Volunteers Find Worth through Emergency Service

New Orleans, LA (September 8, 2012)—When a disaster strikes, no matter how small or large, one thing is certain: mobile feeding units (canteens) from The Salvation Army are not far away. The non-profit organization has been on the scene to help those affected and the first responders during countless natural disasters in the United States. The canteens come stocked with essentials: food, drinks, clean-up kits and comfort kits. They are driven and staffed by Salvation Army employees and trained volunteers.

Trained volunteers are effective volunteers. During a disaster, The Salvation Army relies upon trained disaster workers to coordinate emergency relief operations and deliver fast, efficient service to disaster survivors. The organization’s national disaster training program includes courses developed by The Salvation Army and training certified by other partner organizations whose technical expertise is nationally recognized in a given field.

When Hurricane Isaac made landfall in the greater New Orleans area, the organization deployed over 50 employees and trained volunteers from seven states. Two of those experienced volunteers are Pamelia Phelps and Mary Jane Denny, better known as PJ and MJ, from Elberton, Georgia. Both women have served on countless mission trips around the world, many with their church and most recently on a trip to Ecuador with The Salvation Army in May.

Chair of her local command’s Advisory Board, PJ has served with the organization in two previous disasters. Of her experience, Hurricane Irene is the largest-scale disaster response she has been a part of.

“I love helping people,” she says while serving chili to those affected in St. John Parish. “People don’t realize that these people are hungry and need something to eat and drink. What we do for them makes their life a little better.”

Her friend MJ agrees. “It’s been a very rewarding experience for me. Everyone is so appreciative. They all say thank you. It’s been phenomenal.”

Both women encourage others to join with them, sign up for the organization’s disaster response training, and help others in need.

“It’s worth it,” PJ says. “Everyone should be involved with The Salvation Army.”

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 129 years in the United States. Nearly 30 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. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.