New Smyrna Beach, FL – After evacuating from their Oak Hill home, the Vaughn family was shocked to see parts of their house sheared from Hurricane Matthew’s wrath on Saturday.
With no one else to turn to, the family saw a Salvation Army canteen near the First Baptist Church and asked for prayer.
Salvation Army Lt. Will Conley, of Leesburg, said the family of five was passing by when they stopped and saw The Salvation Army shield.
“They stopped and shared their story and heartbreak with us,” Conley said. “Three generations, and although safe, they are now completely displaced.”
Conley said the family just left the remains of their home and drove around the city looking for help.
“Only four walls were left from their home,” he said. “We were able to give them a warm meal, cold water and pray with them.”
Meeting the family was humbling for Conley.
“Here’s a family who did all the right things,” he said, adding that they followed government officials and evacuated when they were asked. “And the reality is they just don’t know what they are going to do next.”
The Salvation Army is helping the family rebuild and will continue to usher them through their personal chaos.
“I just praise God they were able to leave,” he said. “I can’t imagine what would have happened if they stayed.”
On Thursday, The Salvation Army of Florida dispatched 32 of its mobile canteens, or kitchen on wheels, the Florida’s east coast to serve residents. Along with the meal service, Salvation Army officials also offer emotional and spiritual care, an opportunity to pray and or listen to families who have been impacted by the disaster.
“I just wish we could do more,” Conley said. “I’m just glad they saw the shield.”
The best way to help survivors and relief workers is to make a financial contribution. Monetary donations allow disaster responders to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors as the need continues to be assessed.
The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those directly affected by the storm to visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.
How people can help:
The best way to help after a disaster is to make a financial donation to the charity of your choice. Cash is flexible, can be used immediately in response to a crisis, and allows disaster relief organizations to purchase exactly what is needed, when it’s needed. Cash gives relief organizations the means to procure supplies near the affected area, which cuts down on transportation time and cost. Monetary contributions also support local economies and ensure that businesses can operate when relief supplies diminish.
It’s easy to support The Salvation Army’s disaster relief program:
· Donate Online: http://give.salvationarmyusa.org/hurricane_matthew
· Donate By Mail: The Salvation Army PO BOX 1959 Atlanta, GA 30301 Please designate 'Hurricane Matthew' on all checks.
· Donate By Phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769)
· Donate By Text: Text STORM to 51555 to receive a donation link for easy mobile giving
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