Rochester Salvation Army missionary returns from Hurricane Ian disaster relief
(ABC 6 News) – It has been a little over three weeks since Hurricane Ian tore through the Gulf Coast of Fl., and after a two week deployment, a member of Rochester’s Salvation Army is returning home.
After Hurricane Ian left a path of devastation and a death toll in the hundreds, volunteers from all over the country raced to both Florida and South Carolina to help with recovery efforts.
Jessica Bradford, the missionary sent to provide disaster relief, says she is still adjusting to the realities she experienced in the wake of Hurricane Ian.
This was Bradford’s second mission, which included her being deployed to Fort Meyers and Port Charlotte. There, she delivered meals, helped with repairs and worked through the emotional trauma survivors endured.
Bradford says the communities are slowly pulling together in the aftermath, and lending helping hands to one another. But, it was one woman, living in a retirement community, who’s selflessness Bradford says she won’t soon forget.
“She actually was living in a FEMA trailer that was given to her after a previous hurricane. That was demolished this time, so now she is literally homeless,” Bradford explained. “She would come and see us, talk to us, we’d give her supplies, food, snacks and she didn’t save them for herself. She was giving them to other people.”
It was people, like that woman, that left Bradford speechless. The people impacted are putting on brave faces and putting others before themselves.
“They wanted us to give the food, or the care, to people who needed it the most and just reminding them ‘hey guess what you are those people right now that need this care.’ Then, they would break down and cry. They just never thought this would happen to them,” said Bradford.
So far, the Salvation Army has sent 234 trained disaster workers into the affected areas. They have distributed more than than 457,000 meals, snacks, and beverages to those impacted from the hurricane.
The Salvation Army says that there are still many ways you can help survivors recover.
Links and information to donate to Hurricane Ian disaster relief are below.
Click here to visit the Salvation Army page to donate.
Call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).
Text GIVE to 52000 to donate $10 through their cell phone bill.
Mail checks to Salvation Army Disaster Relief, PO Box 1959, Atlanta, GA 30301 (write “Hurricane Ian” in the memo line).