Virginia Baptist Disaster Response – Serving the Community

Virginia Baptist Disaster Response (VBDR) has dedicated their services in assisting Henrico County Emergency Management for the duration of a COVID-19 Vaccination event hosted at the Richmond International Raceway since January 19, 2021. The VBDR volunteers have been preparing and serving lunch and dinner for the medical personnel, security, and staff serving in this event. For the past three weeks, 45 volunteers have worked over 85 hours to serve 2,160 meals and we have trained 10 new volunteers so far.  Wwill continue these efforts through March.

This has been a wonderful opportunity for Disaster Response to practice and demonstrate safservice to the community during a pandemic. VBDR typically serves those directly affected by disasters but for this event they are serving the frontline workers who are, in turn, serving the general public. 

VBDR Crisis Care Team volunteers are on hand to talk with anyone on site — caregivers who have been working under pandemic conditions for nearly a year now, law enforcement who have been serving in the midst of 2020’s civil unrest and threat of COVID exposure, and those receiving vaccines who may have been socially isolated as they shelter at home or feel anxious as they are receiving a new vaccine.

Ellen Chenoweth, a Crisis Care Team volunteer spent much of her time the week she served talking with teachers and school cafeteria workers who had received their first vaccination and were waiting to make sure they didn’t have an allergic reaction.  Traci Rongey was talking with one of the event coordinators and was asked if she would pray for her, so Traci was able to pray with her on spot. 

Todd Combee had an encounter with a woman who had just received a vaccination and she told him, “it’s just wonderful that you guys are here to keep us calm.”  Todd told her, “That’s why we’re here; the Bible says not to be anxious so we’re here to help with that.” 

Volunteer, Debbie Jones, shares why she chose and continues to choose serving with VBDR:  

We want to do the great commission, our Lord, Jesus Christ, He came and He served until he was on the cross for us, and I think of it as a privilege to come and help people and serve others to be with other Christians. If you are thinking of serving, don’t wait until you say you are going to retire, you might only need to serve for a day or two, it is very rewarding. When the HolSpirit tells you to go, go. 

VBDR has been very thankful for all of the volunteers who have signed up to serve even in such uncertain times.  

If you are interested in training or becoming a Disaster Response volunteer, take this low stress opportunity to serve. For more information contact Mikayla Barnes at