Volunteers helping Salado residents clean-up following EF-3 tornado

Volunteers in Bell County set up a call center inside the Salado Civic Center to respond to requests for assistance after an EF-3 tornado hit the area Tuesday

"The calls are coming in," explained Precinct 2 Constable Rolly Correa, who is among those working at the center. "It’s a holiday, but it’s still something where there are people out there working hard to try to get their lives back together."

The center is also fielding calls from volunteers. They are matching donations of time, labor and resources with home and business owners' needs. 

"People are just amazing. They just want to help," said Correa. 

Philip Ballmann drove from Waco to assist with clean up on Friday. "I called the [call center] and they took my name and number and told me to show up and I got out here at 9 a.m.," he said. "I felt the need as a Christian it’s my duty to help other people." 

Ballmann spent Good Friday cleaning rubble where the Victory Baptist Church once stood. 

"I mean, it’s as good as it’s going to get," laughed Jeff Bohro. 

Bohro’s uncle started preaching at the church 43 years ago, the year he was born. "It means a lot. My wife and I were married there. Baptized at the church down the road," he said.

Bohro says the family will rebuild. Most of the volunteers assisting them, like Ballmann are strangers.

"That’s what the whole church is about, love and helping thy neighbor, ‘Do unto somebody as you do unto yourself.’ So, it’s awesome to see everybody step together and come to help us out." 

His uncle plans to host an outdoor Easter Service at the site Sunday. "That’s what he does every Sunday, that’s where he’s going to be at," he said.

For assistance in Bell County, call 254-534-4562. To volunteer or donate in Bell County, call 254-534-2217.

The call center is open 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Monday - Friday. 

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