Salvation Army offers assistance after Matthew

Published 8:21 pm Tuesday, October 11, 2016

Since 1938, the Salvation Army has provided assistance to Washington residents and beyond during times of disaster.

The core goal of the organization is to help those in need with provisions and supplies, while also caring for their emotional and spiritual needs.

In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, as residents assess the damage and floodwaters still threaten property near the Pamlico River and its connecting creeks, this time has been no different.

Capt. Bruce Rabon, commanding officer of the Salvation Army of Washington, said his branch is serving meals specifically to first responders working with Beaufort County’s Emergency Operations Center.

On Tuesday, Rabon said the Salvation Army served 94 meals for breakfast, 180 meals for lunch and 145 meals for dinner.

“It’s busy, busy,” he said. “Our count went up from 50 meals at a time to about 150 to 200 meals.”

According to Rabon, the shelter set up at Southside High School closed Monday after breakfast, and the shelter at P.S. Jones Middle School shut down Tuesday afternoon.

The Salvation Army was serving meals to residents at the shelters, but has since switched to only emergency personnel.

With flooding expected to continue over the next several days, there is a chance a shelter will need to be reopened. Beaufort County Schools cancelled classes for students today, but it is an optional teacher workday. If need for a shelter arises and school goes back in session, an alternative location is Snowd Branch Church of God on VOA Road in Washington, according to officials.

Rabon said he and his volunteers will continue to assist emergency personnel as long as needed, providing for them and on a mission from God to help.

“Until they tell us to quit,” Rabon said. “Right now I imagine we’re looking at at least through the weekend.”

While the Salvation Army is purchasing food to cook the meals, there is also a food pantry at the organization’s Seventh Street location in Washington for individual residents.

According to Rabon, the food pantry is running low and is only giving away canned foods at this time. Donations are always welcome.

“Our food pantry is just about empty,” Rabon said. “We’ve had people coming right and left.”

To donate to the Salvation Army, call 252-946-2523 or stop by the Washington location at 112 E. Seventh St.