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JAMESTOWN, NY (WNY News Now) – Hurricane Ian had a devastating impact on anyone in its path, and now, residents in Florida are left to pick up the pieces.
Luckily, many selfless groups are stepping up to the plate to help. In Jamestown, the local Salvation Army is getting ready to lend a hand.
“Locally, we have not been called yet. The Salvation Army is on the ground in Florida, South Carolina, and Puerto Rico, serving the needs right now,” said Pastor of Jamestown Temple Kimberly Merchant.
Merchant and her husband are on stand-by right now, ready to jump into action.
“They rotate us in and out over a two week period where we meet the needs of the people. We will cook food, we will serve food, we will offer pastoral care, we will offer cleanup, anything that is needed basically,” said Merchant.
The hurricane impacted and displaced many people who are now relying on organizations, such as The Salvation Army, to help.
“Right now, they are serving 1,000,000 evacuees in two shelters in the Florida area and they also have two major warehouses in Tampa, Florida and one in McDonough, Georgia where they are serving food, water, cleaning supplies, hygiene products, whatever is being donated will be offered to the public,” Merchant said.
After receiving the right training, anyone can step up and help out.
“They can offer their services if the need should arise to be able to go down, but they would have to be trained. I know the Red Cross has volunteers that they train for this need and the Salvation Army also has people that have been trained, so if there are people locally who have received this training and would like to be a part of the disaster relief, all they need to do is call and offer their services,” said Merchant. “You see the people suffering in such a way that you wanna do something and sometimes people don’t have the means to help in a monetary way, and when we are called to do anything we just make ourselves available to try to help.”
To learn more about the Salvation Army’s relief efforts, you can visit easternusa.salvationarmy.org, and to learn about relief training, visit redcross.org.
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