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Serve Moore hopes to do just that by expanding its role in the community

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Chris Fox points out the preliminary damage assesment from Moore's recent March 25th tornado, plotted on a map at the Community Renewal Center where he serves as director of operations.  mh
  • Chris Fox points out the preliminary damage assesment from Moore's recent March 25th tornado, plotted on a map at the Community Renewal Center where he serves as director of operations. mh

When the May 2013 tornado struck Moore, five local churches started a disaster relief organization called Serve Moore. It has brought a new Community Renewal Center to the recovering area.

The center is now open and is home to Serve Moore, the Long-Term Area Recovery Committee of Central Oklahoma and the Moore office of the Oklahoma Small Business Development Center.

“What we really see as our mission or vision is simply to mobilize people to love and serve central Oklahoma ... by encouraging people to be a part of their community,” said Chris Fox, a team leader at Serve Moore and a pastor elder at Moore Community Church.

As a team leader, Fox gets to meet with every volunteer team to share Serve Moore’s vision with them.

The May 2013 tornado served as a call to action for pastors from Frontline Church, Moore Community Church, Love & Justice Church, Adventus Church and Covenant Life Assembly.

Fox, along with the other pastors, recruited up to 500 volunteers on Twitter, but the next day, 3,300 volunteers arrived to serve. The City of Moore Parks & Recreation Department asked them to clean up the cemetery because Memorial Day was that weekend.

Preliminary damage assesment from Moore's recent March 25th tornado, plotted on a map at the Community Renewal Center.  mh
  • Preliminary damage assesment from Moore's recent March 25th tornado, plotted on a map at the Community Renewal Center. mh

From there, the volunteers created maps of areas in need and served six days a week for a month.

To date, Serve Moore has mobilized almost 50,000 volunteers. For the spring and summer volunteer season, it has 600 volunteers lined up to serve in the community.

“Serve Moore is based in partnership and teamwork. It’s based in people and organizations coming together to do something that’s bigger than the sum of their parts ... and no single church could have made this impact as big as it was,” Fox said.

As a hub of community services, the center will offer access to disaster relief and community renewal for Moore and the surrounding communities. This includes a long- term recovery committee working across the entire disaster path, services from American Red Cross, case management services, disaster preparedness resources for small businesses and connections among the disaster relief community.

In the future, the Community Renewal Center would like to add a free monthly medical clinic, a foster care agency, an Old Town Association and Keep Moore County Beautiful.

The Counseling Room at Moore's Community Renewal Center, something Chris Fox said they have never had before.  mh
  • The Counseling Room at Moore's Community Renewal Center, something Chris Fox said they have never had before. mh

With a 6,000-square-foot building, the possibilities are endless. In the past, the building has been home to the courthouse, the Moore branch of the Cleveland County Health Department and the police station.

“When we can call tornado recovery completed, we want to be a community renewal source in central Oklahoma by helping anyone who needs that help,” Fox said.

At that time, Serve Moore plans to turn its attention to the elderly and military families with active-duty spouses who need home repairs done. The organization also wants to start a project that would combine art and therapy for school-aged kids to create murals downtown.

The Community Renewal Center is located at 224 S. Chestnut Ave. in Moore.

For more information about Serve Moore or to volunteer, visit servemoore.com.


Print headline: Active duty, Serve Moore was created in the wake of the 2013 tornado, and its work expands past disaster relief.

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