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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Raising Up Hope, Every Night of the Week

Friday, June 10, 2011

The Salvation Army
PO Box 21787
St. Louis, MO 63109
Please designate the gift “Joplin Tornado”

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Domino’s Pizza Delivers Support for Disaster Relief

Thursday, June 9, 2011

Thanks to Domino’s Pizza for making a $6,000 donation to our disaster relief efforts in Joplin.

The Salvation Army has been providing emergency and spiritual care to Joplin families who have lost their homes, possessions and jobs, and Domino’s donation will help us continue our efforts. Presenting the check in front of the tornado-ravaged Domino’s location are (L-R) Max Spencer, volunteer; Jeff Pedrotty, spokesperson for Domino’s St. Louis, Major Jerold Forney, Salvation Army Incident Commander; Gary Bugajski, Vice President Domino’s St. Louis; Chris Moreno, Honorary Fire Fighter and Anthony McBaine, Halltown Fire Chief.

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Relief and Response in Massachusetts

Thursday, June 9, 2011

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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Salvation Army Joins Joplin Multi-Agency Resource Center

Monday, June 6, 2011

The Salvation Army has joined with The Bridge to become a part of the Multiple Agency Resource Center (M.A.R.C.) for Joplin disaster relief. The resource center consists of various charity organizations and local businesses offering services for storm victims. The M.A.R.C. offers the opportunity to access many services at one location including help with: housing, medical needs, debris removal, misc. supplies, counseling, emergency funding, new driver’s license, I.D., car title, unemployment, and much more. According to J.J. Travis of The Red Cross, “There is something here for every person affected by this disaster.”

Upon arrival at the M.A.R.C. survivors will go to The Red Cross to register for needed services. It’s helpful to have a form of identification and the address of the affected residence, but it is not required to receive assistance. Continuing support is available and provided based on the long term needs of individual survivors. The M.A.R.C. is open from 9:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. daily and is located at 3405 S. Hammonds Blvd, Joplin, MO.

MARC Services:

* Housing Assistance
* Medical
* Debris Removal
* Clothing & Hygienic Supplies
* Legal
* Counseling
* Unemployment
* Drivers License, I.D., Car Title
* Emergency Funding
* Social Security Benefits
* Childcare
* Volunteer Placement
* Educational Resources
* Veterans Affairs
* Casework
* Disability Services
* Food

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It’s on the Internet? It Must be True!

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

Warning: don’t believe everything you read online.

Whenever there’s a major natural disaster somewhere in the world, the internet rumor mill begins churning. Then all sorts of false messages circulate throughout the web, even ones that make The Salvation Army look good!

In the Expect Change blog’s article “Don’t believe every internet rumor you read!,” The Salvation Army Western Territory sets the record straight on the tales of the misinformation superhighway.

We’re proud of The Salvation Army’s strong record of good stewardship with your donations, so we don’t see any reason to stretch the truth.

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Center Supplies Needs of Storm Survivors

Tuesday, May 31, 2011

[The Salvation Army's supply center offers baby items and other necessities.]
The Salvation Army’s supply center offers baby items and other necessities.

Many families and individuals affected by the devastating string of tornadoes have lost much, if not all, of their belongings. In Joplin, MO, The Salvation Army offers them a place where they can go to begin to rebuild.

We’ve opened a center at the former Salvation Army thrift store located at 7th & Kentucky where we’re providing survivors with emergency services and supplies.

It’s open daily from 9:00am – 5:00pm to the general public, particularly those affected by the May 22nd tornado. Supplies are rationed based on family size and need, but there is an abundance of supplies, and applicants are involved in picking out what they will be able to use. There are also programs available to find help for those who need medical attention and long term housing.

[Joplin, MO emergency disaster supply center]

There is no set limit for the number of times people may come in for supplies; the process is based simply off of need.

It’s just one way we’re helping those in need get back on their feet and have hope for tomorrow.

If you’d like to donate to The Salvation Army’s ongoing tornado relief efforts, visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. You can also click here for more ways to help.

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