Three mobile kitchens and crews from The Salvation Army of Texas have been deployed to provide practical and emotional support to their neighbors in Little Rock, AR, after powerful storms and tornadoes impacted the area. Multiple tornado touchdowns were confirmed in Benton, Central Arkansas (Little Rock), and Wynne, AR, and damage assessment continues throughout the region.
Trained Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) staff and volunteers from The Salvation Army in Texarkana, Irving, and Granbury, arrived in the Little Rock area on Sunday ready to support five disaster response units already serving in affected communities. Teams will serve meals, snacks, and drinks during their deployment of up to 14 days and provide emotional and spiritual care to storm survivors.
“One of the strengths of The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services structure is that we can quickly mobilize our trained teams to provide support in areas impacted by disaster in Texas and beyond. The recent storms in Mississippi and Arkansas have called for a large-scale response from local Salvation Army units, and the Texas Division is privileged to send three additional teams to Little Rock to support those efforts,” said Alvin Migues, Emergency Disasters Services Director for The Salvation Army in Texas. “This spirit of teamwork and supporting each other is at the very foundation of our disaster services. In 2017, during the height of response to Hurricane Harvey in the Gulf Coast area, we had 104 mobile feeding units and teams from Salvation Army locations across the country supporting our efforts here in Texas.”
Several feeding units, each with the capacity to feed 1,500 meals a day, will be roving in impacted areas serving residents affected by the storms. The mobile kitchen and team from The Salvation Army in Texarkana is one of those teams.
“We quickly mobilized our team and prepared to hit the road as soon as we received the call to deploy to Little Rock,” said Captain Juan Gomez, Commanding Officer of The Salvation Army in Texarkana. “Half of our city falls in the state of Arkansas and so we are truly serving the needs of our neighbors at this challenging time. My own daughter, Audrey, is part of the Texarkana team headed to Little Rock. She has worked alongside me during disaster response almost since she could walk and is now a trained Salvation Army EDS volunteer. I couldn’t be prouder of Audrey, and our staff members Kirsty and Donail, who have answered the call to serve. Donail received the call to deploy on his birthday, but he didn’t think twice about cutting short his celebrations to leave with the team. We are blessed to have such a committed team of passionate and selfless people.”
The Salvation Army has served 1,966 meals, 1,506 drinks, 1,456 snacks in affected Little Rock communities since response began. Trained staff and volunteers have prayed with 94 storm survivors.
The best way to support the disaster work of The Salvation Army by making a financial donation at www.helpsalvationarmy.org or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY. For the latest information please go to www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org