Emotional and Spiritual Care during Disasters

September 27, 2018
Christopher McGown | christopher.mcgown@uss.salvationarmy.org | (502) 777-6640

Emotional and Spiritual Care during Disasters

Lumberton, NC (September 27, 2018) – Two years ago Hurricane Matthew left much of Robeson County flooded.  The residents who returned to rebuild their homes and lives felt a sense of dread as Hurricane Florence’s track zeroed in on North Carolina. 

“We’re sixty miles in,” said Barbara White, a life-long resident of Lumberton.  “It’s not the actual hurricane, it’s all the rain it dumped; not the wind, but the water,”  White said she feels betrayed by the Lumber River which reached historic flood levels with Hurricane Matthew and crested nearly as high after Hurricane Florence.

The Salvation Army’s canteens are roving hard-hit neighborhoods in Lumberton.  Offering not only cold water and a hot meal but also a listening ear.   The Salvation Army understands that in times of physical need – food, shelter, water, etc. – there are also emotional and spiritual needs.  The Salvation Army deploys trained staff and volunteers to meet the needs of the whole person.

“The [Lumber] River has always been part of our lives.  We fish, boat, play in its creeks,” White went on.  “but this…” her voice trailing off as tears welled up in her eyes.  

“This is home” Tommy White, added, finishing his wife’s sentence on a more positive note.   The Whites started dating in high school and have been together ever since.  “We grew up here, our parents are here, our grandparents are here.  We are raising our kids here.”  The Whites have three children; two boys, 8 and 14 years old, and a 12-year-old daughter.  “Family is too important to just pack up and move away,” he added, tipping a nearly-empty water bottle as if to add an exclamation point.

Mrs. White got control of her voice to add “Our families have lived here for generations, all around us we have family, friends, our church, and good jobs; we’ve had two bad years out of probably a hundred.”  As they walked back to their home to continue sorting and salvaging she added, “We’ll figure it out, we’ll make it; we always do.”

No doubt, that is true for the White family and many in Lumberton and Robeson County, they just need a little bit of help.  The Salvation Army will continue to serve Robeson County, not only in times of disaster but year-round; meeting the needs of the whole person.  

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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