Blackbelt Benefit Group supports tornado recovery

Published 4:54 pm Saturday, September 16, 2023

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By Staff Reports

The Selma Times-Journal

Blackbelt Benefit Group (BBG), a steadfast advocate for disaster recovery efforts, is proud to announce the impactful utilization of funds raised for tornado recovery in Selma thus far. With a commitment to rebuilding and supporting the community, the organization has made significant strides in addressing immediate needs and fostering long-term disaster recovery.

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Since the devastating tornado on January 12, the funds raised through community support, sponsorships, and events have been dedicated to housing, infrastructure, and support services for affected individuals and families. BBG has worked collaboratively with the Long-Term Recovery Group (LTRG) to fund a variety of unmet needs that still remain as a result of the devastating tornado. To date, BBG has provided or pledged funding in excess of $10,000 to address these critical needs, with plans to provide significantly more moving forward, as additional unmet needs are identified.

The cost to fulfill the unmet needs is steadily growing as plans for more substantial rebuilding projects are being finalized. These projects encompass major structural repairs, roof replacements, and even complete rebuilding of homes. BBG’s dedication to the recovery process extends to its partnership with the LTRG, ensuring that every dollar raised is strategically utilized to make a lasting impact on the lives of those affected.

“While we are immensely proud of the progress made through the funds raised for tornado recovery thus far, there is much work yet to be done,” said Josh Wilkerson, president of Blackbelt Benefit Group. “Our collaboration commitment to addressing the unmet needs that have arisen due to the tornado’s devastation. As we embark on this journey, we invite everyone to join us in contributing to the ongoing recovery and rebuilding efforts.”

Jay Gilmer, Committee Chairman for the LTRG, said “The Selma LTRG is proud to work alongside Blackbelt Benefit Group on tornado recovery in Selma. We have worked in varying capacities with well over 200 individuals and families across the community so far through our case management process, and key community partners like BBG have been instrumental in providing the resources needed to help our neighbors who otherwise would not have the means to recover from the storm.”

Blackbelt Benefit Group is excited to announce its upcoming event, the Alabama River Chili Cookoff, scheduled for Thursday, November 9th. This event will not only bring the community together for a day of camaraderie and delicious food but will also serve as a platform to continue raising funds for Selma’s long-term recovery efforts. The organization is committed to channeling the proceeds from the Chili Cookoff towards initiatives that will contribute to the ongoing revitalization of the community.

Blackbelt Benefit Group invites individuals, businesses, and community members to participate in the Alabama River Chili Cookoff on November 9th. By attending, sponsoring, or contributing, participants will contribute to the collective effort to ensure Selma’s long-term recovery.

For more information about Blackbelt Benefit Group, their initiatives, and the Alabama River Chili Cookoff, please visit Blackbelt Benefit Group’s website at or social media pages.