Operation BBQ Relief ready and waiting to help flood victims

Updated: Aug. 27, 2017 at 9:41 PM CDT
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OCEAN SPRINGS, MS (WLOX) - There's nothing like barbecue to lift the spirits, and that's what Operation BBQ Relief is all about.

Coast volunteers with the organization are getting ready to send their food and their love to those devastated by Hurricane Harvey.

Brad Orrison is cooking up a storm to give relief from the storm.

"These are some of the pork butts that we'll bring over," he said while showing the inventory. "Everything's cooking."

The owner of The Shed is a volunteer with Operation BBQ Relief.

"We're expecting 25,000 to 30,000 meals a day," he said. "This will just be a tiny little drop in the basket, compared to what we need when we actually get on the ground."

He's got a little extra time because he couldn't get through to Texas last week.

"We were prepared to already be on site," he said. "I was headed out to Shreveport. And when it (Hurricane Harvey) turned into a 4, things changed."

But he said he knows what to expect from his work last year in Louisiana after the devastating floods in the Baton Rouge area.

"When we were in Louisiana, we did a lot of cooking," he said. "And we know what it takes. ... When we leave and we go to Houston, we'll know that we'll have 100,000 means just from right here on the Mississippi Gulf Coast."

And it's not all about barbecue. Beginning Monday, Orrison will offer his restaurant as a site to bring canned food and related items.

Another OBR volunteer, James Edward Bates, is also coordinating collection efforts sponsored by Island View Casino where two tractor trailers courtesy of Fayard Storage & Warehousing will be filled from 9 a.m. to 7 p.m. Monday and then 8 a.m. to 7 p.m. each following day until the trucks are filled.

Other collection sites will be Borguezan Granite, at 323 E. North Street, Pass Christian; and Compton & Sons Appliance on Pass Road in Gulfport.

The volunteer cooks, Bates said, are not just any cooks. They are award-winning chefs with big hearts.

"They're doing their best every day to provide a relief," he said, "Comfort food if you will, as an escape from the storm and to bring joy to people in that moment."

And Marcio Borguezan is one of those who will be preparing food on the Coast to take to wherever it's needed.

"All the guys, I mean, just pouring their heart out," he said. "They want to do this. When I reach out to them, they're 100 percent just want to do it.

"All of our guys that belongs to this group, they're just passionate about it and why not use this passion to reach out to people that are in need."

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