Salvation Army Officers Offer Emotional And Spiritual Care in the Wake of Hurricane Matthew

They call her “The Love Lady”


It didn’t take long for Teresa to have her first minor seizure in the Red Cross shelter at West Columbus High. She takes medication for her seizures, but they are triggered by depression and stress, both of which are commonly experienced when you’re being evacuated by the National Guard to an unfamiliar place because your home is about to be flooded in connection with a massive hurricane that’s pounding the east coast of the United States.

Teresa, her mother, Joyce, and her aunt, Gerfel, arrived to the shelter Sunday night, and Teresa had two minor seizures by Tuesday morning. Then she met Salvation Army Captain Cathy Michels.

They call her The Love Lady.

“She has changed my life, made a difference in my life, that I could never repay,” said Gerfel, who, try as she might, could not think of enough positive things to say about Captain Michels.

“All the team is working together. All the team is doing a great job, but any time you can get somebody that comes by you, one on one, and carries on a conversation, that’s something different.”

Joyce, Teresa’s mother and Gerfel’s sister, said Captain Michels had the blessed ability to know when each or any of them were feeling down and to pick them back up with a smile, a laugh, a warm hug, some words of encouragement, or just a listening ear and understanding heart.

“She’s an angel,” Joyce said. “She’s our angel.”

Teresa has not had a seizure since Tuesday, and she attributes it to the godly love she feels from Captain Michels. From the very first time she met Captain Michels, she said, she felt hope, peace, joy and the love of Christ. She said that Captain Michels showed her, through her words and actions, that God truly still saw her and loved her, even in this dark time.

The mission of the The Salvation Army is to meet human needs in Christ’s name. We serve, providing for basic needs, because a person cannot come to Christ, having peace, hope and joy, on an empty stomach.

Please help us to continue offering physical, emotional and spiritual relief to those individuals and families affected by Hurricane Matthew by donating to The Salvation Army’s relief efforts at or calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.

Tags: Disaster Services