Having made plans to go out for a nice, quiet dinner for two in their home town of Fort Worth, Texas, Frank and Bera Calvert were looking forward to celebrating their 48th wedding anniversary. However, Hurricane Alex had plans of its own as it surged towards the South Texas coastline.
Frank and Bera first volunteered with The Salvation Army as bell ringers while living in Daytona, Florida, and have always appreciated the ministry of the organization. Since moving to Texas they have been part of The Salvation Army Disaster Team for almost seven years. Married in Amarillo in 1962, the Calverts are responsible for The Salvation Army Disaster Canteen (mobile kitchen) that serves Tarrant County. On June 29, the eve of their anniversary, they received an emergency call for assistance. They were requested to be part of the State Task Force, meeting in Austin, preparing to be deployed to South Texas in anticipation of Hurricane Alex making landfall.
“It’s just another day to us and is the second time we’ve been called out on our anniversary,” says Frank. “We’re always together, and we have so much fun serving people every day.”
Since joining The Salvation Army Disaster Team the couple has responded to eight hurricanes and countless tornados, floods, fires, and other natural disasters. The Disaster Canteen is capable of serving up to 5,000 meals per day, catering to first responders, other relief workers, and those affected by the disaster.
“There are times, like when we helped with Hurricane Rita, that you see people who have lost everything. They don’t even have food. Then they drive up, you hand them food, and they have tears in their eyes,” Bera says. “That’s what keeps you going. With the help of God, we are able to help them and love doing it.”