Florida Salvation Army Personnel Provide Comfort During Polk County Wildfire

February 19, 2017
Dulcinea Kimrey | dulcinea.kimrey@uss.salvationarmy.org

Florida Salvation Army Personnel Provide Comfort During Polk County Wildfire

(Winter Haven, Fla)  –  Lt. Jumaine Bernabe spent Saturday wandering the Indian Lake Estates mobile home park in Polk County offering a kind word to those who lost everything in a recent wild fire.

The Polk County wildfire, which is now 75 percent contained, engulfed more than 5,500 acres over the course of a few days. While much of the land was brush, the fire did destroy several homes including the mobile home park.

Bernabe spent his day with residents, comforting them and helping to identify community resources to meet their needs.

“Many of the people evacuated and they came back to see their homes,” he said. “Their homes were ashes.”

Several of the residents he spoke with were rushed to evacuate by the Polk County Sheriff’s department, leaving behind everything including their vehicles.  

“One person left in such a hurry that all she had was her wallet and phone,” he explained.  “Even her vehicle was destroyed.”

Along with providing emotional and spiritual care to residents impacted by the fire, The Salvation Army of Winter Haven also provided more than 200 meals to first responders battling the blaze between Thursday and Sunday morning.

“It is always a pleasure to be there in service of others,” he said. “It’s a privilege to serve.”

The best way to help The Salvation Army provide disaster relief is to make a financial contribution.

The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those directly affected by the fire to visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.

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 (HumanNeedsIndex.org). 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 www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

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