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INDIANAPOLIS--An organization built on faith, love and mercy can’t let their people hug or get close enough to pray with people affected by coronavirus. But, the Salvation Army of Indiana is finding ways around that, and is still bringing a message of hope.

“People really do need that right now. They need someone who they can talk to. And, in a normal response, to give a hug to them, to cry with them to sit down and have a prayer with them,” said Samantha Hyde, spokesperson for the Salvation Army in Indiana. “So, we’re actually doing a lot of outreach over the phone.”

LISTEN: Salvation Army spokesperson Samantha Hyde

Hyde said the ministry is helping to offer hope and love, even if it isn’t in person.

“Calling people who are high-risk and they’re stuck at their homes, calling people who would normally be volunteers or would normally be coming into our core community centers and participating in programs, making sure they’re not feeling isolated.”

Hyde said some of the physical constraints mean people have to get what they normally get from the Salvation Army in a different way.

“Places like Evansville where we have a hot food program that feeds hundreds of people every day, obviously we can’t have them congregating in one spot, so we’re having to move to a to-go system.”

She said they are looking for volunteers who can help with some of the physical tasks like packing food. But, you muct be between 18 and 60, not part of a high-risk group and be healthy and active.

“You can come out and help us pack food boxes and food delivery, things like that,” said Hyde. “They’re not big group jobs. We need one or two people at a time to do it. But, we need those healthy individuals to keep us going.”

She said volunteers help give some of the paid employees a brief rest.

Hyde said the message that they are bringing people is that hope is greater than fear.

“We’ve been using this as our messaging throughout this. That is if you keep your heart open to hope you keep thinking of the brightness that is on the other side of this crisis.”