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Salvation Army deploys unit to serve hurricane victims

Vicky O. Misa
The Shawnee News-Star

The Shawnee Salvation Army is headed southeast to serve those affected by the effects of Hurricane Laura. Two members of Salvation Army-Shawnee's emergency disaster team are headed to join other Salvation Army units in the Lake Charles, Louisiana, area to provide meals and spiritual support.

The Arkansas-Oklahoma Division also is deploying personnel from Hot Springs, Little Rock and Mountain Home, Arkansas, as well as from Enid and Oklahoma City to support the ongoing disaster response efforts for those affected by Hurricane Laura.

Remaining physically in Shawnee, but offering much-needed aid alongside others, Shawnee Corps. Officer Capt. Stacey Connelly is serving virtually as an emotional and spiritual care officer (ESC). She assists with spiritual and emotional support services on the disaster operation. This support includes not only care for disaster survivors, rescue workers and the general public, but also care for staff and volunteers.

For any crisis — whether it is a natural disaster, the pandemic, or just the stress of life in general — residents can call the Salvation Army's Emotional and Spiritual Hotline at 844-458-HOPE (4673).

The Salvation Army is already at work in many communities that found themselves in the path of the storm. Water, food and shelter supplies have been staged and are being transported to the affected areas. Locally, teams in Shawnee, Oklahoma City and Ardmore have each deployed a rapid response unit (like a catering truck).

Supplies are loaded into The Salvation Army-Shawnee’s emergency disaster services vehicle just before leaving Tuesday morning to serve aid to those affected by Hurricane Laura.

The best way to help is through monetary donations.

Cash donations allow charitable relief agencies to use monetary contributions to purchase exactly what disaster survivors need. Monetary contributions are also easier to get to the disaster area. Supplies can almost always be purchased locally at the disaster site and provide savings in multiple ways. Money used to purchase needed items locally can support local and state economies, helping local businesses and workers, which have suffered losses in the wake of the disaster event.

There are several ways to support The Salvation Army’s disaster relief program:

• Visit www.helpsalvationarmy.org

• Mail donations to The Salvation Army PO BOX 1959, Atlanta, GA 30301. Designate 'Hurricane Laura' on all checks.

• Call 1-800-SAL-ARMY

Contact info

For more information, visit SalvationArmyUSA.org or follow the organization on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

For more information or to donate locally, call Capts. Patrick or Stacey Connelly at the Shawnee Salvation Army at (405) 275-2243.