Local relief agencies prep to help during Irma; Harvey relief still in full swing

FORT WAYNE, Ind. (WANE) – After Hurricane Harvey shook the south, it’s hard to imagine Irma right behind it. This one is particularly scary for Salvation Army Volunteer Barbara Clifton. “It just breaks your heart. Until you’re in that situation, you don’t understand. In fact, I have a daughter in Florida and they’re scared to death.”

Clifton said her grandparents started the Fort Wayne location and she continues the tradition. As they filled a truck for a Sunday night trip to Houston before refilling for Florida, she’s seen the community come together to help. “I had a 90-year-old lady that drove up here and she had a walker and she got out and she had two little cans of soup. She said I don’t have a lot but hopefully somebody will get fed.”

They also had a big truck drop off donations collected at Jungle George’s. It’s all helping strangers across the country. “It doesn’t really matter what area natural disasters hit. It impacts us heavily and moves us to want to do something,” Captain Luis Acosta said.

Although volunteers are needed for physical labor, mental recovery is also happening at the Red Cross. Hope Owens is a mental health and addiction therapist who has wanted a chance like this to help. She’s now trained and ready to go wherever they send her to help people hurting mentally after tragedy. “I can imagine what it’s like to go through extreme loss. I mean you’ve lost everything that’s dear to you.”

She’s another caring volunteer eager to step up and help.”I feel like a horse behind a gate – just really ready to go.”

Salvation Army Fort Wayne sends their gratitude to Steve LeFebvre ad K&S Trucking for donating the truck, driver and fuel. They will be open over the weekend taking last minute donations before leaving for Houston Sunday night. Contact them here.