Northern Division: Serving every county in Minnesota and North Dakota
Local volunteers at Harvey

Local volunteer says she gets even more than she’s giving in Texas

Added on Friday, September 8, 2017

Written by Julie Borgen, Twin Cities Media Relations Director for The Salvation Army Northern Division

When Sue Marsh (pictured above, in white shirt) retired from teaching junior high social studies, she was already doing something she loves to give back to the community.

“I was volunteering to cook meals at various places, but I was ready to do more,” Marsh said.

Jim Daly, disaster volunteerThat’s when she met Jim Daly (pictured, right), a retired Ramsey County Sheriff’s deputy and long-time Salvation Army volunteer (see related story). He recruited her to train as a Emergency Disaster Services volunteer, working out of a mobile kitchen.

“I told him he had me at cooking and feeding people,” Marsh recalled with a laugh.

Today, she and ten other Salvation Army volunteers from the Twin Cities are doing what they trained for in Houston (pictured, left), serving the survivors of Hurricane Harvey.

“This is what we signed up for, I am so glad to be here, so happy to be helping” Marsh said over the phone from Texas. “People are just wiped out in so many neighborhoods. The fact that we can feed them and let them know we care is just fantastic.”

Volunteers in HoustonMarsh and her fellow volunteer, Marva Sullivan (pictured behind Sue, right) flew into Little Rock, Arkansas last Saturday. They picked up a Salvation Army mobile kitchen and drove to Texas. In a single day they serve more than 350 meals and provided countless bottles of water.

“Many of these families lost everything and most of the stores are still closed. If we can save them some money buying food, and letting them know they are not alone, we’ve done some good,” Marsh explained.

She described seeing piles of debris five to six feet high everywhere, watching flatbeds filled with destroyed cars pull out of Free food and waterand hearing tales of huge snakes discovered in houses and even wrapped around a car’s axle.

“It’s hot, it’s humid. You can’t drink enough water, and we’ve seen people who appear to be living in their cars,” Marsh said. “I just can’t wrap my head around how much they have lost and how far they have to go to recover.”

Hugs in HoustonBut in spite of that, Marsh says she and her fellow volunteers are getting back even more than they are giving.

“When we drive the mobile kitchen down the street, people run up alongside us just to give us the thumbs up,” she said, choking back tears. “With all they’ve lost, the people here are blessing us so much.”

Marsh will remain in Texas another week, but says the next time she is called into service, there is no doubt about what she’ll do.

“I will go in heartbeat, it is such good work to do. “Marsh said. “The Bible says we are called to feed the poor and those in need, and if we can’t., then we need to support those who can.”

Please join The Salvation Army by training to be an Emergency Disaster Services volunteer, or by making a donation to support those affected by Hurricane Harvey and Hurricane Irma. 100% of your donation will go directly to support hurricane relief.