Red Cross + Salvation Army team up to feed evacuees in Puyallup

Shelter Manager Rich Simmons accepts a delivery of food and supplies from the Salvation Army. September 2020

By Ray Lapine

Salvation Army Captain John Kelly is Deborah Veltry’s hero. Veltry is the Red Cross volunteer in charge of finding meals for Red Cross shelters and Kelley had agreed that the Salvation Army’s Puyallup kitchen would provide five days of meals for the shelter at the Red Cross hotel shelter in Puyallup. When it turned out that the Salvation Army cook had to have emergency surgery, Veltry was sure she would have to find another way to provide those meals.

But that’s not what happened. Kelley, his wife and their children rolled up their sleeves and cooked the meals themselves. That turned out to be about 150 meals a day for three of the five days.

Veltry has long been impressed with Kelley’s hard work and dedication to meeting the demands of the task at hand. The Red Cross and the Salvation Army have long been partners in responding to disasters. In addition to providing meals, the Salvation Army is assisting wildfire victims with gas vouchers, food for evacuees staying in their RV’s, vans or cars, and clothing and other items. “Basically, any need we can meet, we have,” Kelley says.

Kelley believes the close cooperation between the two organizations builds for the future. He says, “We believe that with each of these events we work together on, we just strengthen the relationship between the Salvation Army and the Red Cross. It puts us in a good place for that unfortunate next event that is inevitably going to happen.”

Help people affected by the western wildfires by calling 800-RED CROSS or texting the words WILDFIRES to 90999 to make a $10 donation. 

American Red Cross Northwest Region

2 comments

  1. Can you tell me a drop off point in the Olympia area? I have several boxes of clothing that I would like the families of the fires in Washington/Oregon to have

    • Hi Tony, We’re grateful to all the folks who want to help by donating items, unfortunately, for the safety of our shelter residents and workers, the Red Cross isn’t able to accept material donations of any kind right now. It’s just too risky. Please reach out to other local organizations who may be equipped to do so. Good luck!

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