Local 1178 Retiree Devotes Life to Disaster Relief


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“I get the blessing”

It’s about church in your life and in your heart, says Local 1178 retiree Jody Bratcher. After retiring 10 years ago, the 70-year-old former FCA Chicago Parts Depot worker has devoted her life to what’s in her heart — a desire to serve the Lord by helping victims of natural disasters like hurricanes and floods. The Benton, Kentucky, resident has traveled the country with the North American Mission Board and Send Relief to partner with the American Red Cross to provide food, cleanup assistance and a shoulder to cry on for families in shock who lost everything.

“On my first trip to New York after Hurricane Sandy, I was never so amazed and impressed. Volunteers from all over the country came to help. We had this tiny trailer with supplies, propane ovens and food from the Red Cross. In one day we made 30,000 meals,” said Bratcher.

Their spiritual nourishment for victims means a lot, too, even for her.

“They think they’re getting the blessing but we get it by helping. You feel good when you are able to bring hope to people. We comfort them, pray with them, give them hope when they have none,” said Bratcher. “I get the blessing.”

She’s traveled the country providing hurricane and flooding relief in New York, South Carolina, North Carolina, Louisiana (five times), Texas (four times), Illinois, Missouri, Kentucky, the Virgin Islands. She’s even been to Flint, Michigan, to pass out water filters and she pitches in helping with backbreaking cleanup work at home sites around the country. “I think I’m in bad shape but you’d be surprised how much energy God gives you. I can rip out the house same as a man can.”

Amen, sister Jody. Keep up the good work.

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