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North Nashville tornado recovery impacted by Coronavirus concerns

Posted at 5:41 PM, Mar 14, 2020
and last updated 2020-03-15 06:35:52-04

NASHVILLE, Tenn. (WTVF) — As the tornado clean up efforts continue in North Nashville, volunteers are facing a new struggle -- how to help and still stay safe from COVID-19. Inside the doors of First Community Church in North Nashville is a sanctuary. "The sanctuary has turned into absolute storage," said Rev. Ella Clay, Senior Pastor at the church.

First Community Church's sanctuary has become a place for victims of the tornado to gather the essentials they need. "We’ve got diapers, formula," said Tina Coppock, a volunteer with Project Connect Nashville.

The church house has also become a place for volunteers to sort through all the donations that will be put to good use. But while this house of worship is a refuge for so many, it isn't immune from another crisis sweeping the globe - the Coronavirus. "Very much aware of the Coronavirus, but it hadn’t stopped our service. We still have to continue to serve and we just believe that God is with us and he will protect us through all of it," said Rev. Clay.

Pastor Clay says concerns over COVID-19 almost stopped Saturday morning's mission in its tracks. Many volunteers understandably canceled. Thankfully they were able to recruit more through social media. "We called them and they’re here, they’re here in a great way," she said.

Still, extra steps are being taken. Many are wearing gloves, others aren't very far from a pump bottle of hand sanitizer. The virus has also impacted the items storm victims are requesting - like gloves, wet wipes and lots of soap. In addition to supplies, hot meals were packed up and delivered door to door.

It's the kind of sanctuary you can find, in or outside the walls of a church. "Alright, we’ll see you next week," Coppock told a North Nashville resident.