Snowed In-But Assisting

4CFV0470No one was immune from the recent incredible snow event, or “Snowmaggedon 2014″. We all witnessed it and were a part of in some very unique ways yesterday.

Our own Director of Development, Brandy Crumly, was stranded on I-65 for more than 6 hours. And our Director of Social Services, Larry Dancy, had to abandon his car and seek a warm place to lay his head. He walked to Homewood Rec Center where he found about 60 other people seeking shelter.

“I saw kids running around,” says Larry. “Everyone was looking a little stunned.”

After he surveyed the situation he heard a way to help.

“Some parents were saying that they didn’t know how they were going to feed their kids that night,” recalls Larry.

IMG_4560So Larry, pictured far left, jumped into service mode and made arrangements.

“I talked with a restaurant about supplying dinner,” says Larry. “And then I drove with some city employees(pictured) in their 4X4 to pick up enough food to last for a couple of days.”

He turned a difficult situation into a blessing.

Salvation Army officer Lt. Jamie Leonard spent an incredible 15 hours waiting in traffic. At 3 a.m.  she made the decision, as so many others did, to abandon her car and eventually made her way to an area hotel. Like Larry, she found a lot of people in need and began to minister to them in multiple ways.

“I walked over to Walmart to buy games for them to play,” says Lt. Jamie. “But there were so many people already using the building as a shelter and they had opened a lot of the games.”

Lt. Jamie was able to find a few that were left and then grabbed a dutch oven.

“The hotel didn’t have a kitchen,” says Jamie.” “So I thought of beef stew and how easy it would be to cook that for everyone that was stranded at the hotel.”

IMG_4576300 in fact. Those staying for the night were able to enjoy a meal and and some comfort in a tough time.

“It was scary  for them,” says Lt. Jamie. “I was scared too. My husband had just had surgery and I wanted to be there with him.”

Instead, she got a chance to help others as she does every day.

Lt. Jamie said she wouldn’t feel like she was fulfilling her calling as a Salvation Army officer if she just curled up in a corner and got warm like everyone else.

“It was second nature,” says Larry. “I just jumped into what I am comfortable with, helping others.”

IMG_4578Right place, right time to help. We are so very thankful that all of our employees made it home…eventually, safely. But in the meantime, they got to do what they do best. We hope you and your family also made the best of this situation.

All costs in both situations will be paid  by The Salvation Army.

If you would like to see the video with interviews of both Lt. Jamie & Larry about their experience follow this LINK.


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