A help­ing hand

The Beacon (Gander) - - Front page - BY ADAM RAN­DELL

On Aug. 30 Gan­der Sal­va­tion Army Cap­tain Shel­don Bun­gay was en route to Texas to of­fer sup­port to those af­fected by Hur­ri­cane Har­vey.

When Gan­der Sal­va­tion Army Cap­tain Shel­don Bun­gay got the call to fly to Texas and of­fer sup­port to those dev­as­tated by the flood­ing, he knew he had to help.

Through his work with the Sal­va­tion Army, Bun­gay has been heav­ily in­volved in emer­gency ser­vices within the prov­ince, and is the point of contact for the Gan­der re­gion of Sal­va­tion Army New­found­land.

“Be­cause of the train­ing we have done over the years, we are qual­i­fied to as­sist in other ar­eas of Canada and the United States,” he said.

With news agen­cies stat­ing more than 20,000 are peo­ple home­less and 30 peo­ple are con­firmed dead, and with an es­ti­mated $160-bil­lion in dam­ages, the dev­as­ta­tion is mas­sive.

Bun­gay says sup­port is needed now more than ever.

‘The Sal­va­tion Army is ac­tively serv­ing thou­sands of meals ev­ery day, help­ing peo­ple with shel­ter, re­con­nect­ing peo­ple with lost loved ones,” he said. “For me, it was as op­por­tu­nity to be a source of help and a source of hope. If I can play a small role in help­ing, I’ll gladly do it”

At the time of the interview on Wed­nes­day morn­ing, Bun­gay was in Toronto, wait­ing on a con­nect­ing flight and ex­pect­ing to ar­rive in San An­to­nio, Texas, 4:30 p.m. NL time.

He was mak­ing the trip as part of a five-mem­ber team – two from New­found­land and Labrador, two from On­tario, and one from Ber­muda.

Bun­gay will spend the next two weeks in Texas of­fer­ing sup­port.

“Part of my train­ing is emo­tional care dur­ing cat­a­strophic events, so I sus­pect there will be a fair amount of one-on-one coun­sel­ing. But I’ll also likely be in­volved with food ser­vices, serv­ing meals, wa­ter and help­ing out with first re­spon­ders,” he said.

“We rec­og­nize it’s not easy work we are going to be do­ing, but we go know­ing we are pro­vid­ing a ser­vice that is needed.”

And with the sup­port and prayers of loved ones at home, he said. “I go know­ing I’ll be help­ing other peo­ple. That’s the driv­ing force be­hind it, be­ing able to help.”

SUB­MIT­TED PHOTO

Gan­der Sal­va­tion Army Cap­tain Shel­don Bun­gay is cur­rently en route to Texas to of­fer sup­port to those af­fected by Hur­ri­cane Har­vey.

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