• Cynthia Fuller

The Faith of a Salvation Army Soldier Endures After Jonesboro, Arkansas Tornado

Jonesboro, AR (April 8, 2020) – The sirens were going off and there was no time to take shelter, so the May family had no choice but to hunker down in the back of the local grocery store.   Their home in Jonesboro was in the way of the tornado, so it was the safest place they could be at the moment.

Ms. Patty May is a soldier (a member of the church) of the Jonesboro Salvation Army. The Mays live on Elizabeth Lane which received a direct hit from the tornado. She and her husband would have been in the path of the tornado had they not been shopping for groceries. 

“We had to take shelter at the grocery store!” said Patty to Major Anthony Baso commanding officer of The Salvation Army of Jonesboro.  “If my husband had stayed home like he usually does, he could have been severely injured or worse.  A tree went through the headboard of our bed, where he would have been napping.  It is truly a miracle of God.”

Major Baso visited the family a week and a half after the tornado to deliver a food box, as well as some emotional and spiritual care to a member of his congregation.  He was able to listen as well as offer a time of prayer.

“It’s good to be able to touch base with Ms. Patty and the fact we were able to serve those who had no way of turning on a light, much less have a meal,” said Major Basso.

The Salvation Army delivered meals, drinks, snacks, and emotional and spiritual care daily to the residents in the impacted area of Jonesboro.   

“I never thought I’d be a recipient of The Salvation Army’s disaster services,” Patty explained to Major Basso.  “The canteen (mobile feeding unit) from Mountain Home parked at the end of the street and would walk up meals to our workers and ourselves to ensure we had food and water every day.  They took the time to pray with us and listen, as we are so overwhelmed by losing our home.  It is destroyed.  Faith will keep us going, even though we don’t know what is in store for us.”

In the aftermath of the tornado, The Salvation Army provided 1,598 meals, 421 drinks, 821 snacks, and made 143 emotional and spiritual care contacts. 

Financial donations can be made at helpsalvationarmy.org or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY to support those affected by the tornado.  For additional information on The Salvation Army, visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org