Remembering 9/11: War Cry’s September Issue

Friday, September 9, 2011

Have you checked out the newest edition of War Cry, a publication of The Salvation Army?

The powerful September edition is titled What We Learned From 9/11 and includes stories and testimonies from Salvation Army Officers who served on the front lines of need on September 11 and the months following.

Not to be missed:

The Story is of Glory, contributed by Craig H. Evans, Development Director for The Salvation Army of Portland, ME. Craig witnessed the terrorist attacks on September 11 from The Salvation Army’s divisional headquarters in Manhattan. His powerful account of that day is extremely moving. He attributes his team’s coordinated response amid many obstacles to God-given grace and strength.

There is Calvary, an account from Major Molly Shotzberger, Salvation Army Team Leader who worked at Ground Zero. Major Shotzberger writes about the worker who discovered three perfect crosses underneath the rubble of the World Trade Center- and called the site Calvary.

Presence – Read how Lt. Colonel Stephen Banfield, Salvation Army Incident Commander at Ground Zero, came to understand that sometimes the only thing a victim needs is another’s presence. Lt. Colonel Banfield did just that, standing with and comforting victims who were waiting for their loved ones to be discovered from the wreckage.

And much more!

Click Here to read the online articles. To order your subscription to War Cry, visit our website.

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Remembering 9/11: Video Footage

Thursday, September 8, 2011

Check out this short video containing footage from the 9/11 attacks, showcasing the “people in blue” near the end.

Did you know…

The Salvation Army was the first relief agency to arrive at the scene of the 9/11 attacks, reporting within a half-hour of the first plane hitting?
Officials granted us full control of the feeding operation at Ground Zero – a relief effort called Compassion Under Fire – for nine months following the attacks?
We served 3.2 million meals to victims, volunteers, firemen, policemen, and emergency disaster relief workers?
Salvation Army pastoral caregivers provided emotional and spiritual support to rescue and recovery workers?
We couldn’t have done any of this without the thousands of loving volunteers and generous donors that served our efforts.

Thank you for your support.

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Remembering 9/11: Honoring Major Evelyn Chavez

Wednesday, September 7, 2011

Before joining The Salvation Army as an Officer, Major Evelyn Chavez worked as a Triage Medical Assistant. Her experience provided her with the proper training to deal with stress and trauma – fitting for the life-changing situations she’s been faced with since joining The Salvation Army.

And she’s seen it all.

Major Chavez provided care at Columbine high school in the late 90’s following the shootings. She served as Incident Commander for survivors of Hurricane Katrina, and, most recently worked as a Chaplain in Port au Prince following the earthquake in Haiti.

But she’ll never forget Ground Zero. After the 9/11 attacks, Major Chavez worked tirelessly for two straight weeks in a Salvation Army tent at Ground Zero treating victims.

She sees every opportunity to serve as a blessing from God, a way to serve Him better. What an Amazing Example!

Thanks to the Salvation Army Western Territory’s blog Expect Change, her journal entries from that time have been recorded. Every day of this week Expect Change will be posting a journal entry from Major Chavez’s time at Ground Zero, chronicling the conversations, the scenes, and the personal moments that we’d otherwise not know about.

You can visit Expect Change by Clicking Here. This is not to be missed!

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Salvation Army Provides for Drought-Ridden Uganda

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

The Salvation Army is meeting an urgent need to provide water for parts of Uganda- a country seized by drought conditions causing suffering and severe child malnourishment. Children and families are without water and beds. The lack of water is also making hygiene a major issue.

The Salvation Army provided 200 mattresses, 200 wash basins, 500 bars of soap, and 100 containers of liquid soap to provide for those being sheltered and cared for. Plans are in the works to sink a borehole for a constant supply of clean water.

Additionally, more than 700 Ugandan families benefited from food provided by The Salvation Army. Each family received 15 kg of maize and 10 kg of beans. More projects are planned and an international Salvation Army team is currently on its way to assist the Uganda Command.

Donations allow for Salvation Army teams in Uganda and other African countries to provide during times of emergency. If you’d like to contribute, please visit the International Headquarters’ website at www.salvationarmy.org.

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The Salvation Army Commemorates 9/11

Tuesday, September 6, 2011

It’s hard to believe we’ve reached the ten-year mark already. The attacks from September 11, 2001 are still very fresh for many. On that fateful morning, most of the nation watched the news stations anxiously from living rooms, schools and offices as the scenes unfolded. We painfully listened to the horrific depictions of death and destruction from witnesses nearby. For months following, we tracked the progress on ground zero. A decade later, we are still picking up the pieces and rebuilding, yet the pain and loss from losing friends, family, firefighters, policemen, and emergency relief workers is still present.
For months after and still, our nation mourns.
The time following those events was especially significant for The Salvation Army. That’s why throughout this entire week we will be remembering those we lost and honoring those who survived and helped.
The Salvation Army was the first relief agency to reach Ground Zero on that fateful day, reporting within a half-hour following the first plane crash at the World Trade Center site. We couldn’t have done without the 39,000 Salvation Army officers, volunteers, and staff who provided assistance during that time. We served relief workers at the scene for nine months until operations at Ground Zero officially concluded in May, 2002. This relief effort, called “Operation Compassion Under Fire” gave The Salvation Army full control of the feeding operation at Ground Zero. We served 3.2 million meals during those months. Most importantly, we were able to provide emotional and spiritual counseling and support to rescue and recovery-personnel.
In remembrance of this tragedy and in recognition of the 10th anniversary, The Salvation Army will host a variety of events and memorial services around the country to remember and honor the victims and heroes of the attacks and their loved ones. Events include memorial services, remembrance ceremonies, candlelight vigils, parades and food drives.
For more information, please check back here for updates.

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Salvation Army Opens Shelter for Flash Flood Victims

Sunday, September 4, 2011

Tropical Storm Lee has dropped torrential rains on the Gulf Coast states of Louisiana and Mississippi.

The storm made landfall in New Orleans earlier today causing devastating flash flooding. Currently, New Orleans is under flash flood warnings.

The Salvation Army is dedicated to helping those in the states affected by this storm. In Jackson, Mississippi, forty residents have been evacuated by boat to The Salvation Army’s shelter in Pascagoula.

The Salvation Army encourages all residents of areas in the storm’s path to stay informed of all warnings. With significant rainfall still in the forecast residents are reminded to stay away from moving waters.

Want to help our efforts providing for those in Lee’s path? Check out our website for ways to donate monetarily.

Check back for updates. You can also see our updates on Facebook and Twitter.

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Salvation Army Readies for Tropical Storm Lee

Friday, September 2, 2011

As the storm system threatens Tropical Storm Lee and twenty inches of rain on parts of the Gulf Coast, The Salvation Army is prepared to provide relief if disaster strikes.

Read more about the coming storm here.

Flash flooding remains a concern for residents of these states. Salvation Army offices in Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi are geared up with 24 mobile feeding units and a gigantic field kitchen in case a response is necessary. We are also prepared to provide clean-up kits, water, shower units, first-aid supplies, and spiritual care.
The Salvation Army would like to encourage residents in the path of this storm to prepare for Emergency. Read more about how you can stay prepared by Clicking Here.

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A Helpful Journey

Friday, September 2, 2011

The following was contributed by Gene and Edie Pigford, Lt. Colonels from The Salvation Army

Our journey began on Tuesday, August 30. Edie and I travelled to Oneonta to support the Salvation Army Command Center which was helping provide emergency relief intervention in communities devastated by Hurricane Irene.

Our first stop was Fleishmans where we stopped at a canteen from Ohio under the leadership of Lt Jason Price. The canteen was based at a local church which was coordinating local relief efforts. Local residents were appreciative of the food, including members of a Hassidic community who were pleased at the availability of kosher food.

Next was Margaretville, a community hit with considerable impact from Irene. One of the lifelong residents described seven feet of water coming down the town’s main street. Severe structural damage appears to have rendered the old historic section of Main Street not salvageable. The town is awaiting final word concerning the loss of this resource. One resident was concerned about his pets that he had to leave behind when they were told to evacuate. He was later able to retrieve them, but was struggling to find living arrangements for both him and his pets.

The Margaretville Fire Department was most appreciative of our efforts to convey some supplies on their behalf to the Prattsville community

Roxbury was well served by a canteen from Buffalo. They were able to coordinate with a local pastor and school principal to provide food, cleaning supplies and spiritual care to community residents. We had the privilege of praying with them and ask God to bless their efforts and their community.

By far the most devastated community was Prattsville. We were able to reach the community by back roads, some of which went directly through the devastated areas. The Army established a canteen relief site and distributed food and cleaning supplies to area residents and relief workers. A local church is currently providing hot meals in a tent, but the pastor indicated that soon these volunteers will need to look after their own homes. The State Police helped us connect with an 82 year old woman that had not been out of her house since the hurricane hit.

A few local merchants were very discouraged by the damage done to their businesses and questioned whether rebuilding would be worth it. The town supervisor was very helpful and encouraging to the community, offering hands-on assistance to residents.

The town has limited water and will not have power for some time due to broken power lines. Most of the town residents we came across were in good spirits and working hard to rebuild their towns.

Our sense is that some communities will recover fairly quickly. But others, like Margaretville and especially Prattsville, will need ongoing support for some time.

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At the Heart of the Operation – Meeting Need in Margaretville, NY

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The following was contributed by Mary Jo Barnello, Director of Development and Community Relations at The Salvation Army Empire State Division.

Traveling into the hard-hit village of Margaretville, NY from the Incident Command Center located in Oneonta, NY, the skies were blue, the temperatures seasonable and the drive breathtaking as we traversed the winding roads of the Catskill mountains. Leading in, the town of Delhi celebrated the end of summer with a farmers’ market lining Main Street, American flags displayed on porches, and flowerbeds in full bloom.

As we approached Margaretville, the beautiful creeks running along the roadway mile by mile became increasingly rushed. They converged on the outskirts of town and turned dark brown and raging. Debris were evident on trees and mud covered everything including the roadway. The National Guard was stationed on the closed bridges, clearing alternate roadways and directing travel in and out of town. Flying overhead, six black helicopters circled the town several times bringing in supplies. The Margaretville Firehouse has become the center of the community. The Salvation Army disaster relief vehicle was the heart of the operation, positioned right in front. The Salvation Army Team of Bellaire, Ohio was serving food fast and furious to residents, volunteers, firefighters from neighboring stations, and National Guard personnel. The Salvation Army served hundreds at the Firehouse with countless more waiting for delivered meals.

A cheer went up when The Salvation Army box truck loaded with supplies arrived. More than 15 firemen leaped into action to unload the supplies ofwater, cleaning kits, baby supplies, pet food and canned food for mass distribution. The firemen worked side by side with Salvation Army volunteers to help the townspeople make their selections. The overwhelming response from residents and volunteers alike was deep gratitude and sincere appreciation that The Salvation Army was there helping with such basic needs.
“We really appreciate The Salvation Army being here helping our community,we need it and you guys are a great support,” said Mike Porter, thePresident of the Margaretville Fire Department and Communications Officer.“So far, we’ve been at it for days and have had 48 rescues already. Now, volunteers from Stanford, Andes and Halcottsville are here helping with pumps and clean-up. The Salvation Army is taking care of all of us with food.”

See more Photos Here.

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National Preparedness Month – Part 1

Thursday, September 1, 2011

The following was contributed by Guest Blogger Jeff Jellets, Territorial Disaster Coordinator for The Salvation Army’s Southern Headquarters in Atlanta, GA.

September is National Preparedness Month.

The timing is always curious to me. September is the historical peak of hurricane season and most years, I’m way too busy responding to a looming tropical cyclone to think – at that point anyway — much of preparedness. When you live in the path of hurricanes, the best time to prepare is … well … way before September 1st.

But September 2011 also marks the tenth anniversary of the 9/11 terrorist attacks, a terrible event that also serves as a somber reminder that America, as a people and a nation, must be always be prepared. As www.ready.gov, FEMA’s disaster preparedness website, succinctly states September 2011 marks a “Time To Remember. A Time To Prepare.”

And, while most of my Septembers have been preoccupied with the paths and intensities of tropical storms, 9/11 has always remained a day apart. I served in New York City at the World Trade Center site, and not a year passes in my life when that day is not marked in remembrance. I am sure most Americans will take “Time To Remember” those that were lost on that terrible day in 2001 and, like me, will also take time to honor all those who continue to serve our great country today.

But what does “A Time To Prepare” really mean?

First, prepare yourself, your family and your home. This means developing a family disaster plan, building a family disaster kit, and protecting your home from the most common disaster hazards. For example, every home should have a smoke detector to protect your family from fire, and every home should have a weather radio to warn your family of dangerous weather. What if you had to evacuate? Where would you go? If your family was separated in emergency, how would you reconnect with one another after reaching safe locations? These are questions you should answer long before disasters threaten.

Don’t let your family become disaster victims! Be survivors. By preparing, you not only protect yourself and those you love, but you also put yourself into a position where you are much more likely to be able to help others. Just as importantly, by being ready to take care of yourself, you allow professional emergency responders to focus their attention on life-saving efforts for others who may be trapped are in the areas hardest hit by the disaster.

Second, prepare your community. And in this sense, I mean community in the broadest sense of the word. First, you need to think about your neighborhood. In an emergency, it is often your neighbors who will be the first people to rush to help. In a catastrophic incident, like an earthquake or ice storm, where whole communities are affected, professional emergency responders may need to time to reach your particular area. Know the people in your neighborhood who have special needs, such as the elderly or small children, and plan to check-in on them during a crisis to ensure they are okay. Likewise, identify people in your neighborhood with special skills or training. If a doctor or nurse lives on your block, that’s important to know.

Now extend your community preparedness efforts beyond where you live. Think about where you work, where your children go to school or daycare, where you worship, and even the car you drive. Disasters can occur at any time or place … so it is just as important to have a disaster plan for your workplace or church and a disaster kit in your car as well as your home. Talk to your children’s school or daycare about their emergency plans and make sure they have a procedure for reunifying you with your child in the event of an emergency.

Third, prepare to help others. Once you have taken care of yourself, your family and your community, then you can start thinking about helping others. The most important thing to remember here is to help appropriately. In the United States, most municipalities have a disaster response and recovery plan coordinated by a local emergency management agency. If you want to help, you have to fit into that plan. One of the easiest ways to do so is to affiliate with an existing voluntary agency, like The Salvation Army, or check to see if your community supports a Community Emergency Response Team (CERT).

Another important point to remember is that training is essential. The Salvation Army, among other voluntary agencies, offers disaster training. If you are not sure where to start, let me recommend basic first aid and CPR. Basic lifesaving skills have application far beyond just disaster response; even on the quietest day, someone around you might become injured or ill and it may be up to you to help save their life.

Hopefully, I’ve convinced you by this point to take emergency preparedness a bit more seriously this September than you have in the past. If so, let me give you one more challenge – Don’t stop preparing on September 31st!

As Spencer W. Kimball said, “Preparedness, when properly pursued, is a way of life, not a sudden, spectacular program.” Make your emergency preparedness and planning efforts more than a one month endeavor. Revisit and update your family and neighborhood disaster plans periodically. Change the supplies in your family disaster kit so the food, water, batteries and other perishables stay fresh. In short, don’t let the major lessons of past disasters fade away.

Stay tuned for “What’s In Your Disaster Kit?” in Part 2 of our National Preparedness Month blog – coming soon!

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