Tampa, FL (November 13, 2018) – Four weeks after Hurricane Michael devastated the Florida Panhandle, The Salvation Army continues its service to communities impacted by the storm. There is a new normal in many communities. Families are coming home to places they can no longer live. The pre-existing financial struggles of households are compounded by the hurricane. The need for safe, sanitary, affordable housing is greater than ever as many families lost their homes and have to rebuild. Salvation Army officers and staff are at work with community partners to help ease the burdens of the people who are in the most need.
Power is restored in most areas where the infrastructure allows, which means grocery stores are opening and households can now cook and keep food cold. Salvation Army mass feeding has concluded in the Apalachicola and Tallahassee service areas, but local Salvation Army is still at work, helping as it was before Hurricane Michael.
The Panama City service area of Bay County was the hardest hit. Service there continues and today, 23 mobile feeding units and emotional and spiritual care teams are at work in the area , assessing the needs of the communities as they provide hope and prayer. In some instances the hope they give is through a laugh or a bottle of water; other times the care is a prayer, a Bible, and a shoulder to lean on as folks come back to their destroyed communities and homes.
“We are not just a bottle of cold water or a warm meal. We provide spiritual support and prayer for people whose lives are changed by disaster,” said Steven Hartsook, emergency disaster services director of The Salvation Army of Florida. “We are here to serve in the name of Jesus Christ and will be here as long as we are needed.”
At the peak of service, 45 mobile feeding units and teams from the Southern Territory and leadership teams from across the nation and Canada were serving the areas devastated by the hurricane. To date, The Salvation Army has served:
- Meals: 657,655
- Drinks: 323,451
- Snacks: 458,585
- Hygiene Kits: 16,053
- Food Boxes: 12,007
- Tarps: 9,667
- Clean-up Kits: 3,774
- 42,473 emotional and spiritual care contacts with hurricane survivors
- Salvation Army officers, employees, and volunteers have provided 63,811 hours of disaster service.
Disaster strikes rural towns and big cities, the young, the old, the rich, the poor, and in-between. The Salvation Army is on the ground, serving in the name of Jesus Christ without discrimination.
In the weeks, months, and years ahead we will still be there serving those who need us the most. We can do this because you support us.
How You Can Help
- 100-percent of designated gifts will be used in support of those affected by Hurricane Michael.
- Response efforts to this hurricane and flooding are expected to be costly and last for years. The best way to help after a disaster is to make a financial donation.
- Donate by phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769)
- Donate by mail: The Salvation Army, PO Box 1959, Atlanta, GA (Please designate ‘2018 Hurricanes – Michael’ on all checks.)
- Donate online: www.HelpSalvationArmy.org
- Donate by text: Text STORM to 51555 to receive a donation link for easy mobile giving
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.