Baton Rouge Officers Show Courage Through the storm

August 17, 2016
Jon Kalahar | jon.kalahar@uss.salvationarmy.org | (601) 941-7779

Baton Rouge Officers Show Courage Through the storm

An officer in The Salvation Army is trained to help people. An officer in The Salvation Army feeds the hungry, helps the homeless, the drug addicted, and those who’ve lost everything in unspeakable natural disasters. They’ve been trained to provide for the body, spirit and mind of the men and women who look to them for guidance.

This week in Baton Rouge for Captains Brett and Mary Meredith, it was their shelter that flooded, it was their employees who lost homes, it was their clients who had to be moved to another location for safety’s sake, and it was their lives turned upside down in a matter of hours…and that was just the beginning.

“My first thought was about our staff, and where are the clients going to go, where is the community going to go,” said Captain Mary Meredith, Baton Rouge Corps Officer.

Then the sun did come up and revealed just how devastating this storm had been; thirty inches of rain brought historic flooding, deaths, and tens of thousands of homes damaged. The Baton Rouge Command facilities flooded on the entire bottom floor, and the new men’s ‘Center of Hope’ shelter only weeks from completion was also impacted.

“You learn very quickly, you make due with what you have,” said Captain Brett Meredith. Baton Rouge Corps Commander.

What they had was a damaged community who needed their help, so with no time to lose heart or hope, the Meredith’s with the help of other Salvation Army officers and employees went to work.

“It’s about people not about the building,” said Captain Mary Meredith, as she stands in the middle of an old department store that is now The Salvation Army’s donation center for the area. “It’s about our volunteers, our staff and our community…what you see here is what happens in our building.  It’s just relocated.”

So now, instead of the Captains picking up those around them, roles have been somewhat reversed as truckload after truckload and person after person showed up to drop off supplies to be handed out to those in desperate need of hope and help.

 “We have a lot of wonderful people around the country looking out for us,” said Captain Brett Meredith.

 And that “pick me up” from complete strangers, groups from out of state was all that was needed to refocus everyone on the mission in front of them.

 “We want to be there to take care of them, just as if our facilities weren’t damaged,” said Captain Brett Meredith.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing 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. 82 cents of every dollar spent is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.

Our Mission

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
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