What’s it really like in Texas right now? Jacqueline Rachev, Communications Manager for the The Salvation Army Metropolitan Division was deployed last week to support the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts. While she is serving as the Public Information Officer out of Victoria, Texas, she’s been documenting her experiences to share with you.
Her first full day on the job, Jacqueline met most of The Salvation Army Incident Management Team, as well as some inspiring volunteers and staff in the communities. “They really have a passion for the work,” Jacqueline recounts.
“I rode out after a canteen this afternoon and met some really good community members,” Jacqueline tells us. “They’re grateful for the Army’s support…. One lady had a tree through her house, some had roofs blown in. But everyone was so happy to see The Salvation Army and the food.”
The next day, Jacqueline traveled to the fishing towns of Port Lavaca and Sea Drift. “Those areas are still starting recovery and need some extra assistance,” she explains.
From Port Lavaca, Jacqueline sent her first official report, featuring both local disaster survivors and volunteers. Then she sent a video featuring Floyd Felder, a local survivor and new volunteer, who shared his experience with Harvey and its aftermath.
“It came into town with a roar,” Floyd says of riding out the storm and the subsequent damage. “So I got involved with The Salvation Army, delivering in the neighborhood; trying to make it better, trying to get to those who don’t have cars.”
While recovery has only just begun, Jacqueline’s documentation of The Salvation Army’s work in Texas shows the immense effort already taking place throughout the disaster sites. And the latest stats on The Salvation Army’s relief efforts for Hurricane Harvey survivors are staggering:
- During 59,432 hours of service, Salvation Army Volunteers & Staff have:
- Served 416,222 meals and distributed 6,196 food boxes
- Provided 459,271 drinks and 347,716 snacks
- Distributed 9,253 comfort kits
- Handed out 2,830 clean-up / flood kits
- Provided emotional and spiritual care to 22,482 first responders and survivors
- Sheltered 2,792 individuals
There’s a long road ahead of us as we work together to rebuild these communities. But the first-hand accounts shared by Jacqueline and others remind us of the great amount that is already being done.