Volunteer Discovered Passion to Serve Others at The Salvation Army

September 18, 2017
Philip Burn | philip_burn@uss.salvationarmy.org | (214) 418-9536

Volunteer Discovered Passion to Serve Others at The Salvation Army

Dallas, Texas (September 18, 2017) – Staci Forester watched the forecast and reality of Hurricane Harvey unfold from her home in Ohio, as the storm caused devastation along the Texas coastline. The impact and catastrophic effect on Texans struck home with Staci, as she grew up in Fort Worth and has many family and friends living in the Lone Star state.

Staci is a nurse with a background in emergency medical services, and first registered as a Red Cross volunteer in May 2017. “A few days after Hurricane Harvey hit, the phone rang and I was asked by the Red Cross if I would be willing to deploy and serve in Houston,” said Staci. “Of course, I said yes. I have family and friends in Texas and wanted to help those in need because I know that if something happened that affected my family, I would want someone to help them.”

While volunteering in Houston, Staci unexpectedly met Major Tex Ellis Jr. and the team of Salvation Army volunteers providing meals at a shelter in Kendleton, a small community in Fort Bend County. Staci said this brought back wonderful memories for her, as she grew up attending The Salvation Army church in Fort Worth where Major Ellis’ parents were the Corps Officers (pastors). “I loved going to church at The Salvation Army and I remember attending summer camp at Camp Hoblitzelle. I learned so many things there,” said Staci. “I learned to read music and play the trumpet and I remember my favorite camp activities were horse riding and swimming.”

Staci learned other lessons as a child at The Salvation Army that she has taken to adulthood. “My first experience as a volunteer was at The Salvation Army and it was there that I learned that I have a passion for serving people,” said Staci. “I know that as a Christian I am expected by God to treat others as I would want to be treated and that I should serve those in need. As it says in Matthew 25:40, ‘Whatever you did for one of the least of these brothers and sisters of mine, you did for me.’”

Staci volunteered in Houston for 14 days before returning home to her family in Ohio. Reflecting on her chance encounter with Major Ellis, Staci said, “It was such a blessing to meet The Salvation Army team and to see Major Ellis again after all these years. I am thankful for everything The Salvation Army taught me as a child and teenager.  That foundation and start in life instilled in me a passion and calling to help people.”

As of September 18, The Salvation Army has served 629,250 meals, 607,284 snacks, and 682,511 drinks statewide in response to Hurricane Harvey. Emotional Spiritual Care Officers have spoken with 27,167 first responders and survivors.

You can support the ongoing relief work of The Salvation Army by making a financial donation at to www.helpsalvationarmy.org, call 1-800- SAL-ARMY, text STORM to 51555.

For the latest information please go to www.disaster.salvationarmy.org and watch for regular updates on our social media pages at www.facebook.com/salvationarmytexas/ and www.twitter.com/salarmytx. To access photo and video resources related to The Salvation Army Hurricane Harvey relief efforts please go to www.salvationarmysouth.org/harvey.

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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