Betsy O’Dowd

Jan 18, 2024 | Volunteer Spotlights

When a tornado struck her community last month, Betsy O’Dowd of Clarksville, Tenn. knew she wanted to do something to help. She saw on the Montgomery County and City of Clarksville websites that Operation BBQ Relief was in the area serving people impacted by the tornado. She visited our website and social media pages to learn more and was immediately drawn to our mission.

“I was taught that if you can’t do anything else in times of need, you can feed someone. No matter what else goes on, everyone needs to eat,” Betsy said.

That day, Betsy saw our team handing out hot meals to people at Lowes. She introduced herself and asked to help. One of our staff members walked her through the registration process and she began to volunteer with us the next day!

“I can’t say enough about the quality people you have! Everyone was helpful, thoughtful, and mission-driven. You made a bunch of volunteers look like seasoned professionals and treated them as such. I don’t think I have ever walked into a new situation and been made to feel more needed or more at home,” Betsy said.

Betsy had such a wonderful time volunteering with Operation BBQ Relief, she hopes to volunteer with us again.

“Watching and listening, there is a clear passion from all involved. I was so grateful to be part of it, and I am hopeful that I can be part of it again, just without the tornado,” Betsy said.

In total, we provided 8,950 meals to people impacted by the tornado over eight days in Clarksville, Tenn. To join our volunteer family, download the “OBR Volunteers” app on your smartphone or visit to register.


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.