Disaster relief help arrives through Bobcat of St. Louis
ST. LOUIS – Bobcat of St. Louis came to the rescue of Springfield in the disaster relief effort following the recent ice storm.
“We’re not doing it to get a write-up in the paper,” said Mike Allen, sales manager for Bobcat of St. Louis and a member of First Baptist Church, Hazelwood. “We’re trying to be low-key about it. We’re just happy to help out.”
On Jan. 23, Allen loaded a Bobcat T300, a rubber track machine (also known as a skid loader with a grapple bucket), onto the trailer of Roger Moran, a layman from First Baptist Church, Troy, and a member of the Southern Baptist Convention Executive Committee. Moran then took it to the Springfield area early the next morning to assist Disaster Relief volunteers in cleanup efforts. The Bobcat will be used for two weeks – free of charge. On three separate occasions now, Moran has seen Allen loan a skid loader—for free—to disaster relief workers.
“Mike is a Southern Baptist who has a heart for ministering to people,” Moran said. “He just has done everything that he can to help us.”
Seeing one of the T300s arriving on the scene to begin clearing debris can be compared to infantrymen in combat seeing a tank roll up.
“Generally it’s like, ‘Hallelujah!’” Moran said.
The beauty of the skid loader is that it serves to both help and protect the guys on the ground, the volunteers with the chainsaws who are “the real heroes” straining to remove large trees, Moran said.
“It significantly reduces the amount of hard labor of just carrying all that stuff out to the street,” he said.
And it is corporate generosity that keeps on making sure that disaster-stricken areas of the state get help. Allen said as Bobcat of St. Louis has lived out its philosophy of giving it has grown from one store and 10 employees in 1990 to five stores and 120 employees in 2007.
“You’ve got to really care about your community and then everything else takes care of itself,” he said.