UPDATE: July 14, 2014
Since the dual tornadoes ravished the little rural community of Pilger, Nebraska, thousands of volunteers descended on the town bringing hope and assistance to clean up after the tornadoes. Within a two-week period of time, volunteers helped families salvage what they could, demolished remaining buildings and removed debris. By July 1, when all the disaster response groups that brought in the volunteers left, all that remained of Pilger were the foundation slabs where structures once resided.
Working through St. John Lutheran Church and with the Community of Pilger, Lutheran Church Charities continues to recruit and send teams of volunteers to bring hope and assist now with the reconstruction of any remaining structures. During the first two weeks in July, volunteer teams finished walking the fields picking up debris. As of this weekend the crops have grown too high to continue the walking of the fields.
Volunteer groups are still needed in Pilger. Volunteers will no longer be doing debris clean- up for they have now moved into the reconstruction and rebuilding phase. Volunteers are needed in three different areas. These areas include: helping repair damaged homes so that residents will be able to move back in, helping to prepare the cleared sites for the contractors to come in a begin rebuilding, and helping to landscape and build a memorial using the materials from the buildings that were destroyed.
New housing options have opened up for volunteers.
For teams that don't mind roughing it there is tent camping at the park in Pilger, which is right next door to the pool house where there are restrooms and showers.
In Pilger, four blocks from the pool house, a Bunkhouse has been set up (Orphan Grain Train has brought in one of their volunteer housing containers). The Bunkhouse can sleep a total of 12 people. It consists of two units that are equipped with electricity, air conditioning, heating and three sets of bunk beds.Volunteers staying at the bunkhouse have access to the restrooms and showers at the pool house as well. At the bunk house, grills are allowed for cooking meals but no open flame pits.
Another option that is now available is for groups from out of state is to stay at Our Savior Lutheran Church. To get in contact with them please use the following information:
OUR SAVIOR LUTHERAN CHURCH
Rev. Kenneth Weander Jr.
2500 W. Norfolk Ave., Norfolk, NE 68701-4427
If you're not sure you want to sleep on the floor, and have to "rough it" for the time you are there, you may still want to consider a hotel or motel.The following towns are 45 minutes or less from Pilger: Wisner, West Point, Wakefield, Pender, Oakland and Norfolk.
We do not charge for our services. We are Christians and offer our services in the name of Jesus Christ. We are serving through St John, Lutheran Church in Pilger. Even though the church's building and the parsonage no longer exist, please call St. John at 402-396-3478 the day before departing for further instructions and update of your arrival time.
For further questions contact Dianna Bonfield at 866-455-6466 or
Click here to register as a volunteer
Click here to register a group