DAYTON, Ohio (WDTN) — The Montgomery County Sheriff’s Office presented two area churches with a prestigious Distinguished Service Award for their extraordinary work following the Memorial Day tornadoes.
The award is a rarity. The sheriff’s office has only given it out a couple times in the last ten years.
“We worked hand in hand with both, and without them, our jobs would’ve been much tougher,” says Montgomery County Sheriff Rob Streck.
In the immediate aftermath of the tornadoes, to several weeks out, the Christian Life Center and New City Church pitched in to help those in need.
“We utilized about 1,700 volunteers in some capacity whether it was in Trotwood, Brookville, Beavercreek, Northridge, or Dayton,” recounts Patrick McKee the Outreach Director of the Christian Life Center.
“We loaded up our bus with gas grills and water and food,” describes Chris Reese, Pastor of New City Church.
Many reaped their reward with the satisfaction of a full heart, but the sheriff’s office wanted a reward more tangible.
“Whether it was getting a million pounds of supplies out or cooking 30,000 meals, that’s just not an ordinary thing that people do. That goes well above and beyond that is normally asked of a church group,” praises Sheriff Streck.
The sheriff’s office presented both groups with a plaque for their work outside the walls of the church.
“It’s my understanding that they just don’t give that out to anybody,” says Resse. “I just couldn’t be more proud of our congregation for them stepping out and they continue to step out.”
“We’re just so honored and blessed,” beams McKee.
While the strides they’ve made in the recovery process are nothing short of incredible, they realize their work isn’t finished.
“We know that the efforts of the tornado relief are not over,” states McKee.
“We’re going to be here for the long haul. We’re still helping in recovery efforts,” says Reese. “Hope is on the horizon.”