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.
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.
* Housing Assistance
* Debris Removal
* Clothing & Hygienic Supplies
* Drivers License, I.D., Car Title
* Emergency Funding
* Social Security Benefits
* Volunteer Placement
* Educational Resources
* Veterans Affairs
* Disability Services
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.
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.
Friday, May 27, 2011
As of 12pm Wednesday, The Salvation Army had served more than 16,000 hot meals to Joplin tornado survivors.
The following information represents The Salvation Army’s efforts in Joplin, as of 12:00 PM Wednesday, May 26:
* Served 16,692 hot meals and 2,566 snacks and 6,170 drinks.
* Provided 6 Mobile Feeding Units (Canteens), including units from Springfield, Kirksville, and Sedalia, Missouri, Pittsburg and Lawrence, Kansas and Tulsa, Oklahoma,
* A Satellite Communications truck is in place and handling phone, computer and internet communications.
* Delivered emotional/spiritual care to 200 people and prayers have been offered with 36
* Initiated emergency Social Services in multiple locations.
* 8 Salvation Army officers (pastors), 13 employees and 103 volunteers have served 2,002.5 hours.
Locations of feeding stations
Feeding operations are taking place at the following locations:
* The Salvation Army Joplin Corps Community Center, 320 E. 8th Street, Joplin, MO
* St. John’s Hospital at 26th & Maiden, Joplin, MO
* 2502 S. Main St., Joplin, MO. The “Oasis Tent” is meant to serve as a location for community members to come together in a sheltered place and receive “One stop service” with food, water, spiritual and emotional care, minor medical care and other basic services.
Mobile Feeding Sites
Mobile kitchens from the following locations are roving throughout the disaster area, providing—as much as possible—regularly scheduled routes to offer food and beverages to responders and survivors: Kirksville, Sedalia, and Springfield, Missouri, and Lawrence, Kansas.
Other Emergency Disaster Services Ongoing in Joplin:
* The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services relief teams in Joplin; are recognized by the Federal Government and can access roads and areas currently closed off to the general public.
* The Salvation Army is using an all-terrain vehicle and mobilizing “foot soldiers” to go to the people to minister, provide food and bottled water to those who are in need.
* An Emergency Disaster Services ‘Store’ is now located at the old Joplin thrift store on 7th Street and opened Thursday morning at 9 a.m. After receiving vouchers from on-site social workers, survivors may “shop” for items such as clothing, diapers, toiletries, etc.
* Sprint donated 1,500 prepaid cell phones.
* The Charlie Daniels Band is scheduled to play a concert at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri on Saturday with $5.00 of each ticket sold going to The Salvation Army.
* A Kansas City Advisory Board member secured several generous donations from Sam’s Club including approximately 8 pallets of Gatorade, plus gloves and shopping carts that will be used at the EDS store. Sam’s Club also donated one freezer truck and one 45 foot refrigerator truck.
Kansas City’s Response to Sedalia, Missouri, Tornado
On Wednesday, May 25 a tornado hit the town of Sedalia, Missouri. The Sedalia Salvation Army’s team was already on site in Joplin. Within 1 hour of the tornado in Sedalia, a mobile kitchen from Kansas City was on its way to aid Sedalia.
To donate to The Salvation Army’s relief efforts, please visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. You can also find more information about giving here.
Friday, May 27, 2011
While they may not be first responders or trained in disaster relief, community members have created opportunities to use their own unique skills to assist with recovery efforts.
One such person is Shane Dickerson, the Kansas and Missouri Market Manager for Sam’s Club and member of The Salvation Army’s Kansas City Advisory Board. He has worked tirelessly throughout the Joplin disaster to create a supply infrastructure that would permeate all areas of need across the region.
Dickerson has chosen to coordinate his efforts with the Fire Department Chief, the Red Cross and The Salvation Army.
“I sit on the Advisory Board in Kansas City, so I was incredibly excited to see The Salvation Army as the first organization on our door step asking for aid so they could respond,” said Dickerson. “They said they needed gloves, so we gave them every glove we had available – down to the gloves our butchers use to handle meat.”
Dickerson has salvaged what materials he is able from the now-demolished Walmart on Range Line Road, and has tapped the Sam’s Club supply chain to distribute Gatorade, water, shopping carts, baby clothing, diapers, and dust masks.
Dickerson and Sam’s Club continue to work to meet the needs of first responders and aid organizations responding to the crisis, and intend to provide aid throughout the crisis.
Thursday, May 26, 2011
We all know the importance of food, water, clean-up and medical supplies when responding to an emergency situation like the current efforts in Joplin, MO. But what’s the unsung hero of Salvation Army disaster relief? What everyday household item makes all of the other efforts possible? One word: Batteries.
Salvation Army personnel provide food and drinks in Joplin, MO.
That’s right. Batteries enable The Salvation Army and other relief organizations to power essential tools like flashlights, phones, radios and more when responding to a disaster.
That’s why The Salvation Army has teamed up with Rayovac and Six Flags theme parks for a unique “battery drive.” From now until May 30, people can donate a new and unopened pack of Rayovac batteries at the ticket booth of any participating Six Flags park and in return receive a day’s entry at kids’ price. No coupon or receipt is necessary.
“Rayovac is committed to recognizing and supporting efforts that help others. We hope that this donation eases at least some of the deep suffering of all those affected,” said David Carlson, Director of Marketing Communications for Rayovac. “The enthusiasm of The Salvation Army and Six Flags has been overwhelming. This is truly a community-wide effort – we hope each and every donation makes a real difference.”
Ticketing agents at Six Flags will collect the battery packs and, at end of the drive, the batteries will be donated to local Salvation Army locations for use in disaster preparedness and response efforts.
Participating Six Flags parks include:
* Six Flags Discovery Kingdom – Vallejo, CA
* Six Flags Over Georgia – Austell, GA
* Six Flags Great America – Gurnee, IL
* Six Flags St. Louis – Eureka, MO
* Six Flags Great Adventure – Jackson, NJ
* Six Flags Great America – Queensbury, NY
* Six Flags Fiesta Texas – San Antonio, TX
* Six Flags Over Texas – Arlington, TX
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Throughout the year, The Salvation Army is blessed to work with a number of corporate partners who support our mission and service. The commitment of these organizations is…
Thursday, May 26, 2011
Lines of communications were virtually nonexistent following the storms throughout the tornado stricken cities of the central United States, including Joplin, MO. This problem is expected and occurs in major disasters as cell towers are knocked down and power is lost.
However, amazing volunteers of The Salvation Army who run the Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN), also known as “shadows,” helped Salvation Army personnel establish communications during relief efforts in Joplin. Relief efforts would not be the same without their assistance, and we would like to take the time to thank SATERN volunteers, like Brian Short:
HAM radio operator and “shadow,” Brian Short, along with other Salvation Army volunteers saw the aftermath of the tornado in Joplin as an opportunity to provide assistance during relief efforts. Brian and the volunteers set up a network of HAM radio connections to utilize and ensure the safety of people under The Salvation Army’s watch. SATERN enabled Salvation Army personnel to communicate on nearly every frequency available, even at long distances, utilizing HF & VHF frequencies as officers and volunteers worked to meet the needs of Joplin residents.
SATERN volunteers establishing communication in Joplin, MO.
At the same time, SATERN volunteers like Short ride with Salvation Army mobile canteens and key personnel to shadow Salvation Army emergency response teams and act as a network of ever-present problem solvers. The group ensures that The Salvation Army’s response team’s whereabouts are always known and that they are able to keep in communications at all times.
“When we get involved, it creates what I like to call a ‘conference bridge effect,’” Short stated. “Everyone knows where everyone else is at all times, and people are able to overhear the needs of other people. Then, those people can chime in and help us solve logistical issues by thinking up solutions or providing information we wouldn’t have had access to.”
Brian Short in Joplin, MO.
Over the first few days, Short and other volunteers assisted in establishing communications that allowed The Salvation Army to provide rescue support, food, hydration and medical assistance to storm survivors and emergency responders.
Wednesday, May 25, 2011
We are in awe of the generosity of those who have lost so much recently, and we would like to thank those who are thinking of others during…