp Chef Program
Doug Bomberger, Camp Chef

Hurricane Laura presented the first opportunity for the debut of the Camp Chef program. When the decision was made to deploy to Lake Charles, Louisiana, we rented a 26 foot reefer truck, and immediately went to Ford’s Produce Company for supplies. After loading up with assorted fresh fruits and vegetables, a quick stop to US Foods distribution topped off the truck.

For 22 days, Camp Chef turned out 4410 amazing meals for our volunteers and staff.

There was a fresh fruit tray out at every meal and a fresh salad for lunch and dinner every day. The heat and humidity were working against everyone and the fresh fruit was a game changer for everyone.

Thank you for allowing us to serve YOU.

Operation BBQ Relief Neck Gaiters

The Operation BBQ Relief cooling long cut neck gaiter is back in stock. The gaiter can be worn in many style variations while showing your support for Operation BBQ Relief. Wear it as a neck gaiter or pull it over your face as a mask to protect from dust and wind. The gaiters are shipped by a veteran-owned, family-operated company that proudly supports Operation BBQ Relief.

Click Here to Purchase

Operation BBQ Relief Face Masks

Purchase your Operation BBQ Relief face masks today! Face masks come in singles or packs of 4 and are available in adult and children’s sizes.

Purchase Face Masks

Corporate Supporters



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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.