Majs. Donald and Jane Kincaid packed a lot of activity into four years with the Salvation Army in Minot and would love to stay and continue the work.
But the Kincaids have orders to a new assignment in Green Bay, Wis.
The Kincaids' departure, which was scheduled for this week, has been delayed because Donald Kincaid is hospitalized with complications from pneumonia. However, the new corps officers, Capts. Timothy and Teri Nauta, will be arriving mid-week from Canton, Ill., with their four children.
Jane Kincaid said the Green Bay assignment is a promotion and a compliment from the organization, yet they still wish they could stay.
"We are not ready to leave. We don't want to go," she said. "Our hearts are here."
They see unfinished work in the aftermath of last summer's flood.
"That's why we don't want to leave. We want to be part of the restoration. We have bonded with the community. We want to be a part of putting it all back together," she said.
Salvation Army volunteers donated 13,368 hours to reaching out to help distressed friends and neighbors during the flood, according to information released in the City of Minot's flood recap report last week.
The organization served meals and drinks to workers, homeowners and volunteers during the sand bagging and containment stage. Personnel counseled and prayed with residents.
Once flood cleanup began, the Salvation Army had mobile feeding canteens canvassing the valley to serve hot meals. Through the summer, the Salvation Army provided 92,638 free meals, 129,443 drinks and 91,827 snacks. More than 4,000 free clean up kits were distributed.
The Kincaids came to Minot in 2008 with previous experience in working with flood victims. They were serving in Jefferson City, Mo., in the mid-1990s when a Missouri River flood affected that community.
"That was before they had these disaster teams so it was my husband and I, literally, and it went on all summer long. The river would come up and it would go back down," Jane Kincaid said.
"But this was worse," she said of the Souris River event. "The flood was unbelievable."
Kincaid added, though, that Minot is a strong community with people who help each other. That was one of the things she noticed upon first arriving in Minot.
"The local people are just so friendly, so willing to help," Kincaid said. "It's just a giving community."
She said after the flood, the Salvation Army wasn't sure what to expect during its Christmas kettle drive because the flood had sapped so many community resources. But the Army met its kettle goal, and a local group, Power of the Purse, stepped in to make the children's gifts and winter wear giveaway better than ever.
"It was just terrific the outpouring of the generosity. That speaks of this community," Kincaid said.
The Kincaids also will remember Minot fondly for its Norsk Hstfest and winters. Jane Kincaid said she loved North Dakota's big snows and hopes Wisconsin will provide more of the white stuff.
Minot has been a unique assignment for the Kincaids because of the strong economy with the oil industry. The influx of people, lack of housing and rising rents have created a demand on Salvation Army services. Last fall, the Salvation Army started a program to serve homeless veterans in Minot.
Kincaid said the Salvation Army has been swamped with people using its free shower facilities, and her goal since arriving has been to get a washer and dryer installed so people have laundry facilities, too. Just as she is preparing to leave, it appears that her goal will be realized. The building is scheduled for the necessary plumbing and re-wiring to make the hook-ups possible.
Another stride forward is the permanent placement of a disaster response vehicle in Minot, which came about after the flood. The vehicle will enable the Salvation Army to respond more quickly and effectively to disasters or other needs, Kincaid said. She anticipates the vehicle being used in delivering water for volunteer hydration throughout the flood recovery zone this summer.