Austin, TX (September 15, 2011) – Communities throughout Central Texas have rallied to support one another in response to devastating wildfires while at the same time coming to terms with the long-term recovery ahead. The Salvation Army is committed to provide practical assistance, in addition to emotional and spiritual support, to those affected by the wildfires.
Salvation Army mobile feeding units ventured outside of Bastrop, Wednesday, and staff witnessed the absolute devastation caused by wildfires, while providing refreshment and comfort to those they encountered. Many residents, only recently allowed to re-enter their communities, were found sifting through the rubble where their homes stood only two weeks earlier. Drinks, snacks and sandwiches brought short but welcome relief from the tiring and emotional work of retrieving what was left of personal belongings. “I’m going to see what I can find in this mess”, one resident explained while digging through the ashes within the charred frame of her home. “We’re going to get through this and rebuild. We’ll be back.”
By the end of business on Wednesday, staff and volunteers at The Salvation Army Central Texas Wildfire Relief Center (12317 Technology Blvd. #300, Austin) had completed the two-day job of unloading seven truckloads of donations collected through the “Neighbors Helping Neighbors” KXAN campaign. The task of sorting these items for distribution resumes when the doors to the center open at 8:30 AM, Thursday morning, and more volunteers are needed. “We are so grateful to the volunteers who have diligently worked at the relief center this week, and for the outpouring of love The Salvation Army has seen from the people of Austin for their neighbors affected by the wildfires,” said Major John Carter, Austin Area Commander for The Salvation Army.
The distribution of collected household items, toiletries, non-perishables and clothing to wildfire survivors will begin at 9:00 AM, Friday morning, September 16. The relief center will remain open Monday-Saturday, 8:30 AM-4:30 PM. Assistance will be given to people whose homes were destroyed and proof of residence is required in order to qualify. The Salvation Army will also provide gift cards to those individuals and families who have lost their homes.
In-kind donations are no longer needed but monetary donations are requested to support The Salvation Army Texas Wildfire Relief. Financial contributions can be made by:
• MAIL – please send checks to The Salvation Army, PO Box 36607, Dallas, TX 75235
• PHONE at 1-800-SAL-ARMY
• ONLINE at www.salvationarmytexas.org