ELGIN, OK (KSWO) –An Elgin man is among a group of volunteers from the Oklahoma Baptist Disaster Relief, who are headed to Florida to help residents affected by Hurricane Matthew.
Richard Hicks joined the group after retiring from the Army in 2009 and this will be his second time providing disaster relief.
He and about 45 other volunteers from Oklahoma and Arkansas are preparing to travel to Florida to prepare and serve food to residents in need.
Richard Hicks says he's seen this type of devastation before. Last month, he volunteered for disaster relief in Baton Rouge. He says seeing people lose their homes to floods really opened his eyes and prepared him for what's ahead with Hurricane Matthew.
"We were feeding between 14 and 22,000 meals a day in Baton Rouge when we first started. We are supposed to be serving 30,000 meals in Florida”, said Hicks.
This time he will serve as team leader and cook the food. The American Red Cross will buy it, and emergency response vehicles will deliver it to people in need.
"We get up around 3:30 a.m. in the morning and start cooking at 4 a.m., so that we can have all the meals prepared for the ERV”, said Hicks.
He will drive a bus with other volunteers to the hardest hit areas. They will be there for 10 days.
"We are going to take out bus and we are going to load up in Oklahoma City on Monday and we will stop in Little Rock and pick up their team. It's a combined team and by the time we get there we won’t get there until Tuesday”, said Hicks.
He feels like this a mission from God and it is truly something he is passionate about.
"I love it! I'm pretty much retired now, I just work out of my wood shop and besides working in my shop this is what I want to do for the rest of my life”, said Hicks.