Panama City, FL (November 5, 2018) – It was a pause. It was encouraging. On Sunday, November 4, three services were held at various locations throughout the day in Panama City to help maintain the emotional and spiritual health of volunteers and other Salvation Army personnel, even in the midst of providing services and support to those affected by Hurricane Michael.
“At the request of FEMA, The Salvation Army was pleased and grateful to offer interdenominational church services (in conjunction with the Red Cross chaplain) that were well-received for the more than 100 people who attended,” says Major Roxzena Hayden, Emotional and Spiritual Care Specialist.
Hayden is a member of a Canadian Salvation Army Incident Management Team (IMT) that is currently supporting operations in the Florida Panhandle.
“Maintaining the emotional and spiritual health of our volunteers and other personnel is critical,” says Hayden. “When volunteers give and give they can easily get exhausted. And when you are tired you can’t provide the support that others need. Our church service was one way we could help people clear their thoughts and reduce stress levels.”
Karen, a volunteer chaplain, was thankful to have the time to recharge.
“I’ve been accompanying one of our canteens for the past seven days,” says Karen. “I will be here for two weeks. My role is to provide emotional and spiritual support to people who are accessing our services. The stories I am hearing and the devastation I’ve seen are heartbreaking. Sometimes listening and talking draws on my energy. Church and God are a great way to refuel.”
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 (HumanNeedsIndex.org). 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 www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.