Gulfport, MS (August 31, 2012)—Seven years after Hurricane Katrina devastated the town of Pearlington, Mississippi, Hurricane Isaac visited, leaving flooded homes and shattered nerves.
Throughout the day on Thursday, police and firefighters from Pearlington sent out pleas for help to anyone who would listen. Inundated with the rising waters of the Pearl River, for many it was déjà vu.
Could this really be happening? Was Pearlington once again the forgotten remnant of a Hurricane?
After running search and rescue operations throughout the day, residents and first responders were running low on fuel, food and patience. In some cases it came to downright begging on the streets. At the end of their rope, firefighters made one last ditch plea to their comrades in the Gulfport Fire Department. “Get The Salvation Army, they may be our only hope.”
Within minutes of receiving the plea form Pearlington, The Salvation Army dispatched a Mobile Feeding unit staffed with volunteers from Hattiesburg, Mississippi to support relief operations in Pearlington. Stocked with hot meals, coffee, water and an eagerness to serve, the unit made the forty mile journey.
Upon arriving in Pearlington, Salvation Army crews reported that “some fire fighters became a bit emotional as we pulled in.”
In a reversal of roles, the rescuers became the rescued.
“The Salvation Army came to our rescue,” exclaimed one weary firefighter.
From Pascagoula to New Orleans, the story was much of the same: communities cut off from everyday comforts, received more than just food and water from The Salvation Army. They received the assurance that they were not forgotten.
Having served over 8,876 hot meals, 9,651 drinks, and 8,241 snacks in Mississippi and Louisiana since Monday, The Salvation Army has begun ramping up feeding services in hardest hit parts of the Gulf South. Along with the feeding, has come emotional and spiritual support. Salvation Army crews have ministered to almost 600 people with emotional and spiritual care.
Salvation Army crews will return to Pearlington and many other communities in Mississippi and Louisiana on Friday, with hot meals, hydration, flood kits and the love of God on Friday.
For more information regarding The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Service program please visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.
The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those affected by the 2012 Hurricane Season to visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).
Donors may also contribute $10 via their phone bill by text* messaging the word “Storm” to 80888, and confirming the donation with the word,“Yes.”
Checks may be made out to The Salvation Army Disaster Relief, PO BOX 1959 Atlanta, GA 30301. Please designate “2012 Hurricane Season” on all checks.
At this point, in-kind donations are not being accepted. Used clothing and used furniture are seldom required during an incident. However, these gifts are vitally important in supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army. Please consider giving these items to your local Salvation Army Family Store or dial 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825).
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 128 years in the United States. Nearly 29 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. About 83 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.