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 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 Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

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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