How to Support Storm Relief Efforts in Central US

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tornadoes have slammed Missouri and several states in the central US, where need is high and the fatality rate is expected to rise. The Salvation Army is on the scene throughout Missouri, Kansas, and Minnesota, and your monetary donations are vital in making sure we can continue our work there.

To support The Salvation Army’s relief efforts, you can donate:

* Online at www.salvationarmyusa.org. Designate Specific Use for “Joplin Relief.”
* Over the phone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY
* Via text. Send “JOPLIN” to 80888 to make a $10 donation. Confirm when prompted with “yes.”

Many have asked about donating in-kind items, such as clothes, toys, or furniture. The Salvation Army is not accepting gifts in-kind, as there are not suitable facilities to store these items, and manpower to sort and transfer them are also limited. Monetary gifts are flexible and portable, and they allow our disaster teams to purchase the exact supplies they need, when they need them, in the amounts they need them. Click here for more information on this topic.

The local Salvation Army centers have not expressed a need for volunteers at this time, but you can register your name here in our disaster database should a need arise.

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Emergency Teams Support Storm Relief Efforts in Joplin, MO and Central US

Monday, May 23, 2011

The Salvation Army is responding to tornado and storm activity that struck the central and southern US over the weekend. More information about how you can help is found at the end of this story:

MISSOURI

The Salvation Army is supporting relief efforts in Joplin, Missouri, which was struck by a deadly tornado Sunday.

An emergency disaster services teams from Pittsburg, Kansas has gone to help Joplin with mass feeding for residents and first responders through a mobile feeding kitchen capable of serving thousands of meals a day. Teams from Kirksville and Springfield, Missouri are also on the way.

KANSAS

Meanwhile, in hard-hit Reading, Kansas, which was nearly demolished by a tornado late Saturday night, two Salvation Army mobile feeding kitchens, one stationary and one roaming, served meals, snacks and cold drinks to more than 250 people Sunday. They will likely continue service through the rest of the week in Reading.

On Monday, more than a dozen members of a Kansas motorcycle club are volunteering for The Salvation Army from 4:30PM – 8PM to help with clean-up efforts in Reading.

MINNESOTA

Three Salvation Army mobile kitchens and crews are on the scene in St. Louis Park, Fridley and North Minneapolis to help families and emergency workers after the storms Sunday. Much of the damage caused by uprooted trees is making travel difficult in some areas. One of The Salvation Army’s transitional housing units in Fridley sustained minor damage and none of the four men living at the house were injured.

“I’ve got 24 to 36 hours of back-up volunteers ready to go,” said Drew Hasty, Salvation Army metro disaster manager. “We are prepared to assist city officials with any emerging needs as an emergency shelter is likely to be needed this evening.”

HELP STORM SURVIVORS

Your donations will go a long way in supporting storm survivors and damaged communities. Please call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or donate online at www.salvationarmyusa.org. All donations for disaster services can be used for a designated purpose by specifying over the phone or in the “Specific Use” field of our online form.

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23 Trucks Worth of Hope

Friday, May 20, 2011

No man is an island…and neither are non-profits. Especially during times of disaster, working together with other organizations means we can have an even greater impact to help those in need.

This week the NBA Players Association (NBPA) and Feed The Children delivered 23 massive truckloads of food and supplies to Salvation Army centers in storm-swept communities across Alabama, Mississippi, Tennessee and Georgia. Local Salvation Army units who are already a part of these communities are distributing the aid to disaster survivors in the hardest hit areas, like Tuscaloosa, Birmingham, Memphis, and more. In Birmingham alone more than 200 families benefited from the donations!

Get the full story here, and watch the above video to see how Tuscaloosa, AL will use their 3 truckloads to support the community.

We’re grateful to work with caring partners like NBPA and Feed the Children. It’s with their help that The Salvation Army is able to serve even more people in need.

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When Good Intentions Aren’t Enough

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Earthquakes. Tornadoes. Floods. Unfortunately, there’s been no lack of natural disasters of late, and The Salvation Army is responding in the US and all over the world. At the same time, we’re very thankful to say there’s no shortage of public support either.

If you scroll through the comments on our blog’s disaster posts or Facebook updates, we get message after message from people wanting to help. While we tell supporters that financial contributions are best, many ask about donating gifts-in-kind, meaning items other than money, such as clothes, furniture, toys, food, etc.

People have asked why we don’t always accept gift-in-kind donations for disasters. Shouldn’t we donate as much as possible to people in need? The aforementioned items are great, but they’re not always what’s needed the most by disaster survivors. Sometimes, they can actually be more harmful than helpful…even when they’re donated with the best intentions.

And that’s what many tornado relief workers are grappling with right now in the southern US, as reported by the Daily Mail: A 3 ft Santa Claus and used underwear: Bizarre donations swamp tornado disaster workers

So how do donors still give generously while making sure their donations go the furthest in serving those in need? Be informed. Reach out to a charity/relief agency to see what it is they need before you donate. And remember, financial donations are the most flexible and portable.

The Salvation Army’s Disaster website has an article on this subject that every donor should be aware of: Why Send Money When I Have All This Stuff I Could Send?

We hope this helps make sense of our donation policies during times of disaster.

P.S. Just because we don’t always accept clothes or in-kind donations for disaster relief, that doesn’t mean your items can’t be put to good use! Donate to our Salvation Army Family & Thrift Stores where they can benefit people in need from your local community.

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Songs for Survivors

Monday, May 16, 2011

The southern US has seen much damage from April’s devastating tornado outbreak, but Saturday, May 21 will be a time to celebrate survival!

Several of Nashville’s greatest singers/songwriters, including Jim Parker, Wood Newton, Donny Lowry, and Mark Namore, will perform at the Rodan + Fields Songs for Survivors Concert, hosted specifically to recognize tornado survivors and aid relief efforts. 100% of the proceeds will go to The Salvation Army’s Disaster Relief Fund and earmarked for April 27 tornado survivors.

Clear your schedule from 7-11pm and head to the new Davidson Center for Exploration at the U.S. Space and Rocket Center in Huntsville, AL. Saturday’s event will be chalk-full of great music, plus a delicious southern BBQ dinner and live auction to raise additional money for the relief fund.

Dermatologists Dr. Katie Rodan and Dr. Kathy Fields (creators of Proactiv® Solution, whose commercials you’ve probably seen on TV) said a number of their local consultants and families were affected by the disaster, which is part of the reason they’re putting together this benefit.

The Salvation Army is extremely grateful to count them as partners in serving the tornado survivors, along with Lite 96.9 WRSA Radio, FOX 54 and the Huntsville Times, who are helping to sponsor and promote the event. This will be a great way to let community members and businesses get involved in supporting those affected by these devastating storms.

Individual tickets are $80 each, or $150 per couple, while a table of 8 can be purchased for $800. Tickets can be purchased at Lite 96.9 and at the Huntsville Times, or you can email songsforsurvivors@hotmail.com for more information.

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Striking Back at Spain’s Earthquakes

Friday, May 13, 2011

The Telegraph documents the destruction in Lorca, Spain following this week’s earthquake.

The Salvation Army Spain is striking back at the earthquake that hit the town of Lorca in Murcia, Spain on May 11. The 5.1-magnitude quake and 4.4-magnitude tremor killed 9 people and damaged 80% of the town’s buildings.

Salvation Army officers traveled to Lorca to assess the area and spoke with the Spanish military and the Red Cross who are coordinating the emergency response.

As is the case with many earthquakes, people are afraid to be indoors should another quake strike. Many are sleeping in tents put up by the Spanish military while others, including families with small children, are spending the night in the open. Some are even sleeping in their cars.

Lorca citizens are in need of food, hot drinks and blankets, but the main need is for shelter. The Salvation Army’s International Headquarters has provided $10,000 to help meet these needs.
If you’d like to support our relief work in southern Spain, you can click here or visit www.salvationarmyusa.org. Please designate your contribution for “Spain Earthquake” in the Specific Use field. Any and all support is greatly appreciated!

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DHS Secretary Janet Napolitano Visits with Salvation Army

Monday, May 9, 2011

United States Secretary of Homeland Security, Janet Napolitano, visited local disaster response personnel in Georgia yesterday.

Among them were Salvation Army personnel who have been providing physical and spiritual assistance to tornado survivors. Secretary Napolitano praised local relief agencies and residents of Catoosa County who have shown great resilience and initiative in rebuilding their community.

Click here to read the full story.

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May 6: Service Stats

Friday, May 6, 2011

The Salvation Army continues its service across the south in tornado ravaged areas by providing for the immediate needs of those affected by the storms. This need may come in the form of non-perishable food boxes, toiletries, baby supplise, support for lost medication, gasoline, and other necessities on a case by case basis. In some areas, the Army’s focus has shifted to providing for long-term needs by assisting with social case work.

Below is the latest summary of our efforts. If you’d like to support our relief efforts, you can donate online by visiting www.salvationarmyusa.org or click here:

* The Salvation Army has served 165,500+ hot meals, 398,000+ sandwiches, snacks & drinks.

* The Salvation Army has provided 54 Mobile Feeding Units (Canteens), 1 Field Kitchen, capable of producing 20,000 hot meals per day, 1 Shower Unit, and 2 Satellite Communications trailers.

* The Salvation Army has ministered through its Pastoral Care to 6,500+ individuals.

* The Salvation Army has begun helping with emergency Social Services in several locations.

* Salvation Army officers, employees and volunteers have served a total of 40,371 hours.

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Dodgers and Fans “Line Up” to Help Tornado Survivors

Thursday, May 5, 2011

Interview with Dodger Lance Cormier

Los Angeles Dodgers pitcher Lance Cormier and his family are from Tuscaloosa, Alabama. When his hometown was left severely damaged from recent tornadoes, he organized his teammates to do something to help.

An hour before the game on Sunday and again on Tuesday, Cormier and several of his Dodgers teammates signed autographs for the fans who put money in the kettle to support The Salvation Army’s disaster relief work in the Southern states.

Click HERE to find the full story and a photo slideshow at The Salvation Army Western Territory’s Expect Change blog.

Special thanks to Kathy Lovin and team for the info!

Clayton Kershaw offers two big thumbs up.

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May 4: Service Stats

Wednesday, May 4, 2011

The Salvation Army responded immediately following major tornadoes that struck Alabama, Georgia and Tennessee last week. To date, here is what we’ve done to help meet the needs of survivors:

* Served 86,000 hot meals, 260,000 sandwiches, snacks & drinks.

* Provided over 54 Mobile Feeding Units (Canteens), is about to deploy 1 Field Kitchen, capable of producing 20,000 hot meals per day; has deployed 1 Shower Unit and 2 Satellite Communications trailers.

* Distributing groceries, baby diapers & formula, and general hygiene products like soap, shampoo, etc.

* Ministered through Pastoral Care to 3,233 individuals.

* Assisting with Social Services Cases.

* Salvation Army officers, employees and volunteers have served a total of 10,000+ hours.

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