Williamson County Volunteers with Colonel Henry Gonzalez

Disaster Volunteers

Williamson County Volunteers with Colonel Henry Gonzalez

Williamson County Disaster Service Volunteers with Randy O’Dell (center) Colonel Henry Gonzalez (right)

There is something special about the Williamson County disaster volunteers. The Salvation Army is blessed and honored to have so many dedicated volunteers serving our community with us!

In the midst of the Bastrop County/Smithville fires that took place at Hidden Pines earlier this month, were a team of volunteers working tirelessly. These selfless volunteers are led by volunteer and disaster coordinator Randy O’Dell. They maintain the Williamson County disaster canteen and provide hydration and nourishment to first responders during disasters.

Bruce Peterson serving at the Hidden Pine fires Oct. 2015

Volunteers serving serving at the Hidden Pine fires Oct. 2015

During the fire relief efforts, these volunteers put in 12 to 14 hours a day to support our firefighters. Their days also included traveling an hour and a half to get to the fires at 5:00 am each day, some coming from Liberty Hill and others from Georgetown, and then traveling an hour and a half back home each night. They graciously donated their time (637 hours) and their gas money ($717.63) to make it out every day to serve the courageous first responders battling the fires.

Total Served at the Hidden Pine fires:

  • Meals:              930
  • Snacks:            1,285
  • Drinks:            2,140

Just the day before, the disaster volunteer team had responded and served firefighters at the blaze in Taylor, which was fortunately quickly contained. After their services at the fires concluded, the disaster volunteers did not stay home and rest. They came out two days later to the Shoe-In this past Saturday at Celebration Church. Saturday’s torrential rains would have kept most people home, but this exceptional team of volunteers came out to helped give more than 250 elementary school children in need, new socks and shoes.

One particular volunteer, Bruce Peterson, found time in between the fires and the Shoe-In to give haircuts to homeless veterans through the Austin Veterans Stand Down. Bruce stays and cuts hair until there are no veterans left needing a haircut. During the Texas Floods back in May, disaster volunteer Cindy Wells, gave her extra pair of shoes to a young woman who lost everything in the floods, including her shoes.


Williamson County disaster volunteers at Hidden Pine fires Oct. 2015

These are just a few examples of why the Williamson County disaster volunteers are so special. We are so thankful for this extraordinary team!

Click here for more information on joining this amazing volunteer team.

Emergency Disaster Services Joins Community Group to Feed the Hungry

Emergency Disaster Services Joins Community Group to Feed the Hungry

Emergency Disaster Services Joins Community Group to Feed the Hungry

Jackson, MS (February 26, 2014) -The Salvation Army EDS Department along with the Jackson Area Coordinate partnered with an area nonprofit to serve food to Jackson Mississippi’s hungry and homeless.

Every Sunday afternoon, Why Not Now Ministries of Mississippi, joins area organizations and church groups to provide a meal to the most needy in the Jackson, MS area. While The Salvation Army already had a feeding program in place, one of The Salvation Army’s most faithful disaster volunteers, Tony Kumor brought an idea up to the EDS department. Tony thought that this would be a good place to practice our food service along with helping those in need, and the EDS department agreed.

The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services are constantly looking to train and practice their unique feeding ministry, so situations where they can exercise their resources are priceless. When the idea of using this practice time to serve the hungry of Jackson came up, it was an easy decision to make.

The Salvation Army and Why Not Now of Mississippi worked for most of the afternoon this past Sunday serving 125 individuals. Kumor stated that this number was up about 30 people from the previous week.

The Salvation Army stands ready to assist all those in need during times of national disasters, and personal ones.

via Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services.


The Salvation Army of Austin Allocates $25,000 for Flood Victims

The Salvation Army in Austin is feeding first responders and flooded residents.

The Salvation Army in Austin is feeding first responders and flooded residents.

AUSTIN, TX (November 6, 2013) –The Salvation Army continues to provide flood relief support in neighborhoods that were flooded last week in Austin. A Salvation Army laundry truck, equipped with three washers and dryers, is available at the Dove Springs Recreation Building for flood victims to wash their muddied clothing as they work to clean up from the devastation of the creek waters. In addition, the Austin Area Command has allocated $25,000 to directly assist flood victims. Full-time Salvation Army staff will be providing case management at the flood command headquarters to determine need and to distribute these funds.

Two Salvation Army canteens (mobile kitchens) will be serving 500 meals to first responders, volunteers and flooded residents each morning from 7:00-9:00 AM in the impacted neighborhoods beginning Friday. These units, each with a capacity to serve up to 2,500 meals per day, have already provided 3,500 snacks, meals, and drinks to those in need.

Volunteers are desperately needed to assist in the relief work. Individuals and groups can sign up for four-hour shifts to monitor the washers and dryers for the coming week. Contact Donna Clendennen to volunteer:

In addition, The Salvation Army is asking the community for monetary donations to support the disaster relief efforts. 100% of any disaster donation given to The Salvation Army goes directly to helping those who have been affected. Your donations will stay local and help others in Austin.

$10 feeds a disaster survivor for one day
$100 can serve snacks and drinks for 125 survivors and emergency personnel
$250 can provide one hot meal to 100 people
$1,000 keeps a Salvation Army canteen fully operational for a full-day

Financial donations can be made in the following ways to support The Salvation Army’s local response to the Central Texas flooding:

MAIL – Send checks to The Salvation Army, PO Box 1000, Austin, Texas 78767.
TEXT to PLEDGE: Text HELPAUSTINAREA to 41444. Include your name and the amount you want to donate.

The Salvation Army is currently not able to accept donated goods for the Austin area flood disaster relief. Financial donations are greatly appreciated and will help support the ongoing relief efforts.


Contact: Jan Gunter, Communications and Community Relations Director
Direct: 512.634.5910 Cell: 512.944-0572


About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to