Volunteers from all walks of life strongly support The Salvation Army in almost all of its activities. Their time and commitment are essential to the success of the organization. The millions of volunteers who function as part of the Army's ministry each year enhance the effectiveness of Army programs and services. This is especially true of its Emergency-Disaster Services.
Salvation Army disaster volunteers are recruited and deployed through their local Salvation Army unit. Therefore, it is very important for all disaster workers to build a connection with the leaders of their local Salvation Army unit and to become involved in the local EDS program. If you are interested in volunteering for your local Salvation Army unit, there are a few forms to fill out (links are at the bottom of this page) and turn in to the Leesburg Corps (this would cover both Lake and Sumter Counties).
Once you have been recruited as a volunteer, there are courses you can take to help you understand and implement your vital role at The Salvation Army. To learn about the courses and where they are given, you can talk to the local EDS leader.
During small emergencies or disasters, you might be called on to help on our canteen, help with neighborhood cleanup (for example after a storm or flood), or help distribute supplies among other things.
During a major catastrophe, if you are able, you might be asked to go out of our area. Usually, if you are traveling outside this area, you would be asked to stay up to 14 days. For those who have a job, you would need to have an understanding with your company/business that you may be deployed with only 24 hours notice.
General Assumptions for Volunteers:
- Disaster sites are chaotic.
- Your job will change.
- There will be communication disruptions.
- You will NOT have all the comforts of home.
- You will work long hours.
- You will be dealing with survivors and coworkers who are under extreme stress.
- You will work in uncomfortable environments.
- Survivors may appear ungrateful.
If a volunteer feels they cannot adapt to these, they may not be well-suited to on-site disaster relief work. They may, however, be well suited to participation in local response operations.