Salvation Army Ride Along

By: Alice Barr
By: Alice Barr

"What can you do? You can give them a meal, you can pray with them, give them a handshake, give them a wave and a smile. But what else can you do?" asks the driver of the Salvation Army's mobile canteen.
What to do. That is the question now after overwhelming flood waters sweep through the area for the second time in less than a year.
"The same basements caved in. The same people."
The Calow family's basement flooded out completely last year. This time, same story.
"It's terrible, yesterday morning I was in tears all day, its like, why, why us why again?" says Janelle Calow.
The Calow's story is echoed throughout Rockford's Churchill Park neighborhood. Flood victms are relying on the meals, cleaning kits and clothes groups like the Salvation Army are handing out.
"The Red Cross and Salvation Army are doing a great job. As far as the government goes, the city, I mean you can see the streets, they haven't even bothered to come down here clean 'em up, nothing, we really haven't heard nothing from them," says two-time flood victim Erick Macias.
After going through their rounds for four or five hours, the Salvation Army mobile canteen has gone through all the food that they had for the day, and now they say it's time to get some more help.
"We've gone through approximately 300 meals, both lunch and dinner and that is not covering the need. We're at capacity right now in terms of what we can supply and we're going to be talking with another couple organizations to help us with some cooking," says Mick Manne, Director of Communications and Development for the Winnebago County Salvation Army.
Manne says the group will keep doing all it can as long as the need remains.
The Salvation Army is asking for donations of food, cleaning supplies and light summer clothing. To donate call 815-972-1135.
The mobile canteen is traveling around the Churchill Park and other hard-hit areas. You can also pick up clothing at the Salvation Army's 416 S. Madison Street site. Each person is allowed two outfits every two days.


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