Urban Ministry van destroyed in Tornado, asking community for help

FAIRFIELD, Ala. (WIAT) — Urban Ministry is in desperate in need of a new van. The old one was crushed last week at the Express Oil Change in Fairfield which was destroyed in the tornado.

Urban Ministry’s van was being serviced at the car shop in Fairfield on Thursday, right before the EF-1 tornado swept through the area. The van was stuck under the roof of the shop and looks to be a complete loss.

“It’s not what you’d expect when you take your car in to get it serviced, but again we were grateful that our employee had left and had been picked up by a friend and was not there,” said Hill Carmichael.

Urban Ministry’s executive director, Hill Carmichael tells CBS42 they desperately need help replacing the van.

“The struggle for us during this time of year is that van is critical to one of our programs that provides house repairs and painting to people in the west end neighborhood to people in western Birmingham,” he said.

Just this week, there are 225 volunteers looking to help refurbish old and damaged homes. A van is crucial.

“That van carries ladders, paint to the sites that they’re working on, this week they’re working on over 20 houses so we’re in a little bit of a bind,” said Carmichael.

The non-profit has had several people step up and provide short term solutions, but once those solutions run out, they’ll need to come up with a plan.

The old van won’t likely be pulled from the Express Oil Change until later this week.

Urban Ministry is asking the community to help by donating a van or offering a van at low cost.

You can reach out to Urban Ministry at (205) 781-0517 or here.

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