Updated 9/12: Salvation Army continues serving in Texas, areas affected by Irma

Salvation Army disaster services

Written by Julie Borgen, Twin Cities Media Relations Director for The Salvation Army Northern Division

Salvation Army Disaster Relief staff and volunteers continue to serve the Gulf Coast region following Hurricane Harvey, and in Florida and Georgia, after Hurricane Irma struck.

How you can help

The recovery and clean up effort from both storms is expected to be costly and go on for years. The best way to help is by making a financial donation.

  • Give online at helpsalvationarmy.org or by texting STORM to 51555
  • Donate by phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY
  • Mail checks to: The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1959, Atlanta, GA 30301. Please designate “Hurricane 2017” on all checks.


All Salvation Army Disaster Services volunteers have completed training and passed background checks. Here’s where to learn more and sign up for training. 

Updates: How We’re Serving

Updated, 3:00 p.m., Tues., Sept. 12

The Salvation Army is calling in resources from the entire country to help serve people affected by Hurricanes Harvey and Irma. 101 mobile kitchens and three field kitchens have been deployed, along with hundreds of volunteers and staff.

Boy in Houston with cleanup kitTo date, The Salvation Army has served well over half a million meals and drinks, given out more than 8,600 food boxes, in addition to providing nearly 13,000 comfort kits and more than 4,000 cleanup kits. Trained officers have also provided emotional and spiritual care to more than 34,000 individuals.

Local volunteers from Minnesota and North Dakota continue to serve in Texas. Additional people will be called to help in both Texas and Florida later this week.

Since Hurricane Harvey struck, more than two dozen people have signed up to take Emergency Disaster Services training from the Salvation Army in the Twin Cities.

Updated, 10:30 a.m., Thurs., Sept. 7

About a dozen trained, Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services volunteers from The Twin Cities will continue serving in hard hit neighborhoods in Texas, following Hurricane Harvey.

Spiritual care in HoustonThis, as volunteers from Georgia and Florida have headed back to their home states, ahead of Hurricane Irma.

To date, volunteers and staff have served more than 300,000 meals and drinks, given out about 5,000 food boxes and provided countless hours of support and prayer.

Nationally, The Salvation Army has raised about $19 million for hurricane relief, with nearly $750,000 coming from donors in Minnesota and North Dakota.

Updated, 3:30 p.m., Weds. Sept. 6

Additional Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services volunteers and staff from Minnesota and North Dakota are being called to join the forces already on the ground in Texas. This comes others from Florida and Georgia are being called home ahead of Hurricane Irma.

Free food and waterNine volunteers from The Twin Cities are already in Houston serving survivors and emergency personnel.

“With Hurricane Irma taking aim at Florida, those disaster volunteers and staff needed to head home, in case they are needed there,” explained Jim Daly, a long-time disaster services volunteer who is headed to Houston Thursday. “There’s no doubt, another catastrophic storm would stretch everyone, so we are praying the worst doesn’t happen.”

Hugs in HoustonThe Salvation Army has deployed 95 mobile kitchens and one field kitchen in the Gulf Coast region. To date, it has served over 280,000 meals and drinks, provided nearly 5,000 food boxes, and over 6,300 cleanup kits, in addition to giving comfort and spiritual care to nearly 20,000 individuals.

Updated, 9 a.m., Tuesday, Sept. 5

The Salvation Army continues to serve the Gulf Coast region as Hurricane Harvey recovery efforts are underway– and as Hurricane Irma strengthens to a Category 5 storm, taking aim at Florida.

At least 6o deaths are blamed on Hurricane Harvey, and  thousands of people remain at shelters along the Gulf Coast.

The Salvation Army is providing food, bottled water, cleanup and comfort kits in neighborhoods, at shelters and emergency operations centers. To date, it has served more than 235,065 meals, 227,716 drinks and 170,882 snacks.

Polaris vehicle helps volunteers distribute meals after Hurricane Harvey“The Salvation Army has been on the ground helping residents get back on their feet so they can start to rebuild,” said Lieutenant Jeremy Mockabee, Operations Chief for The Salvation Army’s Victoria Incident Management Team. “The Salvation Army is here standing strong for the local community, ready to serve as long as we are needed.”

Updated, 9:30 p.m., Monday, Sept. 4

The nine Salvation Army volunteers from Minnesota are all now serving in various locations in Texas, serving food, water, coffee and snacks to first responders, survivors and other volunteers.

Sue Marsh, a retired teacher on her first deployment says the destruction in many places is overwhelming.

“Just like we have snow drifts four feet high, they have piles of debris that high everywhere you  look,” she said.

More Salvation Army volunteers from Minnesota will be joining this group on Saturday.

The Salvation Army currently has 92 mobile kitchens serving in the Gulf Coast region and one field kitchen. To date, it’s served nearly 235,000 meals, more than 227,000 drinks, provided nearly 11,000 hours of emotional and spiritual care, in addition to thousands of food boxes, comfort kits and cleanup kits.

To date, Salvation Army employees and volunteers have given over 898,000 hours of service and will stay as long as there is a need.

Minnesota volunteers in Texas

Updated, 9:30 a.m., Saturday, Sept. 2

Nine Salvation Army Emergency Disaster volunteers from the Twin Cities are on the way to Texas today, to serve survivors and first responders. They will fly into Little Rock, Arkansas where they’ll pick up mobile kitchens and drive them to Texas.

“This is what I’ve been training for for two years,” said Sue Marsh (pictured above in white). A retired junior high teacher, this is Marsh’s first deployment with The Salvation Army. After watching the disaster unfold on the news, Marsh says she can’t wait to get there and be part of the solution. “It is really the best of do unto others, it’s like bringing in the cavalry for good.”

This group of local volunteers will work in Texas until Sept. 15.

Since Hurricane Harvey struck a week ago today, The Salvation Army has served nearly 150,000 meals, over 100,000 drinks, nearly 80,000 snacks, in addition to providing countless hours of emotional and spiritual care.

Updated, 10:30 a.m., Friday, Sept. 1

Trained, Salvation Army emergency disaster volunteers from Minnesota and North Dakota are preparing to deploy to Texas as early as this weekend. More than 200 people in this region have taken all the required training and many have raised their hands to go. The Salvation Army in Texas will call as many as they need to travel there for 2-3 weeks at a time.

SErving meals in Texas“We truly are one Army,” said Lt. Col. Lonneal Richardson, leader of The Salvation Army Northern Division. “Our people here are not only raising money to support Texas, but are ready to roll up their sleeves and help on the ground, too.”

The news comes as rescues continue in some parts of the Gulf Coast region, while others in Texas are beginning to return to their homes to assess the extent of the damage. Officials there say this could become the costliest storm in U.S. history, with damage exceeding $150 billion.

Salvation Army incident command HoustonAfter dumping 52 inches of rain on Houston, Harvey is now a tropical depression that continues flooding nearby states. At least 37 people are confirmed killed by the storm.

The Salvation Army is committed to serving the people affected by the storm as long as needed.

To date, The Salvation Army has served nearly 82,000 meals, 64,000 snacks, 45,000 drinks, along with providing shelter, mobile showers and thousands of hours of emotional and spiritual care to people following Hurricane Harvey.

Updated 10:30 a.m., Thursday, Aug. 31

While the flood waters are beginning to recede in Houston, an explosion has rocked a chemical plant in nearby Crosby, causing more danger for people still reeling from the storm. Hurricane Harvey is expected to become the costliest storm in U.S. history, with damage estimated at more than $100 billion. At least 31 people are confirmed dead, and officials fear that number will rise.

The Salvation Army is working hand in hand with state and federal agencies to serve the people impacted by the storm.  It has deployed 71 mobile feeding units to Texas, with an additional 29 on standby to support people in Louisiana. To date, volunteers and staff have served nearly 60,000 meals and more than 44,000 drinks, in addition to providing shelter, mobile showers, personal hygiene products, along with countless hours of emotional and spiritual care.

“The people [are] so pleased to see us and happy to receive a meal and some assistance” said Lt. Jane Munroe, of Ashland, KY. “I pray that they not received a meal but also a sense of hope and encouragement for the days ahead.”

Updated at 11 a.m., Wednesday, Aug. 30

Salvation Army in TexasThe Salvation Army’s national network of trained disaster staff and volunteers continue to serve throughout the Gulf Coast region, as Hurricane Harvey continues to batter it with more rain. Rainfall totals have already broken the record in the continental United States, and it isn’t over yet.

The storm made landfall again today, over Louisiana. At least 20 deaths are confirmed in Texas, as the rescue efforts there continue. Officials estimate that over 20,000 people are seeking refuge in shelters along the Gulf Coast.

The Salvation Army is providing food, bottled water, cleanup and comfort kits in neighborhoods, at shelters and emergency operations centers. To date, it has served more than 5,000 meals, 5,500 drinks and 5,600 snacks.

Serving in Hurricane Harvey“Donations from the generous public will help provide food, shelter and other valuable resources to the people impacted by this storm,” said. Lt. Col. Ron Busroe, The National Army’s National Community Relations and Development secretary. “With public support, The Salvation Army will be here to help the thousands affected by Hurricane Harvey for as long as they are in need.”

Updated at 11:30 a.m., Tuesday, Aug. 29 

The Salvation Army is activating emergency response teams from across the country to travel to Texas to support the relief efforts there. With a network of trained disaster staff and volunteers, and a fleet of more than 500 mobile feeding trucks, The Salvation Army is prepared to continue serving people impacted by Hurricane Harvey.

Serving food in TexasCrews on the ground are serving food and water to survivors, volunteers and first responders in Texas. The need continues to grow by the day.

“Salvation Army [Emergency Disaster Services] units are able to provide food, shelter, and emotional and spiritual care to those impacted by this ongoing, devastating weather event,” said Major C. Mark Brown, Director of Business Operations for The Salvation Army Texas Division.

The Salvation Army is also serving at emergency shelters throughout Texas, providing over 3,000 meals, snacks and drinks, as well as 400 cots for people to sleep on.

Original post, Sunday, Aug. 27

SA comforts womanThe Salvation Army is out in force in the Gulf Coast region of Texas, serving survivors and first responders after Hurricane Harvey devastated the area over the weekend, and as the historic flooding continues. Hundreds of personnel, along with 42 mobile kitchens and two field kitchens are deployed in Texas, capable of serving an average of 1,500 meals per day.

The Salvation Army is also staging emergency supplies like clean up kits, water and food at its 100,000 sq. ft. disaster center in Arlington, Texas and at points closer to the coast.

Volunteers and officers in the Corpus Christi area are concentrating their early efforts on feeding 200 first responders who are staged at the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) safety shelter.

The Salvation Army is committed to staying on the ground throughout this ongoing disaster, and will be there after the water eventually recedes.

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