From the Heart – September 2022

Sep 27, 2022 | Newsletters

From the Heart

September 2022

Message from the Co-Founders

September is designated as National Preparedness Month as a national campaign for families and communities to be prepared if faced with the challenges of natural disasters and emergencies. Operation BBQ Relief continues to train volunteers and staff to be prepared to deploy following natural disasters. Our operations team has strategically staged equipment throughout the country while maintaining constant communication with local, state, and government officials. We stand ready to deploy in a moment’s notice to share the one hot meal that matters.

As we prepare to respond to Hurricane Ian, we encourage you to sign up as a volunteer by downloading the Operation BBQ Relief App or at our website

Several volunteers have commented how their experiences have been life-changing and the most impactful work they have ever engaged in. We encourage you to join our efforts.

Thank you for your support.

Much respect,

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


Help share the healing power of BBQ!
Make new friends! Register to volunteer on the Operation BBQ Relief App
or sign-up at

September is National Preparedness Month to raise awareness about the importance of preparing for disasters and emergencies.

Learn more:

The Always Serving Project®

Vetapalooza & BBQ Basics

Thank you to all the supporters, performers, and sponsors that made Vetapalooza 2022 a success!  We are grateful for the opportunity to celebrate our nation’s heroes and their families.

Stan Hays and Brett Atkinson taught BBQ Basics to members of the military and their spouses at Vetapalooza 2022 in Warrenton, MO.  
Participants learned how to cook salmon on a whiskey barrel stave, bacon wrapped pork tenderloin, baby back ribs, chicken fajitas, smoked pimento cheese, and chuck roast for street tacos.

Virtual BBQ Academy

Operation BBQ Relief Director of Culinary Johnny Imbriolo hosted a virtual BBQ Academy for participants from the Gary Sinise Foundation. Participants learned how to make grilled mashed potatoes, grilled steak pinwheels, honey grilled carrots, and stuffed jalapeño poppers! We are honored to serve veterans, members of the military, and their family members.

Volunteer Spotlight

“I have been involved with Operation BBQ Relief for over 7 years.  A friend asked me to help with the April 2015 deployment in Fairdale, IL.  On the evening of June 22, 2015 an EF3 tornado hit Coal City, IL which is very near my hometown.  I was involved with disaster management and called Operation BBQ Relief at 2am requesting feeding assistance.  By 10:00am, Operation BBQ Relief was deployed in Coal City providing over 6,000 hot meals over the next 5 days.

After the recent severe flooding in Eastern Kentucky, I felt the need to volunteer with Operation BBQ Relief.  I spent 5 days with a great group of volunteers from around the country, along with highly dedicated support staff of Operation BBQ Relief who graciously used their time and talents to cook, distribute and serve the one hot meal that matters to those in need.  I listened to the stories of many tearful residents.  I saw the tremendous damage, but I also saw the smiles and joy as people paused a few minutes from the realities of a major disaster to enjoy the one hot meal that Operation BBQ Relief carefully prepared for them.

I urge everyone to check out the website, see all the good things Operation BBQ Relief is doing and please volunteer or make a donation.”

Colin Monk
Operation BBQ Relief

Virtual Volunteer Team

Thank you to the Virtual Volunteer Team for working behind the scenes to help share the one hot meal that matters. Virtual Volunteers share computer and communication skills to help the Operation BBQ Relief team on the ground during deployments. Virtual Volunteers have a flexible schedule and can support Operation BBQ Relief from their homes.

Interested in being a Virtual Volunteer?

Volunteer Nominations

If you know an Operation BBQ Relief volunteer who has gone above and beyond this year, please recognize their efforts by clicking here to submit a 2022 Award Nomination for them!


Gear up for fall! Preorder your Operation BBQ Relief apparel by October 7.

Grilling with Golic and Hays Cookbook

Stan Hays and Mike Golic teamed up with an incredible lineup of celebrity chefs, athletes, and coaches to present Grilling with Golic and Hays: Operation BBQ Relief Cookbook!

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.