Disaster Volunteers

Williamson County Volunteers with Colonel Henry Gonzalez

Williamson County Disaster Service Volunteers with Randy O’Dell (center) Colonel Henry Gonzalez (right)

There is something special about the Williamson County disaster volunteers. The Salvation Army is blessed and honored to have so many dedicated volunteers serving our community with us!

In the midst of the Bastrop County/Smithville fires that took place at Hidden Pines earlier this month, were a team of volunteers working tirelessly. These selfless volunteers are led by volunteer and disaster coordinator Randy O’Dell. They maintain the Williamson County disaster canteen and provide hydration and nourishment to first responders during disasters.

Bruce Peterson serving at the Hidden Pine fires Oct. 2015

Volunteers serving serving at the Hidden Pine fires Oct. 2015

During the fire relief efforts, these volunteers put in 12 to 14 hours a day to support our firefighters. Their days also included traveling an hour and a half to get to the fires at 5:00 am each day, some coming from Liberty Hill and others from Georgetown, and then traveling an hour and a half back home each night. They graciously donated their time (637 hours) and their gas money ($717.63) to make it out every day to serve the courageous first responders battling the fires.

Total Served at the Hidden Pine fires:

  • Meals:              930
  • Snacks:            1,285
  • Drinks:            2,140

Just the day before, the disaster volunteer team had responded and served firefighters at the blaze in Taylor, which was fortunately quickly contained. After their services at the fires concluded, the disaster volunteers did not stay home and rest. They came out two days later to the Shoe-In this past Saturday at Celebration Church. Saturday’s torrential rains would have kept most people home, but this exceptional team of volunteers came out to helped give more than 250 elementary school children in need, new socks and shoes.

One particular volunteer, Bruce Peterson, found time in between the fires and the Shoe-In to give haircuts to homeless veterans through the Austin Veterans Stand Down. Bruce stays and cuts hair until there are no veterans left needing a haircut. During the Texas Floods back in May, disaster volunteer Cindy Wells, gave her extra pair of shoes to a young woman who lost everything in the floods, including her shoes.

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Williamson County disaster volunteers at Hidden Pine fires Oct. 2015

These are just a few examples of why the Williamson County disaster volunteers are so special. We are so thankful for this extraordinary team!

Click here for more information on joining this amazing volunteer team.

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  1. […] year Bastrop County experienced wildfires. Our Williamson County Emergency Disaster Service (EDS) canteen and volunteers were deployed. Our volunteers provided meals and hydration to firefighters […]

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