Cleveland-area Salvation Army offers support to Oklahoma victims

6:32 PM, May 22, 2013   |    comments
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Photo by Brett Deering, Getty Images.

In Moore, Oklahoma the daunting task of recovery and clean-up is underway for hundreds of tornado victims. The twister killed 24 people and injured more than 200. Damage estimates are expected to run in the billions of dollars.

But the emotional toll this storm took on the region can't even begin to be calculated. That's why members of the Cleveland area Salvation Army are ready to be deployed to help heal the wounds.

"The Army gets there kind of as a way to say, God has not left you. This is not his idea of a good day, this is a horrible situation. We're here, what can we do?" says Major Joyce Hartshorn.

Hartshorn sits in the Cleveland Salvation Army offices, waiting, knowing she and 5 others will get the call soon to go help. She did the same when Hurricane Sandy destroyed the New Jersey coastline.

"Little did I know, that we would pack up our belongings which were bottles of water, cleaning supplies and literally, with a grocery carriage, walk through neighborhoods looking for people in their homes," says Hartshorn.

She went as an emotional and spiritual care giver, which is what she provided. But it started with a familiar cup of coffee or a simple peanut butter sandwich.

"Often times we would stay for 15 or 20 minutes just listening. We found people needed to talk about their experience, because the more they talked about it, the more they could move on."

Hartshorn doesn't know what she'll encounter in Oklahoma, but she's prepared to offer an ear, a heart, and the basic necessities Oklahoma residents are doing without.

If you'd like to help with the Salvation Army's efforts, you can text STORM to 80888 to donate $10.

WKYC-TV

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