Restaurant In Bethany Offers Helping Hand Across Country


Friday, June 10th 2011, 5:12 pm
By: News 9


Darren Brown, News 9

BETHANY, Oklahoma -- By all accounts, Swadley's Bar-B-Q is a success. It's hard to go wrong with good food, good service, and good planning. But the Swadley family sees that success as more than a means to an end. They plan is to use it to serve others.

"God's not going to go build a restaurant," said owner Ron Swadley. "But if I do that, God will bless me and help me run that, and teach me how to help other people."

When Ron's son Brent got a call back in 2005 to cater in Texas after Hurricane Rita, he realized his company was in position to help fill a void in disaster recovery efforts. He formed S.E.R.T.: Swadley's Emergency Relief Team. The team is equipped to feed up to 10,000 people three times a day. Their effort after Hurricane Ike was nothing short of monumental.

The S.E.R.T. differs from other relief efforts in that it is for profit. But to the Swadley family, the financial rewards are far outweighed by spiritual and emotional ones.

Swadley's team was in Arkansas when the massive tornado hit Joplin. They were on the ground there just five hours after it hit. Right now, they're looking at a six-month commitment in Joplin, but it could easily stretch into a year or more.