Sharing God’s Love After Hurricane Florence

Oct 24, 2018

Carol Knox is a Volunteer Chaplain for The Salvation Army of Milwaukee County’s Chaplaincy Program. She also assists with Emergency Disaster Services and deploys to areas where natural disasters, like Hurricane Florence, leave communities in shambles.  While there, she provided emotional and spiritual support, and assisted in providing meals to those who were in need.

Carol and another Milwaukee County chaplain, Marcine, were deployed to North Carolina on September 24, 2018. You can read about Carol’s experience below.

Q. What was the conditions of the area you were in?
A. The immediate area was Wilmington, and I didn't see a lot of damage in the city.  What I saw were signs that were damaged, some roofs peeled back, and boarded up windows.

Q. What was your main role while in North Carolina?
A. As an ESC (Emotional and Spiritual Care) Specialist, our role was to travel to the various assigned areas with the Canteen (mobile feeding units) trucks taking meals to the people.  We also took supplies, which were loaded in our vehicles.

Q. Where were you in North Carolina?
A. Our Command Center was based in the city of Wilmington, North Carolina.

Q. What was your typical day like?
A. Our day started at 6 a.m. and ended at different times, depending on when you were done and how far you had to travel to the various areas.

Q. How many people do you think you helped on a daily basis?
A. We served the people until all the meals were gone and the supplies.  Depending on where we were serving, we could serve 250 to a 1,000 meals a day

Q. What did you see was the greatest need?
A. The greatest need was everything, because many of the people were returning home to see how much damage their homes had sustained.  For some, their homes were a total loss.

Q. Who did you work with closely with down there?
A. The men who drove the Canteen I was assigned to. They were from Ocala, Florida.

Q. How long was your deployment?
A. Our deployment this time was for eight days.

Q. Can you share your most memorable moments during your deployment?
A. My most memorable moments were:

  • The great people I met and worked with
  • When I found out that I would be driving by myself behind the Canteen
  • The great stories Marci and I got to share at the end of the day because we didn't get to work together the first few days of being in NC.
  • We were eating one evening and a couple stopped at our table and thanked us for our service and paid for our dinner which was a surprise.  So we decided to pass the kindness forward to our server.

Q. How did you find out you were being deployed to North Carolina?
A. My partner and I said if we were asked to go to NC, we would go.  When asked who was interested in going, I was and found out later that my partner was too.

Q. Is there anything you'd like to add?
A. Since I've been a volunteer Chaplain in the Salvation Army Chaplaincy Program, I've enjoyed many opportunities. This includes the training I've had in preparation for being deployed and being able to help people in a traumatic situation or crisis.  Through that, I've been able to minister the love of Christ by being His hands and feet and living out my faith in a way that is not about me, but about the immediate need that presents itself to me.

About The Chaplaincy Program

The Salvation Army Chaplaincy Program is a partnership between The Salvation Army Milwaukee County and the Milwaukee Police Department. Our 64 chaplains represent 16 denominations from 50 different churches. They provide emotional and spiritual support in times of tragedy in Milwaukee County and deploy with Emergency Disaster Services when needed.

About Emergency Disaster Services

The Salvation Army began offering assistance to disaster survivors after a major hurricane hit Galveston, TX in September 1900, destroying the coastal city and killing thousands of people. Since then, The Salvation Army has responded to numerous natural disasters, transportation accidents, civil unrest situations, and terrorist attacks. By providing beverages, meals, and emotional and spiritual care to first responders and survivors, The Salvation Army strives to bring hope and healing to people who find themselves in the midst of extremely difficult situations.

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