Local Heroes Assist Salvation Army in Joplin, MO

As The Salvation Army responds to the tornadoes in Joplin, MO and other affected areas of the Central United States, we have been touched by the outpouring of support from members of the community who are helping their neighbors in need.

One such person is Alma Hudson, a nursing instructor at Crowder College in Neosho, MO who coordinated with The Salvation Army and Walgreens to set up a triage unit near The Salvation Army’s canteen in the Walgreens parking lot at S Main Street and W 20th Street in Joplin. This parking lot has become a central hub of activity, where residents can come to eat, receive medical care and rest. Along with a team of nurses who are tending to survivors around the clock, Hudson has helped with both minor and major injuries, such as cleaning wounds, splinting and bandaging broken bones and providing infant care supplies.

The Salvation Army canteen stationed at the Walgreens parking lot in Joplin, MO

“They can’t get out of the community, but they can get to this Walgreens, so I want to have a place where they can get it all,” said Hudson. “The Salvation Army provides food and supplies, and I help with their medical needs.”

The Tsangaris family, including Valetta, John, their daughter Jeane and Jeane’s autism service dog Athena, were able to receive one on one care after being caught in the storm on the way home from Jeane’s high school graduation.  When the storm struck, raging winds took control of their car and trapping them. During the chaos, Athena threw herself over Jeane to protect her from the ensuing storm. Valetta, Jeane’s mother, suffered a compound fracture in her arm, and turned to The Salvation Army for assistance as hospitals became inundated with requests for help. Once there, the Tsangaris family was able to receive food and drinks, as Valetta’s arm was operated on by Hudson.

Valetta and Jeane Tsangaris with their dog Athena.

Hudson and her team are even making house calls to check on tornado survivors who are unable to get the medicines or treatments they need, with Walgreens generously offering everything from their shelves.

Alma Hudson (center) meets with a team of nurses to help coordinate efforts

We are so touched by Hudson’s story and the stories of others who are working with The Salvation Army to respond to these disasters. If you’d like to continue to support these efforts, please visit www.salvationarmyusa.org, text “JOPLIN” to 80888 to make a $10 donation (confirm “yes” when prompted), or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.