American Idol “Doing the Most Good” for Tornado Survivors

Friday, July 8, 2011

Wait a minute – was that American Idol Ruben Studdard at The Salvation Army in Tuscaloosa, Alabama?
You bet it was!
The singer helped distributed food and supplies to about 200 local families of a community that continues to rebuild following April’s destructive tornadoes. The event was part of the Gospel Music Channel’s (GMC) Uplift Someone America Tour.
The Tuscaloosa News has all the information here.

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Photos: Worst Local Flood in Recorded History

Wednesday, June 29, 2011

The Salvation Army is providing food, drinks and emotional care in Minot, North Dakota and neighboring communities following the worst local flood in recorded history.

For more photos and information visit their Flikr site here and our Northern Division’s website at www.thesalarmy.org. Read this post for volunteer and donation information.

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TODAY: Salvation Army of Omaha to Turn Sandbags into Moneybags

Monday, June 27, 2011

Tom Becka of KFAB will broadcast his 4-7pm (CST) radio show live from Loft 610 in Midtown Crossing on Monday (June 27) as a fundraiser for Salvation Army flood relief. The restaurant is located at 220 S. 31st Ave, Omaha, Nebraska.

The public is invited to stop by and help fill sandbags with donations for The Salvation Army’s work to help flood victims in the metro Omaha/Council Bluffs area or to listen to KFAB for details on how to donate. The goal is to fill 200 sandbags or “moneybags” with money that day. Of every dollar donated to the fund, 100% goes to the flood relief operation.

Becka’s live on-location show will feature calls from listeners as well as interviews with Salvation Army emergency disaster services representatives and Divisional Commander Major Paul Smith.

“The Salvation Army is often the last to leave the scene of a disaster and becomes involved in long-term recovery even after the threat is past,” said Smith.

Salvation Army Red Kettles Not Just for the Holidays

The Salvation Army’s Red Kettles, usually associated with bell ringing and the holidays, are making their summer debut at more than 140 sites in Omaha and surrounding communities (including Bellevue, Carter Lake, Elkhorn, LaVista, Papillion and Ralston).

Among the many places where the countertop red kettles can be found are all locations for Hy-Vee, American National Bank, Blimpie’s, Fantasy’s, Little King, Security National Bank, Starbuck’s, Wheatfield’s and Cubby’s in the Old Market. For more locations where you can donate, go online to www.givesalvationarmy.org. Donations to the kettles will be used 100 percent for flood relief in Omaha‘s metro area.

Cleanup Kits Needed
Hy-Vee has joined with Action News 3, Journal Broadcast Radio and The Salvation Army in an on-going campaign to provide clean-up kit supplies to flood victims. The public is invited to donate new supplies for the kits. Supplies needed include buckets, rubber gloves, disinfectant, brushes, brooms, mops, bottled water and safety goggles.

Donations may be dropped off at any Omaha Fire Station, Action News 3, 10714 Mockingbird Drive; Journal Broadcast Radio, 5030 N 72 Street; or The Salvation Army, 3612 Cuming Street.

The kits are being given to flood victims by The Salvation Army for businesses and homes in Omaha’s metro area.

Volunteers Needed for Mobile Feeding Units
The Salvation Army’s Kroc Center has been active since Memorial Day deploying mobile feeding units to feed and hydrate emergency workers who are monitoring flood activities along the Missouri River daily. Since May 30, more than 21,000 people have been served.

Volunteers are needed. If you would like to help with the mobile feeding unit, contact Ginger Noel at the Kroc Center, 402.905.3519 or ginger_noel@usc.salvationarmy.org. For all other volunteer opportunities, contact Kay Weinstein at 402.898.6000 or kay_weinstein@usc.salvationarmy.org.

Monetary donations:
To donate to The Salvation Army’s flood response in South Dakota, Iowa or Nebraska visit givesalvationarmy.org, call 800-SAL-ARMY or mail a check to The Salvation Army, 3612 Cuming Street, Omaha NE 68131. Be sure to designate your donation to “Flood Relief.”

Donations of used Household Goods and Clothing:
Due to the high expense and time demands associated with delivering your gently-used household goods and clothing (gifts-in-kind), The Salvation cannot guarantee that any individual gifts-in-kind donated now will be sent to the disaster area. In time of disaster, our stores fill these needs from existing, pre-sorted stock. By continuing to donate gently-used household goods to your local Salvation Army store, you not only help your community, you help us prepare for future disaster relief needs. To find your nearest drop-off location, please go to www.satruck.org.

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Minot, North Dakota Salvation Army Preparing for Long Haul

Sunday, June 26, 2011

The Minot Salvation Army is preparing to offer long-term assistance for local families affected by the flooding Souris River, expected to destroy hundreds of homes this weekend in…

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All Systems Go for Salvation Army Flood Response in Minot, North Dakota

Thursday, June 23, 2011

With more Salvation Army disaster relief teams from Fargo and the Twin Cities en route, staff and volunteers are providing food, water and emotional support in Minot and nearby cities while flood crews scramble to raise levees. With parts of Minot already underwater, the Souris River is expected to crest this weekend.

“The Salvation Army’s feeding efforts will continue for weeks to come,” said Major Donald Kincaid, Minot Salvation Army administrator. “After the floodwaters recede, we will additionally offer clean-up kits and long-term support.”

Limited financial assistance is and will be available for qualifying households displaced by the flood. For assistance call 701-838-8925.

“The Salvation Army has served in Minot since 1896,” Kincaid said. “This is our town, too. We are committed to serving this community the best we can, for as long as we are needed.”

The Minot Salvation Army needs financial support now and in the months ahead to cover the costs of its disaster response. To make a $10 donation, text “MINOT” to 80888 and reply “yes” to the confirmation text. A one-time donation of $10 will be added to your mobile phone bill. Messaging and data rates may apply. For terms, see www.igfn.org/t.

Donations can also be made online at www.thesalarmy.org, by calling 800-SAL-ARMY or by mailing a check to The Salvation Army, 2445 Prior AVE N, Roseville MN 55113. Be sure to designate your donation “Minot Flood.”

Donations of used Household Goods and Clothing:
Financial donations are the best way to support disaster efforts. Due to the high expense and time demands associated with delivering your gently-used household goods and clothing (gifts-in-kind), The Salvation cannot guarantee that any individual gifts-in-kind donated now will be sent to the disaster area. In time of disaster, our stores fill these needs from existing, pre-sorted stock. By continuing to donate gently-used household goods to your local Salvation Army store, you not only help your community, you help us prepare for future disaster relief needs. To find your nearest drop-off location, please go to www.satruck.org.

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June 29: See You at Buffalo Wild Wings!

Thursday, June 23, 2011

On Wednesday, June 29, Buffalo Wild Wings will donate 10% of food/non-alcoholic beverage sales to our tornado relief efforts. More than 400 restaurants are participating nation-wide, which will help The Salvation Army serve even more survivors as they rebuild their lives and homes.

All you need to do is say that you’re dining to support tornado survivors. That’s the easy part. When it comes to choosing between their 14 amazing sauces (Sweet BBQ? Parmesan Garlic? Mango Habanero?), you’ll have to make up your own mind.

Go to www.buffalowildwings.com to find your local restaurant, and visit www.salvationarmyusa.org to donate directly to our disaster relief efforts.

And be sure to show us how you’re “Doing the Most Good” by uploading and tagging a photo of your dining experience on our Facebook wall @SalvationArmyUSA!

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Maggie: Not Your Normal Disaster Survivor

Wednesday, June 22, 2011

Captains Mary Poff and Cyndi Shiels looked around what had been the residence of the Poff family for the past five years. The home, which is the parsonage for The Salvation Army, had fared better than many in the subdivision when the F5 tornado made its way through Joplin, MO. It sustained extensive damage but was still standing.

The two women were prepared for much of what they saw—broken glass and debris everywhere. Adoor had been torn from its hinges and blown down the hallway. Glass shards protruded from the furniture.

Then suddenly, in the middle of all this damage, they were greeted by a dog. She had evidently sought refuge following the tornado, gaining access through the damaged back door. The dog appeared to have sustained no injuries other than cuts on her feet.

The two captains completed their tour of the home and were ready to leave. But what about the dog? Neither of them felt they could leave her there. Feeling a responsibility to care for this animal, Captain Cyndi decided to take the dog home with her until they could find the owner.

The next day, Captains Cyndi and Amos Shiels took the dog to their vet. The vet discovered the dog had a microchip, and the Shiels learned the dog’s name was Maggie. They were eventually able to make contact with the dog’s owner.

The owner, Jennifer, was relieved to learn Maggie had been found and was being cared for. But tears came as she shared that they had not been home when the tornado struck and their house had been destroyed. Jennifer went on to explain that she found herself suddenly unemployed as her workplace had been destroyed, and it would be 6-12 months before they would be able to rebuild their home. In the meantime, she didn’t know where they were going to live and couldn’t take the dog. The Shiels assured Jennifer that Maggie could stay with them for a few weeks.

Jennifer called later to say that a friend had offered to keep Maggie for the next year while her family rebuilds. Soon Maggie will be relocated to her new temporary home in Chicago.

The Salvation Army has been responding to disasters across the country, and around the world, for over 100 years to serve the victims, first responders and volunteers. Finding missing pets has not been one of the services given by the Army, but Maggie was in the right place at the right time and received help from the officers who found her. In turn, her owners received peace of mind about her safety and care during this time of uncertainty as they begin to pick up the pieces of their shattered lives and start over again.

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Daily News: Students exceed fundraising goal in tornado, flood relief efforts

Monday, June 20, 2011

Article published with permission from author Allison Roorda of the Faribault Daily News

Members of the Divine Mercy Catholic School student council, from left to right, Kelsey Novak, Shelby Meyer, Patrick Swenson, Zachary Schwab, Brendan Trump and Garrett Johnson. (Allison Roorda/Daily News)

When the sixth-grade members of the Divine Mercy Catholic School student council in Minnesota set out to raise money for the victims of tornadoes and flooding in the south, their goal was $700.
After several weeks and many different opportunities for fundraising, they ended up with $1,705.11.

“We just decided that it would be cool to help the tornado and flood victims down south,” said Kelsey Novak, president of the student council.
For weeks the six senior student council members worked on a variety of ways to raise the money, said Betsy Thomas.

“One of the reasons was we’ve been praying for these people since those devastating tornadoes hit down south,” said Thomas, who teaches sixth grade and also acts as the student council adviser at DMCS. “They just felt like they wanted to do more than just pray.”
The students were adamant about their contributions.

“As a Christian school, one of our biggest duties as Christians is to help others,” said Shelby Meyer, secretary of the student council. “So when we got the chance, we took it.”
The students got permission to take up collections at student Masses and at the dress rehearsal and performance of the annual school concert.

“It was a long two weeks of raising money,” Meyer said. “I think we spent at least half a day just running around the school, hanging up flyers and stuff.”

One of the major fundraisers ended up being the school’s Dress Down Day.
“We do this all year long,” Thomas said. “For a dollar the kids can be out of dress code. The kids decided they had a $2 dress down fee, and many people donated even more than $2. The class that contributed the most got a dress down pass they can use any time for two weeks.”

Normally, any money collected for DMCS’s Dress Down Days goes to various charities. The student council members decided to donate money they raised with their own Dress Down Day to the Salvation Army, according to Thomas.

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Become a Trained Disaster Volunteer

Wednesday, June 15, 2011

Over the past several months while our nation has faced record tornadoes, wildfires, and more, many of our supporters have asked, “How can I help with the disaster efforts?” and “What can I do to volunteer?”

During a disaster, The Salvation Army relies upon trained disaster workers to coordinate emergency relief operations and deliver fast, efficient service to disaster survivors. If you’re one of those who have a desire to volunteer during disasters, now is the time to do something about it.

We have many training courses that are taking place now throughout the end of the year, located all across the country, that will equip you with the skills needed to respond to disasters and support Salvation Army relief efforts.

Here are some helpful links where you can register as a volunteer and learn more about training:

- Volunteer Information

- Disaster Training Schedule

- Disaster Courses Descriptions

- Disaster Relief Services

Our volunteers play a crucial role in response efforts. We’re grateful to for each and every member of “the army behind The Army!”

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Battling the Arizona Blaze

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Wallow fire in eastern Arizona continues to dangerously blaze toward the border, but news reports indicate more than 3,000 firefighters have begun to slowly gain control today as winds died down. As of Wednesday, the Wallow fire had burned 390,000 acres, and it’s believed to be the 2nd largest fire in Arizona’s history.

Currently, a Salvation Army team is preparing and serving three meals a day for evacuees at the Red Cross shelter in Lakeside, AZ. They plan to continue offering these services as long as the shelter is in operation, according to Jim Puza, Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services Director.

Another Salvation Army response team left Las Vegas Thursday morning with a mobile kitchen and support truck carrying food and water for approximately 3,000 more meals. Additional teams are on standby and supplies are available if needed.

The Salvation Army is grateful for the generous donations of food and time from businesses and individuals in the community to help meet the needs of evacuees and responders.

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