Local Salvation Army chaplains heading to Texas amid floods

Posted at 3:39 PM, Aug 29, 2017
and last updated 2017-08-29 19:07:57-04

The local chapter of the Salvation Army has three chaplains on standby to go to Texas and they could leave as soon as this week.

The chaplains will offer emotional support to flood victims following the devastation that  Harvey has left.

The Salvation Army is activating emergency response teams all over the country as Texas shelters have taken in thousands of people.

Salvation Army volunteers have been on site from the beginning providing shelter and food, but now they are looking for a different kind of support.

"Just last evening we received a call that they really need at this point pastoral care," said Major Steve Merritt, the divisional commander of the Salvation Army's Wisconsin and Upper Michigan division.

He said three Milwaukee chaplains are preparing right now to leave for Texas.

"It's just somebody to you know put an arm around you, somebody that can cry with you, somebody with that empathy that really understands what is taking place," Merritt said.

He says they already expect to receive a call for volunteers as recovery efforts continue.

"We stand ready even as far away as here in Milwaukee, across Wisconsin, we have people that are ready when the call comes, we'll be able to send them," he said.

The Salvation Army in Texas has already served more than 3,000 meals to flood victims and first responders.

"We want to be able just to come alongside people and say tomorrow's going to come and that we stand beside you and we'll help you through that process," Merritt said.

Eventually, the Salvation Army says it will begin collecting things like clothing and furniture but right now they need monetary donations.

You can call in donations to 1-800-SAL-ARMY (725-2769) or donate online.

You can also text STORM to 51555.