Empire State Division, NY - When does a disaster end? What does The Salvation Army mean when they say, “After the Unspeakable, We Speak Hope”?
Today is the 54th day of disaster operations for the Halloween Night Floods that impacted across 18 Counties across New York State.
This past weekend served as a turning point for our relief efforts as we transitioned from response to recovery.
On Friday December 20th, in cooperation with our partners at the Midwest Food Bank, Fed Ex, Walmart, Target, the Herkimer ARC, the Herkimer County Sheriffs Office as well as our Territorial Headquarters, Herkimer and Utica Corps Officers, Soldiers and volunteers,, we took delivery of food and resources to ensure that every family that came to The Salvation Army seeking help after the Flood will have a holiday meal and every child will have a toy to play with on Christmas Day.
On Saturday, additional teams of EDS Volunteers from across the Empire State Division drove through areas recovering from the Flood, distributing food and resources door to door. This is the love and compassion that our Salvation Army has continued to provide each day since the floods and will do so until all needs are met.
“Our community does not always get the attention others do when disasters hit us, but this community truly pulls together and takes care of each other. During our time here in the Herkimer Corps, we have seen three major floods, each one more devastating than the last one. This community across the entire Mohawk Valley knows what it is like to face devastation and how to pull together to recover. The help we have received this weekend will go a long way in ensuring a happy holiday season for all and we thank all our friends and partners for their help from the bottom of our hearts” said Corps Officer Captain Lori Wood.
Further, Divisional EDS Director Mike Schwartz said “an old African proverb says that it takes a village to raise a child. I can definitively say it takes an Army to help a community recover from a disaster. No one agency, organization or group can do it alone, but when we all work together, we truly can do the impossible. Its only through the collective work of so many of our partners, friends and colleagues that we can see the overwhelming positive impacts we are seeing across our State.”
So, when does a disaster end? When the need for help ends.
What does hope look like? To over 1,000 families across the Flood Impact Area, hope looks like a box with two weeks worth of food and help to ensure that no one goes hungry and every child has a toy to play with Christmas morning.
This is the often unseen work behind the scenes focused on serving others, never seeking the limelight and only looking for the look of relief on a survivor’s face that hope is restored.About The Salvation Army