Training Day Turns into Serving Day for MS Officers, other volunteers

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

Training Day Turns into Serving Day for MS Officers, other volunteers

Baton Rouge, LA – The images flashing across televisions and social media accounts around the world tell a story of devastation across Southern Louisiana. The historic rainfall of last week impacted thousands of homes and families; people need food, drinks, and cleaning supplies, but also simple everyday things we take for granted like diapers, paper towels, shampoo and soap.

People and organizations from across the country are responding in ways that can only be described as overwhelming to those bringing relief to those in greatest need.

One of those groups is the Lamar County, Mississippi SWAT team located near Hattiesburg, Mississippi. They originally scheduled a training day for Wednesday, but an idea to serve changed those plans.

A text message among officers started it, then a Facebook post, and all of a sudden local media is calling. Twenty four hours later, officers had one eighteen wheeler, a 24 foot covered trailer, a 20 foot box truck and a 20 foot trailer full of supplies for Baton Rouge.

“Monday night we starting taking donations, 24 hours later we had to tell folks to stop coming,” said Ricky Pittman, Lamar County, MS Sheriff’s Office.

Deputy J.T. Shepherd says he couldn’t believe the outpouring of support.

“I honestly think people remember the response our home received after Hurricane Katrina and the 2013 tornado,” said Shepherd. “ They realize the need, know what people are going through, and they are showing compassion.”

But it wasn’t just heroes from out of state, but some from right around the corner from The Salvation Army’s Baton Rouge Command that was flooded too. Hazel Bradley-Averhart thought her house would be flooded too but was miraculously spared, so she wanted to give back and help somehow.

“I am Christian so I think this is best place for me to be…at this place helping sort goods. I know The Salvation Army will give back,” said Bradley-Averhart.

Baton Rouge Officer, Captain Mary Meredith is tasked with organizing the donated goods for distribution to the community. She says the generosity from everyone is greatly appreciated.

 “We are so very thankful,” said Captain Meredith. 

All monetary donations can be sent by texting STORM to 51555 on your mobile device or going to http://give.salvationarmyusa.org/gulf_coast_floods. You will also find information on this webpage on how to donate by phone and through mail. 

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.

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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