• Cindy Fuller

Beyond Basic Needs: The Vital Role of Emotional and Spiritual Support During Disaster Relief

Hot Springs, AR – In times of disaster, the response entails more than just providing necessities like food and water. The Salvation Army and other faith-based partners understand the importance of offering emotional and spiritual support to those enduring hardships.


On Saturday, The Salvation Army, Arkansas Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, and Methodist Disaster Team were having a coordination meeting, at a local Baptist church when a couple, referred by another agency, arrived seeking aid. While awaiting assistance, they were kindly offered a meal and listening ears. A Baptist Chaplain, accompanied by her therapy dog, connected with Mary, one of the individuals seeking help, facilitating a conversation about her own pets.


To maintain privacy, let's call the woman in need Mary. Despite her husband's reluctance and discomfort from the thirty-minute drive, they hoped to obtain a tarp and explore other available assistance. Mary shared that their situation was always challenging, but they managed to persevere. Unfortunately, disasters tend to exacerbate existing difficulties.


Mary and her husband live in a travel trailer with several dogs, chickens, and guineas on their property. The recent storm caused damage to their trailer, resulting in leaks and the need for repairs, adding to Mary's concerns about her husband's dementia and depression. The destruction of their chicken fencing further burdened her, prompting her to seek help.


Through collaboration with various agencies, The Salvation Army not only provided emotional and spiritual support but also helped secure additional resources to address both the disaster-induced needs and other such as food insecurities, health, and mental health referrals, and more. This instance exemplifies how disaster relief and ministry intersect to positively impact lives. It underscores The Salvation Army's commitment to fulfilling its mission of aiding individuals without discrimination, especially during their most vulnerable moments.