One week since hurricane Fiona slammed into Canada's eastern seaboard, hundreds of hungry and displaced people continue to reach out to The Salvation Army for assistance. Emergency disaster services personnel deployed immediately after the hurricane to provide food, water and emotional and spiritual care to those affected.
“We saw varying levels of flooding and destruction in the communities we serve,” says Lieutenant Gina Haggett, divisional secretary for public relations, Maritime Division. “With the help of generous contributions, we can meet immediate needs. We also recognize that our long-te
rm recovery assistance will be critical for those who have lost homes and are trying to piece their lives back together.”
“I was on a team serving hot meals at an evacuation centre in Halifax,” says Rebecca Mitchell, Salvation Army community engagement worker. “I saw firsthand how donations enabled us to reach the critical needs of many who were hungry and fearful of the unknown. We just want people to feel loved.”
In Cape Breton, N.S., emergency disaster services teams are on the ground serving up to 700 people a day.
“We offer three warm meals and a listening ear,” says Lieutenant Jenelle Durdle, community ministries officer, Sydney Community Church, N.S. “As word gets out, we expect to serve more. Many still don’t have power or water. Food is spoiling and, for some, there is an ongoing sense of desperation.”
On Saturday, September 24, The Salvation Army in Port aux Basques, N.L., opened as a warming centre and, by Saturday night, an emergency shelter was co-ordinated alongside community partners at a local high school. Teams on the ground continue to provide breakfast, lunch, supper and support to those who need it.
A familiar phrase has echoed throughout The Salvation Army’s response: “The Salvation Army, you are always here to help.”
“I am overwhelmed and now don’t have to worry about how I will feed my children,” says Mary, whose food has spoiled during power outages.
“A warm, full belly helps me sleep at night,” says Cindy, who is displaced to due to apartment building damage.
Due to the extensive impact of the hurricane, The Salvation Army expects that assistance will be long-term. Donations to The Salvation Army’s emergency services response can be made at SalvationArmy.ca or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.