CLEVELAND, OH (WOIO) - The northeast Ohio chapter of the Salvation Army has been interested in helping out at the Republican National Convention from the very beginning. And just a few days ago, the charity got the go-ahead.
Cleveland will soon host more than 50,000 visitors for the convention. The city has been preparing for more than a year, and local agencies are stepping in to help out.
"People will be working extra hours and long hours but it's part of our ministry, it's part of who we are," said Major Larry Shade, Director of Emergency Services, Salvation Army Northeast Ohio.
Volunteers are now trained and ready to assist. From noon to midnight, crews will staff mobile canteens and provide hydration to the first responders.
"Mobile Canteens are sort of like an ambulance, they look like that, a box unit and we do mobile feeding off them," said Major Shade.
Shade says it's what they do best. Though they're known for rolling into disaster areas, part of the mission is to serve anyone in need.
The units will be located at four locations: 14th and Sumner Avenue, Payne Avenue and E. 21st Street, Lakeside Avenue and East 16th Street, and West St. Clair and Ontario Street.
"I see our workers handing out water, coffee, maybe some kind of light snack to the volunteers that are there, the first responders and hopefully nothing worse will happen," he said.
The volunteers and officers won't be armed, but say they're ready to give first-aid if needed.
They're all hoping for the best.
"I'm just praying for peace and calmness -- and we just want to see the very best for people," said Shade.
More than 70 people trained for the RNC. There are units in southern Ohio and western Pennsylvania on standby with even more support if it's needed.
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