(Fort Myers, Fla.) September 12, 2017 – For Mar’Tavis Davidson, leaving families staying at Fort Myers’ Red Shield Lodge while Hurricane Irma ripped through the area was not an option. Davidson considers the men, women and children he works with each day like is own family.
“I wanted to make sure they were OK,” said Davidson, Red Shield Lodge Housing Monitor. “I feel like the clients are more like my family than clients.”
Davidson spent the night in an interior room at the family shelter called the “Day Room,” offering hope and calmness through the storm.
“A lot of people had left, and I felt it was important for me to stay and help my family here at the shelter,” said Davidson.
His work is not over. Davidson plans to work throughout the week to provide assistance to those who are still suffering after the storm and will need shelter at their facility.
All 32 mobile feeding units have been deployed throughout Florida to serve residents in impacted areas in the state. An additional 24 mobile kitchens from across the eastern seaboard are also coming to Florida to help with Hurricane Irma’s relief and recovery efforts.
On Monday, the larger Salvation Army assets were redeployed from Florida’s east coast to the west, where coastal cities were most damaged.
Mobile kitchens are prepared to serve up to 1,500 meals a day. The Salvation Army also has two semi-truck size field kitchens capable of making more than 20,000 meals a day.
The Salvation Army in Florida has served and distributed more than 265,000 meals and snacks since September 8, when it began its relief and recovery effort, serving in shelters and alongside emergency responders in preparation for Irma.
All 47 Salvation Army units – from Pensacola to south Florida – are assisting and serving residents in need. The Salvation Army has more than 3,000 trained volunteers and staff in Florida, ready to offer a warm meal, bottled water, coffee, or emotional and spiritual care.
The best way to help survivors and relief workers is to make a financial contribution. Monetary donations allow disaster responders to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors as the need continues to be assessed.
The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those directly affected by the storm to visit helpsalvationarmy.org, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or text “Storm” to 51555.
At this point, in-kind donations are not being accepted. Used clothing and used furniture are seldom required during an incident. However, these gifts are vitally important in supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army. Please consider giving these items to your local Salvation Army Family Store or dial 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825).About The Salvation Army