Relief and Response in Massachusetts

In western Massachusetts where many communities are recovering from the destructive June 1 tornadoes, the disaster has caused a roller coaster of emotions.

While volunteers walked door to door with hot meals, they reported an elderly individual approached one of them, collapsed in their arms, and sobbed, “I just don’t know what to do.”

Around the same time, a 7 year-old girl walked into one of the local Salvation Army centers to donate an envelope marked ‘Lemonade Stand Money’ with a smiley face, which she said she had earned to “help the people in her neighborhood who got hurt.”

The Salvation Army continues to serve the many needs of these communities and is working closely with the office of the Springfield, MA mayor during this process.

As the transition to the long term recovery phase of this disaster takes place, The Salvation Army will provide vouchers for clothes, groceries, hygiene products, and children’s supplies for those affected. Teams are being sent to help the elderly and disabled who are not able to clear their yards of debris.We’ll also continue to serve those in the disaster area as long as needed to make sure everyone has enough food, water, clothing and shelter.

Since the immediate hours following the western Massachusetts tornadoes, The Salvation Army has:

  • Served 16,400 people, including 10,000 hot meals in 29 different locations and these services continue.
  • Used 5 emergency feeding vehicles to manage the response
  • Provided 100 cots for survivors in shelters,
  • Mobilized 85 specially trained EDS volunteers and a handful of officers to serve the 4 hardest hit communities of Westfield, Springfield, Brimfield and Monson.
  • Provided emotional and spiritual care to over 1,000 people in the first 48 hours.

To support The Salvation Army’s relief efforts in Massachusetts, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or click here to donate and designate your gift for “Massachusetts Tornado Relief.” The Salvation Army in Massachusetts says their greatest need is financial donations. They have not expressed a need for clothing donations or volunteers at this time.

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