ROCHESTER, Minnesota – Almost a month after Hurricane Ida made landfall in Louisiana as a Category 4 hurricane, cleanup efforts are still underway. Tens of thousands of volunteers have traveled south to help. Among them is a woman from Rochester.
More often than not, the very first organization people think of when it comes to natural disasters is the American Red Cross. And when it comes to The Salvation Army, they help the homeless, but we’re learning it goes way beyond that.
Rochester Salvation Army’s Rebecca Snapp spent two weeks cleaning up the mess Ida left behind and helping the victims find food and shelter. She explained that after working in social work for years now, she thought she knew what she was getting herself into when she arrived in Louisiana two weeks ago. But she learned much more than she expected.
In addition to helping people rebuild their lives and access daily necessities like food and water, Snapp has also gained a better understanding of the work she does.
The reason the organization is even able to volunteer like this is because of the support of the community. “And it’s interesting too because it’s not just financial support. It’s volunteers, it’s advocacy. We talk a lot about the non-profit sector about awareness campaigns and how important they are,” he said. Snapp explained. “Because a lot of people don’t think of raising awareness as being associated with a call to action. There is a way for everyone to take action, to get involved in an organization or a cause that they really care about. or who can really help people. “
Snapp was able to see firsthand why it is so important to have disaster relief service teams across the country, as disasters can happen anywhere and anytime. “Yes, we don’t have hurricanes here. But we have tornadoes here, we have fires here, buildings are going to collapse here, mudslides are going to happen here, floods are going to happen here,” she explained. “There are all kinds of things happening in our community. It’s important that we have a disaster response team in that area for when these things happen just so that we can take care of people quickly. “
Even though we were not directly affected by Hurricane Ida in Minnesota, millions of people have been and are still trying to pick up the pieces of their lives. Snapp said we can be part of the solution to help in any way we can.
It’s time to dust off the old coats as the annual Rochester Salvation Army coat drive arrives next week. It’s Saturday October 9th. Snapp explained that the Salvation Army in Rochester is also starting to prepare for its annual Red Kettle campaign. She said they need more help this year than ever before.