• Mark Jones

The Salvation Army Makes Relief Mission to LaPlace, Louisiana

New Orleans, LA (September  4, 2012) — Starting over is never easy. Starting over three years from retirement can leave even the grizzliest of storm veterans searching for hope.

Dan and Darlene Brown have lived in the same LaPlace, La. neighborhood for over 32 years, never once experiencing flood waters. Raising their children in the same neighborhood that their grand children now roam and play.

Seven years after Hurricane Katrina gave only a glancing blow to residents of Laplace, Hurricane Isaac dumped several feet of rain and pushed Lake Ponchartrain into the community approximately 25 miles from Downtown New Orleans.

What Katrina spared. Isaac ravaged.

Waking up about midnight on August 28, Dan realized that Isaac was no Katrina. With six inches of rain already creeping under the doors and walls, Dan began grabbing important papers and mementos. After running down the street to his daughters house, Dan returned with a truck to salvage all that he could. By 3 A .M. over three feet of water had inundated the house.

“I guess after 32 years this is what it feels like to be homeless, but we will rebuild, we will return to our home,” stated Dan

While Katrina and Isaac had their differences in how they impacted LaPlace, there is one commonality: the presence of The Salvation Army.

Following Katrina, The Salvation Army used a vacant LaPlace shopping center as the hub of Katrina relief operations in the Greater New Orleans area for many months. At one point over 100 canteens were positioned for service each day in LaPlace as well as serving as a hub for disaster distribution.

“Following Katrina the residents of Laplace embraced The Salvation Army and welcomed us with open arms,” stated Major Ronnie Raymer, one time Laplace Incident Commander and now Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army’s Alabama, LouIsiana, Mississippi Division.

Today, The Salvation Army returned to LaPlace.

This time, with a different mission: a mission to feed, hydrate and comfort the community that happily embraced The Salvation Army seven years prior. Residents like Dan and Darlene. Residents with a resilient attitude and can’t keep me down spriit.

Salvation Army feeding units served over 1,200 meals to LaPlace residents on Monday. With more feeding units and cleanup kits arriving on Tuesday, The Salvation Army hopes to meet the needs of more residents beginning their clean up after flood waters have just begun to recede.

Grateful residents like a single mother named Shannon, who lost everything in the flood and are searching for answers in their darkest days, yet found reason to smile as she received her hot meal and prayer from The Salvation Army.

“The joy I saw from the crew caused me to smile and know that someone cared,” Shannon stated. “I will be back tomorrow.”

And so will The Salvation Army, with additional resources and a strengthened resolve to minister to Laplace the thousands rebuilding their lives and dreams.

For more information regarding The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Service program please visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.

The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those affected by the 2012 Hurricane Season to visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).

Donors may also contribute $10 via their phone bill by text* messaging the word “Storm” to 80888, and confirming the donation with the word,“Yes.”

Checks may be made out to The Salvation Army Disaster Relief, PO BOX 1959 Atlanta, GA 30301.  Please designate “2012 Hurricane Season” on all checks.

At this point, in-kind donations are not being accepted.  Used clothing and used furniture are seldom required during an incident.  However, these gifts are vitally important in supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army. Please consider giving these items to your local Salvation Army Family Store or dial 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825).

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 128 years in the United States. Nearly 29 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. About 83 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.