The Salvation Army's Ministry of Presence in Disaster Response

September 03, 2016
Lindsay Crossland |

The Salvation Army's Ministry of Presence in Disaster Response

Tampa, FL (September 3, 2016) - When disasters like Hurricane Hermine strike, The Salvation Army is prepared to meet the immense need through a variety of services. These services range from providing food and water through mobile feeding units, to offering emotional and spiritual care from trained pastors and volunteers.

Members of The Salvation Army’s Emotional and Spiritual Care (ESC) team offer some of the Army’s most valuable resources to survivors and first responders – prayer and hope – through what they call a “Ministry of Presence.”

Over the next few days, Major Marion Durham, Salvation Army Officer of 20 years, will head to Ocala and Tallahassee to lead the Army’s ESC efforts in the wake of Hurricane Hermine. She has previously served on The Salvation Army’s ESC teams during Hurricane Isobel, the Moore, Oklahoma Tornadoes, and most recently the Pulse Nightclub Shooting in Orlando, Florida.

When comforting people who are suffering through what is often the most challenging time of their lives, Major Durham offers a friendly face and a listening ear. “Sometimes, giving a bottle of cold water and a snack are just an opening to helping a deeper need,” says Durham. “Often, while I hear their personal stories, I give folks to opportunity to pray over their situation and provide comfort during the crisis.”

When asked how serving on the ESC team has impacted her personally, Major Durham replies, “It has opened my eyes to the width and breadth of my ministry outside of my regular duties. I am amazed at the swiftness of our response to meet human needs that are both physical and spiritual.”

As Salvation Army disaster relief teams from across Florida head out to serve in areas where the need is greatest, the Army’s response to Hurricane Hermine has just begun. In the days, weeks, and months ahead, the Army will continue to provide much-needed care – physical and spiritual – to those in need across the state.

For more information on The Salvation Army’s response to Hurricane Hermine, please visit

Donate by Phone: Call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769) or Text STORM to 51555

Donate Online:

Donate by Mail: The Salvation Army, PO Box 1959, Atlanta, GA 30301 (designate Hurricane Hermine on all checks)

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About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index ( The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

Our Mission

The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian Church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
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