Salvation Army Sends Supplies to Gulf Coast - WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

08/31/05

Salvation Army Sends Supplies to Gulf Coast

Crews load a canteen. Crews load a canteen.

The victims of Hurricane Katrina are going to need a lot of help, and some is on the way from all over the country. Including right here in Savannah, where another group hit the road this afternoon, taking with them thousands of pounds of food and supplies.

It's the Salvation Army. Ten canteens are heading to the Gulf Coast from all over Georgia, and one of those groups is from Savannah.

The canteens were packed, and and crews were getting ready. "This is going to be my first one," said volunteer Steve Kraus.

His mentor for this relief effort is Harry Stafford, a former Navy SEAL. "And I'm a former Marine," noted Kraus.

Stafford has been a part of ten different disaster relief efforts. "I believe we can handle it, we'll be able to handle it," he said.

Their mission, as handed down by commanding officer Maj. Henry Hunter, is to head to Meridian, Mississippi, and deliver food to anyone who needs it. "We'll serve those who lost homes and serve those emergency crews," said Hunter.

Thousands of pounds of food were piled in a canteen, that is, a truck that has a grill, microwave, running water and refrigerator. Crews have their work cut out for them. "We have to start getting breakfast ready at 5:30 and then we finish at eight at night," said Stafford.

Then they will restock the trucks with donations and try to catch a few hours of sleep. That will be their schedule for the next 12 days. "Harry and I are expecting to sleep on the ground, maybe in a tent," said Kraus.

That's when those military survival skills will come into play. "Took a lot of bug spray, snake bite kits," said Stafford. "You know, there may be a lot of water moccasins on Main Street."

But the crew says it's worth it, because helping people--even if it's just with a cup of coffee, a smile, or a prayer--is the most rewarding thing they can do in a time of need.

"The Lord blesses us so we can bless others," said Stafford.

When this crew gets back, another will deploy for 12 days and then another after that, so the Salvation Army will need plenty of donations from the community.

If you would like to donate to the Salvation Army to help with hurricane relief, contact them at:

Salvation Army
1-800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769)
www.salvationarmy.org

Local office:
The Salvation Army
PO Box 23798
Savannah, GA 31403
912-651-7420

Reported by: Kim Angelastro, kangelastro@wtoc.com

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