Austin, Texas (May 29, 2015) – The scene in front of The Red Cross Shelter at the San Marcos Activity Center at 501 E. Hopkins on Thursday was a sea of volunteers wearing red Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services t-shirts. Salvation Army mobile kitchens (canteens), trailers and vans pulled up to the curb, one after another, bringing food, beverages and supplies to provide to the flood survivors.
In an effort to reach many of the people who need help the most, The Salvation Army mobile kitchen drove into areas of San Marcos that received the worst flooding. Residents who have lived through the devastating floods, and are now desperately cleaning up their homes, have been so grateful to receive meals, snacks and drinks from the Army. In many instances those served have been quick to share their stories and experiences.
James was in the process of stripping his mobile home as The Salvation Army canteen came by. The curb outside was lined with damaged furniture, soaked carpet and padding, and ruined mattresses. This heartbreaking image was repeated throughout the entire community. “There’s so little that I can save. I’ve torn out all of the carpet and even the insulation in the walls was ruined,” he said. “The water came so fast there was nothing we could do. In no time at all it had risen above the steps and was at the front door. I ended up with about nine inches of water inside the house. What am I supposed to do? Everything is ruined.”
A Salvation Army staff member ate lunch with nine year old Dwayne in the park adjacent to where the mobile kitchen parked. “I didn’t have to go to school today,” he said. “I stayed home to help my Mom clean up.” Dwayne explained that the water flooded his bedroom but that his three younger siblings and Mom were all ok. “It’s good that you guys are here and this is a pretty good sandwich,” he said, “but I don’t know if I’m going to finish the Oreos. They sometimes give me a tummy ache.”
Jan Gunter, Communications Director for The Salvation Army in Austin, accompanied the mobile kitchen on Thursday. ‘My drive through a flooded neighborhood in Martindale delivering hot meals and cold water gave me a real sense of perspective. A woman was helping her 70 year-old parents, one of whom is on dialysis, clean up their house. Two women were optimistic about cleaning their friend’s couch because ‘only the skirt was under water.’ One woman said her elderly mother almost drowned. A veteran was thrilled that the VA had written him a check for $1,000, and he wanted all the veterans to know so they could get help also. Every yard had piles of flooded, ruined furniture. I got more than one hug from people saying a heartfelt, passionate, ‘Thank you’ which I certainly didn’t feel I deserved.”
The Salvation Army San Marcos Service Center, Austin Area Command and San Antonio Area Command staff will be offering assistance at the Multi-Agency Resource Centers (MARCs) in the following communities:
Wimberley MARC – Wimberley Community Center, 14068 Ranch Rd 12, Wimberley, Texas – Open 5/29/15-5/30/15 (8AM-8PM)
San Marcos MARC – St. John the Evangelist Catholic Church, Claretian Hall,
624 East Hopkins St., San Marcos, Texas – Open 5/31/15-6/1/15 (8AM-8PM)
The Austin Area Command delivered 144 pairs of work gloves, 40 pairs of safety glasses, 2,000 vinyl gloves, and 4,000 masks to aid the clean-up in Wimberley and San Marcos.
Please support the ongoing disaster work of The Salvation Army and help Central Texans affected by recent floods by making a financial donation at salar.my/floods by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY or by texting TXFLOODS to 51555 (message and data rates may apply).
If you are interested in learning more about The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) in Texas, or to become a local disaster volunteer, please visit: www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.
For the most up-to-date emergency disaster services news from The Salvation Army flood relief, please visit: http://salvationarmyaustin.org/news/and follow latest updates on Twitter twitter.com/SalArmyAustin and Facebook at facebook.com/SalvationArmyAustin.
About The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services:
“The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.” While every disaster is unique and creates its own special needs, the core of The Salvation Army’s disaster program consists of several basic services. And while these services address many of the typical needs of a disaster survivor, Salvation Army disaster relief is also flexible. Our services are adapted to the specific needs of individuals and communities and scalable according to the magnitude of the disaster.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 126 years in the Austin area. Locally more than 400,000 people receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, to relief for disaster victims, rehabilitation for the addicted, clothing and shelter to those experiencing homelessness and case management to help people move from crisis to stability. Eighty-two cents of every dollar The Salvation Army Austin spends is used to support those services in Travis and Williamson Counties. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyAUSTIN.org (SalvationArmyTexas.org/AUSTIN). Facebook.com/SalvationArmyAustin, and Twitter.com/SalArmyAustin.