Ganderite travelling to Texas to lend a hand after Hurricane Harvey

Published on August 30, 2017

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

©Submitted photo

GANDER, NL – When Gander Salvation Army Captain Sheldon Bungay got the call to fly to Houston, 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 is 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.”