Always Enough Room on the Ark

Naples, Fla. (Sept. 16, 2017) – Most would think that already hosting 14 people looking for a place to lay their heads in a 2 bedroom apartment, 14 stomachs waiting for a nutritious meal, and 14 minds needing to be calmed amidst the aftermath of Hurricane Irma was enough, but most are not Hilda Martinez. For her, there is always enough room on the ark. 

Hilda, along with her husband, Jose, happened upon one of The Salvation Army’s mobile feeding unit and shared her remarkable story of faith. “When I learned my neighbor was alone, hungry, and scared, I did not even think twice about it,” explained Hilda.  “Somehow, I knew we would have room for her because it is the right thing to do.”

And, sure enough, there was enough room amongst the two 2 year olds, one 3 year old, one four year old, 2 seven year olds, one 8 year old, one 16 year old, and six adults.  Love has a way of making room, doesn’t it?  And, Hilda has a lot of love to go around.

Jose, said, “She has not stopped taking care of all of us.  It is simply who she is.  She has ensured we had something to eat, she has kept our minds engaged, and she has loved us, and loved us, and loved us.”

Now, as the power outage goes into day 6, they are anxious to get back to a sense of normalcy, especially considering they are running low on food and they spent much of their limited resources on preparations for the storm.

“After Houston, we really thought the storm surge was going to drown us,” explained Jose.  “We bought life jackets, arm ‘floaties’ for the children, and even a raft. We are grateful to be alive but now we have to figure out what we are going to do next. We are just taking it day by day.”

“When I saw The Salvation Army canteen, I thought to myself ‘This is God taking care of us and those we love,’” shared a grateful Hilda.  “We have little food left and this will get us through to tomorrow. You are God’s angels. I cannot thank you enough.”

Thank you, Hilda, for making room on the ark. You are one of God’s angels.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index ( The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

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