|Updated: 6/07 3:59 pm
||Published: 6/07 3:58 pm
The Salvation Army needs volunteers to help storm victims in the Oklahoma City area.
Salvation Amry officials said Oklahomans rose to the challenge of providing for the basic needs of storm and tornado survivors in the last few weeks; now it’s time for them to meet the rising need for volunteers.
“The disaster isn’t over just because the storm is,” says Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services Incident Commander Major Tom Louden. “Every day concerned and generous volunteers help us to meet the needs of Oklahomans who have lost so much.”
The Salvation Army’s EDS Volunteer Coordinator Jenny McElyea reports The Salvation Army has seen increased requests for assistance at the Relief Center each day this week: “Our numbers served are growing daily as Oklahomans are beginning to take those first steps toward rebuilding their lives and replacing things they lost in the storms.”
Volunteering with The Salvation Army is a great opportunity for large groups, churches, offices, and civic groups. “We need 45 volunteers per shift, and we run two shifts per day: 8:30 a.m. -2:30 p.m. and 2:30-8:00 p.m.” With the expansion of the Relief Center’s distribution hours to 11:00 a.m.-8:00 p.m. daily, McElyea foresees a strong need for volunteers for the next two months. Filling volunteer spots is particularly challenging during the workday hours.
Volunteers are needed for two important operations, at the Multi-Agency Relief Centers (MARCs), Salvation Army volunteers help disaster survivors to apply for relief services. At our Disaster Relief Center in the Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads, volunteers help sort and organize donated items and assist survivors in selecting items to replace those lost in the storms, such as food, water, cleaning supplies, and hygiene and baby items.
“The main thing we need our volunteers to do is to offer survivors a sympathetic ear and a warm smile,” McElyea says.
The Salvation Army welcomes both individuals and groups, requesting only that all volunteers be 18 years of age or older. Anyone who wishes to volunteer with The Salvation Army’s ongoing recovery efforts, may contact The Salvation Army EDS Volunteer Coordinator 405-620-2027 or SalArmyOKTornadoVolunteer@gmail.com.