(CRAWFORDVILLE, FL) “That food saved my life. If it wasn’t for The Salvation Army, I don’t know where I’d be. I’d probably be dead,” said 28-year-old Candace Spears, Hurricane Michael survivor.
Candace is a resident of Spring Creek, a small fishing village near Crawfordville, Florida where her family’s homestead has been passed down through the generations for more than 100 years. Candace lives there with her grandparents and her two daughters, ages eight and two.
Just two days before the storm, Candace drove 30 minutes to the nearest grocery store to purchase $350 worth of groceries for her family. It was later that evening that she discovered Hurricane Michael was going to slam the Florida Panhandle as a Category 4 storm.
Since Candace and her family were not prepared to evacuate, they ended up staying together in one of the homes in the village. She walked in almost four feet of water back to her home to make sure it was still standing. After the hurricane roared through, Candace, along with her family members throughout Spring Creek, were overwhelmed by the financial burdens they now had to face.
“Everything is gone, especially our food. Food was the most important thing. All the money we spent on food is gone,” said Candace. Even the family’s fish house, which was the primary source of income for their community, was demolished by the storm.
The Salvation Army’s mobile feeding unit was the first sign of relief for the Spring Creek community after the hurricane depleted their resources. “I saw a gentleman unloading the canteen and he asked, ‘are you hungry?’ and then my heart dropped. I just couldn’t believe there was somebody out there willing to help me,” said Candace.
Living in such a remote area, the Spears family revealed that The Salvation Army was the first organization to ever provide relief services in their community. “A lot of worries were put to rest when that food truck came in. There are no words for it. Seeing help…it was amazing,” said Candace.
To help support the disaster relief work of The Salvation Army, donations can be made at www.HelpSalvationArmy.org, by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY, by texting STORM to 51555, or by check (designated “2018 Hurricane Season – Michael”) mailed to PO Box 1959, Atlanta, GA 30301.
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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.