BRYAN, Texas — The Salvation Army is partnering with the Texas Division of Emergency Management (TDEM) to provide transportation of essential Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to cities throughout the state. Deliveries will be made to strategic locations where hospitals and other essential services will collect vital emergency equipment as they continue to deal with the increased demands caused by the COVID-19 pandemic.
Initially planned as a pilot program to be tested in Austin, The Salvation Army received a request from TDEM to rapidly expand logistical support across Texas. Cities in each of the eight Regional Advisory Council areas will serve as PPE pickup locations and delivery will be handled by The Salvation Army beginning Tuesday, April 7.
“We are delighted to provide transportation support to the state utilizing our Salvation Army trucks and manpower at this time,” said Lt. Colonel Ronnie Raymer, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army in Texas. “We work closely throughout the year with the Texas Division of Emergency Management, along with other state agencies, and were quick to answer the call for assistance today.”
On April 6, three trucks and drivers from The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center, typically utilized for Family Store donation pickups, collected PPE from a location in Austin. These trucks made deliveries of PPE supplies to Bryan and College Station, Waco and Killeen. With the request to expand the program to cover the rest of the state. The Salvation Army locations in Dallas, San Antonio, Houston, El Paso, Lubbock, Corpus Christi and Tyler will also be providing logistical support.
“The trucks and employees involved would typically be collecting furniture and donations for The Salvation Army Family Stores,” said Raymer. “While many of our essential services continue at this time, our stores are closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic and we are thrilled to pivot our local resources to serve alongside state and local agencies. We are praying for those on the front line of the battle against the spread of COVID-19.”
The Salvation Army plans to seek federal reimbursement and TDEM has requested that transportation be available 24/7, as needed.
The COVID-19 pandemic has resulted in heightened need in communities throughout Texas as schools have closed, people are remaining at home, and many have suffered the loss of employment or the reduction of hours. The Salvation Army continues to deliver service in every zip code in Texas, providing shelter, meals, emergency financial assistance and food boxes to those in need.
To support the ongoing ministry of The Salvation Army please go online at give.salvationarmytexas.org, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or mail a check to your local Salvation Army office