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The Salvation Army Richmond Area Command: Serving Those in Need After Hurricane Katrina;
On the Ground in the Gulf Coast and in Central Virginia
The three mobile kitchens from The Salvation Army Richmond Area Command?s Emergency Disaster Services Unit have returned to Central Virginia after spending nearly 7 weeks on the ground in the Gulf Coast. During that time, these volunteers served more than 28,000 meals to those individuals who have been dealt a serious blow by Hurricane Katrina. Richmond's Emergency Disaster Services Units are now being moved from Baton Rouge's staging area to Laplace, Louisiana; a city about 30 miles to the west of New Orleans.
?So many people are at a loss,? Major Curtis Sayre, Richmond Citadel Corps officer, said.
Sayre was with Richmond?s first-wave of volunteers assisting those affected by the storm in both Baton Rouge and Algiers, Louisiana.
?This is the most heartbreaking disaster and recovery effort that I have ever been a part of,? Sayre said.
?Story after story after story, these people have lost everything but literally the clothes on their backs and they do not know where to turn. They are simply going on faith.?
Betty Edwards, Richmond Area Command?s Emergency Disaster Services Coordinator, is also with this group of volunteers in Louisiana and she added, ?Amazingly, the people?s spirits are up, so they keep us going. They won?t let us get down.?
Locally, The Salvation Army Richmond Area Command is Meeting Evacuee Needs?
Since Hurricane Katrina's landfall, The Salvation Army Richmond Area Command and the Petersburg Corps have opened 80 cases, totalling 215 people who have been displaced by Hurricane Katrina. Of these individuals served, 98 are children.
These individuals have been given clothing vouchers, gift cards, food and in some cases, gas cards. The Salvation Army Richmond Area Command has also been able to assist these individuals with referral and counseling information.
?Their stories are just overwhelming,? Jerry Chaney, a Gulf Coast native and The Salvation Army Richmond Area Command's Director of Family Services, said. ?It just breaks your heart.?