When Kokomo resident and mother-of-four, Melody Kegel, was asked by her church, Grace United Methodist, to lend a hand by preparing a meal for Red Cross Disaster Relief volunteers, she had no idea it would lead to feeding hundreds throughout the community.
“As we were getting ready to leave the house on Monday (Grace United’s) Youth Director Luke Stone called and he said ‘Melody, I know where your heart lies and I know how you like to do missions… would you go see if they need a meal for the shelter, because the church would be happy to provide a meal’, Melody recalled. “So, I went into the Red Cross office and found that they needed a meal for Tuesday morning. When we brought the first meal to Red Cross headquarters, they said they also needed someone to prepare a meal for lunch. When we got back with the lunch, I asked them “is there anything else we can help with?” … and we’ve been providing their meals ever since.”
When asked why he initially thought of Melody for the task, Grace United’s Stone replied, “I knew it would be something right up her alley. ‘I said, Hey would you be willing to go over and prepare a meal?’ She was more than willing to do that, and then they told her they needed 600. It turned into a whole week worth of efforts on her part.”
Not only has Melody a week’s worth of lunches for the Red Cross volunteers, on Saturday she found herself also preparing all the meals (pancakes and bacon for breakfast, cheeseburgers for lunch, and lasagna with breadsticks for dinner) that the Red Cross would be delivering throughout Kokomo neighborhoods impacted by the recent tornado.
By Saturday afternoon, Melody along with several volunteers from the Red Cross and Grace United Methodist, had prepared over 2,500 meals for affected residents, and hundreds of volunteers from around the state. When asked, Melody estimated that she will have prepared a total of about 6,500 meals in all.
As much as the Red Cross volunteers have appreciated all of Melody’s hard work, the Red Cross must have also made quite an impression on Melody, who submitted her official Red Cross volunteer application on Friday.
“Without Melody’s efforts we would not have been able to respond as quickly to the needs of the community. Her efforts were integral to our response. We are delighted to have her join our Red Cross family,” says Red Cross Site Director Kristina Chapman.