Posted on : Thursday January 6, 2022

Well done, good and faithful servant.”  Matthew 25:23

Joan Chassagne served as a Disaster Relief volunteer for decades, serving as an example for many to follow.

In 2021, the Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware (BCM/D) Disaster Relief (DR) lost a special friend — Joan Chassagne, a member of Middle River Baptist Church, who died on July 24. She faithfully served for many years on our feeding team, working off the large field kitchen whenever it rolled out. Joan scrambled eggs and made countless sandwiches in church kitchens to feed teams on deployment, and she showed up at every training, ready to learn something new.

Back in the days when DR was first getting started in Maryland/Delaware, Joan was one of the early pioneers, jumping in with both feet, eager to use her hands and heart to serve others. And in doing so, she influenced many of us who serve today. Joan was quick to lend a hand, crack a joke, and take a new volunteer under her wing. Like those of her “DR generation,” she laid a firm foundation for those of us who have followed.

Because of Joan’s love of DR and its service opportunities, Joan’s family approached BCM/D about making a financial gift in her memory to benefit the future work of Disaster Relief. As we talked, we realized that although there was only one “Ms. Joan,” there have been countless others who have blessed many with their love and service. In response to that request, the BCM/D has established the “Well Done Fund” as a way to honor special people we remember and those we celebrate among us who serve others in need.

Gifts given to the “Well Done Fund” will be used specifically to strengthen the capacity of Disaster Relief. Our initial project will be the building of a small rapid-response mobile kitchen, capable of serving 300-500 meals daily and operated with a crew of 2-3 people. We’ve long dreamed of such a unit, which will give us the needed flexibility to respond to small, local feeding needs within hours, rather than the 2-3 days and 15-20 volunteers needed to roll out the large feeding unit. If Ms. Joan were here, she’d wag her finger and say, “It’s about time!”

If you would like to honor someone living or make a gift in memory of a person deserving of a “well done” for their faithful service, your donation to this fund will invest in the important work of Disaster Relief throughout Maryland/Delaware. Gifts may be made online at or send a check to BCM/D, 10255 Old Columbia Road, Columbia, MD 20146. Write “Disaster Relief — Well Done Fund” in the memo line. Name the person you wish to honor and include contact information of any family or individual you’d like to be notified of your donation. If donating through the online link above, write “Well Done Fund” and the person you wish to honor in the “order notes” section. As a 501c3 organization, all gifts to BCM/D Disaster Relief are tax-deductible.

For more information on how to be personally involved in the important work of Disaster Relief, contact Ellen Udovich, Community Engagement Consultant email Ellen Udovich or call (800)466-5290, x216.

Written by Ellen Udovich, Community Engagement Consultant, Baptist Convention of Maryland/Delaware

Feature photo shows Disaster Relief volunteers preparing food. Photo by Ellen Udovich