Spending Spring Break Serving Southeast Texas Flood Survivors

March 25, 2016
Leslie Galban | leslie.galban@uss.salvationarmy.org | (214) 514-3496

Spending Spring Break Serving Southeast Texas Flood Survivors

Dallas, Texas (March 25, 2016) – As the flood waters began to rise foot by foot in Southeast Texas, area students, teachers, and faculty were just kicking off their Spring Break. With many roads washed out and closed, and school not in session, young couple Timothy and Lakeesha Kenebrew heard The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services had been activated in Newton, and showed up to volunteer. The Salvation Army disaster workers quickly trained and informed the volunteer couple of their assignments and placed disaster volunteer vests in their hands.

The couple accepted their assignments, put on their vests, quickly rolled their sleeves up and got to work. On one side of the building, Timothy was assigned to hand out cases of water and clean up kits to area residents who had been affected by the flood, while Lakeesha on the opposite side of the building was helping hand out food boxes and hygiene kits.

As Timothy was at his post stacking cases of water to distribute he said, “Our home was not affected by the flood, but so many others around us have been, and we wanted to do something to help our neighbors. I was born and raised here and returned after college to work and serve here. I love this community, so when we heard The Salvation Army would be set up right here in Newton, my wife and I decided to volunteer.”

When Timothy was asked where he and his wife worked, he humbly said, “Right here. Newton ISD. I am Newton High School’s principal, and my wife is a first grade teacher.”

Overhearing the conversation, disaster workers and volunteers paused for a moment and looked up. They had no idea he was the principal of the high school. They were taken aback by Timothy and Lakeesha’s selflessness of going beyond the call of duty to serve their community during their spring break.

Lakeesha said, “We’ve seen many of our students and their families coming to receive emergency assistance. It’s heartbreaking to know our students and their families have lost their homes or have a tremendous road ahead in recovery. Newton ISD has had better spring breaks, but we are happy to lend a hand and help those around us.”

Since the flooding began, The Salvation Army has served 10,931 meals, 16,260 drinks, and 14,507 snacks in the area and handed out 765 food boxes. Additionally, case managers have met with 459 families and have assisted 2,328 individuals and distributed $43,300 in gift cards to help cover immediate expenses. Clean up kits have been given to 1,843 residents who have been cleared to return to their homes and begin recovery.

Emergency Assistance and Services can be found at:

Salvation Army Assistance Center & Fixed Feeding Site
Deweyville High School
171 TX-12
Deweyville, TX
Hours of Operation: 9am to 4pm
Services Provided: Food & Hydration and Emergency Cleaning Supplies, Family Food Boxes, Emergency Financial Assistance, Hygiene Kits and packing boxes.

Salvation Army Assistance Center & Fixed Feeding Site
The Salvation Army of Orange
1950 MLK Dr
Orange, TX
Hours of Operation: 9am to 4pm
Services provided: Food & Hydration, Emergency Cleaning Supplies, Family Food Boxes, Emergency Financial assistance, Hygiene Kits and packing boxes. This location will also accept donated clothing.

MARCs (Multi-Agency Resource Center) Locations & Hours of Operation
Deweyville High School
171 Hwy 12
Deweyville, TX
Hours of Operation: 10am to 8pm

First Baptist Church
319 North Main Street
Newton, TX
Hours of Operation: 10am to 8pm

West Orange Cove School
505 North 15th Street
Orange, TX
Hours of Operation: 10am to 8pm

Mobile MARCs will also be functioning 2pm to 8pm
Friday March 25
Trout Creek Baptist Church
1509 FM 1004
Kirbyville, TX

Saturday March 26 and Monday March 28 (closed Sunday for Easter)
United Pentecostal Church of Bon Weir
133 FM 1416
Bon Weir, TX

Donations to support the ongoing Salvation Army response efforts can be made by texting STORM to 51555, or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY, or online at give.salvationarmyusa.org/texasfloodsandtornados

If you are interested in learning more about The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) in Texas, or to become a local disaster volunteer, please visit: www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.

For the most up-to-date emergency disaster services news from The Salvation Army in Texas, please visit: www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org and follow latest updates on Twitter @SalArmyTXEDS and Facebook at www.facebook.com/SalArmyTXEDS.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit www.SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

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