The following was submitted by The Salvation Army’s Stacy Howard, who is serving as the Public Information Officer for Haiti Incident Command in Port-au-Prince:
“Both armies wear a uniform; both are respected as two of the most organized groups in the world; both have a common mission in Haiti.
The Salvation Army’s goal is to help survivors of the massive quake with a hand up – to provide support through basic need, medical and spiritual assistance. The U.S. Army’s Haiti Relief Mission: Provide humanitarian support to the country’s surviving population, most of which have been injured or affected by the earthquake in some way. Together the two armies have formed a unique and powerful partnership since the quake. Together they assist, aid, protect and serve.
“The Salvation Army was receptive and there was mutual respect,” said Lt. Cody Tinsley, 1 Platoon, A Company, 2 Battalion, 325 Air Infantry Regiment regarding the first of what became many joint missions of food distribution. As the platoon leader, Tinsley led operations that included safely escorting The Salvation Army staff and distribution items via military convoy and security for the nearly 8,000 displaced families. While the U.S. military took charge of security measures, The Salvation Army ran the distribution. At the twice-a-week event, nearly 16,000 people received boxed meals provided by Numana, buckets and bottles of cooking oil.
(L to R) The Salvation Army Haiti Command Distribution Coordinator Jonathan Fitzgerald, 1 Platoon, A Company, 2 Battalion, 325 Air infantry Regiment Lt. Cody Tinsley and The Salvation Army Haiti Comman d Public Information Officer Stacy Howard prepare to distribute food to nearly 8,000 families.
(L to R) The Salvation Army Haiti Command Distribution Coordinator Jonathan Fitzgerald, 1 Platoon, A Company, 2 Battalion, 325 Air infantry Regiment Lt. Cody Tinsley and The Salvation Army Haiti Command Public Information Officer Stacy Howard prepare to distribute food to nearly 8,000 families.
As expected immediately after the quake, disorder and chaos ensued from thousands who rushed for the items. Tinsley said together, both Armies quickly controlled the situation after assessing the needs and safety issues of all involved.
Once distributions became a regular mission of the Armies, the ebb and flow made it simple for families to be served. At post-mission debriefings the two Armies discussed ways to improve distribution, shared ideas and came up with a plan that worked for everyone, Tinsley said. Because of mutual respect and trust, each Army let the other take the lead in the area they knew best.
In the end, the Haitian disaster relief is a humanitarian mission for both Armies. Despite the sometimes intimidating appearance the U.S. military might portray, as Tinsley said, they adapt to the mission. They realize this is not a war zone. They aren’t here to occupy, they’re here to protect and serve – and at times, even entertain.
Several members of the platoon played music and danced to entertain the families in line. The children’s faces lit up. Tinsley said it’s important to remind the survivors we’re all here to help – whether it’s with food, security or a little comedic relief.
The Salvation Army has been in Haiti since 1950, and will remain. The U.S. Army will also stay as long as they’re needed to provide support. Whether in Haiti, or elsewhere in the world, The Salvation Army and U.S. Army have and will continue to partner during disaster relief operations with a joint goal: Restore humanity and hope.
Two armies – one mission.”
To stay updated on The Salvation Army’s work, visit our national website at www.salvationarmyusa.org or follow us on Facebook and
The massive tremors that shook Chile in late February have been described as a “very deceiving earthquake.” Though it initially did not show signs of catastrophic proportions, the quake seems to be breaking down the affected areas’ infrastructure from the inside out.
While many believed that the central region of Chile was not affected, many buildings in Santiago are now being condemned because of damage from the earthquake. The strong aftershocks have impacted the infrastructure of many buildings to the point where at least two to three 18 – 25 story apartment complexes in Santiago have had to turn their residents away so the buildings can be imploded in the near future. Many families have been displaced, and all socioeconomic levels are being affected by this disaster.
Lt. Colonel F. Bradford Bailey, Chief Secretary of The Salvation Army South America West, said “This earthquake has not only caused physical damage but is has caused damage to the psyche and social conditions of Chile. It has brought out the best and the worst of Chileans. Many are very disappointed in their countrymen (i.e. looting, vandals), while others have stepped up to help and provide strength that is immeasurable.”
He went on to say, “This is where The Salvation Army has an opportunity to step up to offer a ministry of presence, and many church members are finding a chance to share their relationship with God. This combined catastrophe will continue to not only affect the pocketbooks of the Government and its citizens, but also the soul of the Chileans”.
Here are some ways The Salvation Army is helping in Chile:
Santiago Metropolitan region:
* The Salvation Army is now providing an average of 3,000 meals a day. These numbers continue to grow, and three meals a day are served. Water, first aid supplies, blankets, candles and other emergency supplies are to be distributed as needed.
* Corps Officers, soldiers, and volunteers continue to provide emergency services to displaced residents.
* The Hualpencillo Corps continues to serve as a headquarters for food distribution.
* As of Wednesday, March 3, they now have three emergency disaster crews carrying provisions to outlying areas. Additional teams are being deployed from Santiago.
* Salvation Army Corps Sgt. Major in this city lost her home to the tsunami but is camped out in a tent at the courtyard of the property to help take care of those in greater need than she is at this time.
* The Salvation Army has asked Chilean Emergency Disaster Ministries to open up a fourth front to provide emergency services. The Salvation Army has offered to handle emergency distribution to this community.
If you’d like to support The Salvation Army’s ongoing relief efforts in Chile, you can:
* Donate online
* Text ‘CHILE’ to 52000 to make a $10 contribution
(International Headquarters, London, England) Following a devastating 8.8 magnitude earthquake in Chile during the early hours of Saturday morning (27 February) Salvation Army emergency services were immediately mobilized to provide support and comfort and international financial assistance is already on the way.
Lt. Colonel Mike Caffull, the emergency services coordinator for The Salvation Army International Headquarters (IHQ) in London reports that IHQ has already agreed to provide financial assistance for the Chilean Salvationists initial relief response. He said assistance coordinated by the IHQ emergency team will also be provided regarding ongoing relief in the medium and long term.
Chief Secretary for The Salvation Army in South America West, Lt. Colonel F. Bradford Bailey says that the immediate response is to provide food, water, first aid kits, emergency packets, blankets, candles and other urgently required supplies. A recently arrived mobile canteen (a donation from the USA Southern Territory) is one of the key relief vehicles.
The earthquake epicenter was approximately 90 miles (150 kilometers) north-west of the city of Concepción in Southern Chile. Lt. Colonel Bailey says that this is approximately 350 miles (600 kilometers) from the capital of Santiago, ‘nevertheless, the quake was of a 7.0 magnitude in the Santiago metropolitan region’. He adds that people have flocked to the streets ‘as numerous aftershocks continue to pummel’ the country, severely affecting older buildings in the more historical areas of the larger cities.
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