Collaboration helps The Salvation Army and its partners Do The Most Good in the wake of Hurricane Irma
Fort Myers, FL – Bethany Quisenberry, Principal of Franklin Park Elementary School in Fort Myers, Florida stands in the school cafeteria abuzz with parents, children, and families enjoying a hot meal in the cool air conditioning and selecting non-perishable food items to take home. “Having The Salvation Army come here and coordinate all of this has been a great help,” said Quisenberry. “This hot meal and others like it are the result of the collaboration between The Salvation Army and other local and national organizations.
The meal, including chuck roast with mashed potatoes, gravy, rolls and mixed vegetables, was prepared by the Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief volunteers from Florida, Pennsylvania, New York and South New Jersey on the campus of New Hope Baptist Fellowship in Cape Coral, FL. It was Shellie Taylor, the volunteer coordinator for New Hope and the Graduation Coordinator for the Lee County School District, who contacted The Salvation Army for meal pick-up and delivery to Franklin Park on one of its mobile canteens.
“We’ve been able to, as a small team for the district, keep our eyes open and really listen to what the needs are in our community,” said Taylor. “Through our communication with The Salvation Army, and cooking the meals at New Hope, we’ve been able to facilitate getting hot meals out to those folks.” In addition to coordinating with the Emergency Operations Center and Salvation Army satellite office staff in Lee and Hendry Counties, relationships like these have enabled The Salvation Army to reach far into affected communities and meet basic needs in the wake of Hurricane Irma.
Major Cheryl Gilliam, Associate Area Commander in Fort Myers, spoke of what a blessing it has been to see the community partner together, “…to be able to take care of each other.” Through this partnership, nearly 5,000 meals that The Salvation Army has mobilized to serve in hard-hit Lehigh Acres and in other pockets of Fort Myers and greater Lee County have been served. What’s key for Major Cheryl is that those in need, “…know that they’re loved and that they’re cared for.”About The Salvation Army