Salvation Army employees return after helping with Hurricane Har - KFDA - NewsChannel 10 / Amarillo News, Weather, Sports

Salvation Army employees return after helping with Hurricane Harvey relief

Source: Salvation Army of Amarillo Source: Salvation Army of Amarillo
Source: Salvation Army of Amarillo Source: Salvation Army of Amarillo
Source: Salvation Army of Amarillo Source: Salvation Army of Amarillo

Salvation Army employees and volunteers returned from Houston last week, and they say it's an experience they will never forget. 

"It's an experience that I'll be able to tell my grandkids, and they'll be able to tell their grandkids what their great-grandfather did," said Walter Rao, a Salvation Army employee. 

The Texas Disaster Services gave them the name "Strike Force" for being the first group to enter the communities, and provide a hot meal to those who needed it most. 

"We were basically ground zero when we started. We started with just four canteens. A few other organizations and Salvation Army territories were there," said Rao. "We watched it from the ground, build up. It was an amazing, amazing site to see." 

For Rao, what was even more amazing was the hope their arrival gave to communities devastated by Hurricane Harvey. 

"I had a lady tell me, 'I seen you guys drive up and I knew there was hope.' Hope. So you know that was kind of our saying. We're going to serve hope!" said Rao. 

While some may consider serving over 850 meals a day work, Sharon McCarty said it was their duty to do what needed to be done. 

"It did not feel like work. Like I was telling the lady that I was with, 'You don't know the strength that you have until the strength is what you need,'" said McCarty. "We were lifting 40 packages of water and just doing it. It didn't feel like work it was just the right thing to do."

The team of employees and volunteers entered Houston to make an impact but left impacted by those they served. 

"Everywhere I go I tell people that you have to be grateful for everything because it could be taken at any given moment," said McCarty. "It could be taken. The family things you have, the material things you have, just be grateful for it because it can be taken at any given moment." 

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