Friday, March 11, 2011
For those of you wanting to help The Salvation Army’s earthquake relief work in Japan, you can support our efforts in several ways:
* Donate online at donate.salvationarmyusa.org
* Call 1-800-SAL-ARMY
* Text the words “Japan” or “Quake” to 80888 to make a $10 donation. (Please ensure that you respond “YES” to the Thank You message you receive.)
Thank you for generous support and continuous prayers for those in Japan. To learn more about our relief efforts, click here.
Gifts In-Kind: At this time, The Salvation Army is not accepting in-kind donations from the general public. It is extremely difficult and expensive to ship in-kind donations overseas from the US to Japan. It is more efficient for disaster relief agencies to purchase needed resources locally and for immediate distribution with the disaster area. The best way for U.S. donors to help Japanese disaster survivors is to make a cash donation. Please note that your local The Salvation Army continues to accept donations of used clothing, furniture and other items to support local programming. Please consider donating your used items to your local Salvation Army Thrift Store.
Friday, March 11, 2011
Following news of the massive earthquake and resultant tsunami in the Pacific, The Salvation Army in the USA is staying in contact with The Salvation Army in Japan. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this unimaginable disaster.
Commissioner Makoto Yoshida of The Salvation Army in Japan described it as the largest earthquake in the last 100 years. He reported the most damaged city is Sendai, which is about 400 km away from Tokyo.
We’ve learned from him that they are sending a team to Sendai tonight and tomorrow will start providing basic needed necessities, as well as assessing the level of damages and what they can do.
In Tokyo, because the whole public transport shut down and stranded many commuters, The Salvation Army opened a section of their Territorial Headquarters building for those who could not get home. The Army served them hot drinks and meals.
We expect to have reports from The Salvation Army in Hawaii soon and will keep you updated as information comes in.
Background: The Salvation Army has been at work in Japan since 1895, operating more than 80 centers there, including two hospitals and four Children’s homes. The Salvation Army has nearly 200 officers, 3,000 members and just under 1,000 employees already at work in Japan.
Monday, March 7, 2011
JDIR, TUNISIA – FEBRUARY 23: People fleeing Libya carry their luggage to the Tunisian border post on February 23, 2011 in Jdir, Tunisia. As fighting continues in and around the Libyan capital of Tripoli, thousands of guest workers and Libyans are fleeing to Tunisia to escape the violence. Libyan leader Muammar Gaddhafi has vowed to fight to the end. (Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images)
Photo by Spencer Platt/Getty Images
Refugees are fleeing Libya through Tunisia by the thousands as turmoil continues in the unstable North Africa, and The Salvation Army may soon have an opportunity to assist them.
Italian Foreign Minister Franco Frattini predicts an exodus of “Biblical proportions” if Gadhafi falls, and the European national is preparing for a potential surge of immigrants.
Italian authorities have asked The Salvation Army to arrange for its Atena Lucana Centre to be used as a temporary home for these refugees.
The Centre, about a 2 hour drive southeast of Rome, should be ready within the next few days and will be able to hold at least 50 people.
Read more here.
Friday, February 25, 2011
In New Zealand, The Salvation Army continues earthquake relief efforts. Major aftershocks are still being felt, and members of the community are still “very distressed.” Our staff and volunteers are focused on providing them with food and psychological support.
Today, 56 psychosocial Salvation Army staff are at work, and a fresh team of about 50 others will take over Monday. Several Salvation Army buildings were significantly damaged in the quake, but thankfully our response teams are able to work from temporary locations.
An exciting international sporting and fundraising initiative is being planned for Saturday to raise funds for the Army’s earthquake response. Top international and Olympic athletes were to compete in Christchurch, but after the event was cancelled, the athletes decided to organize ‘Track Meet 4 Christchurch.’ World class athletes confirmed so far include: Nick Willis (Olympic silver medalist), Alan Webb (US mile record holder), Lee Emanuel (British representative and sub-four minute miler) and many more international and New Zealand-based track stars.
The meet is free to attend, but The Salvation Army will be on site to collect donations.
A long term response will be needed to help the community recover, and the Army’s aim is to support the local economy wherever possible in the use of donated funds. If you’d like to help support recovery efforts in New Zealand, click here to donate to their online campaign.
The Salvation Army New Zealand has been posting updates on their website every day since the earthquake. Visit them here for more info on how they’re helping.
Tuesday, February 22, 2011
The Salvation Army in New Zealand is responding after the city of Christchurch was struck by a major earthquake today – the second in less than 6 months. At least 65 people are known to have been killed hundreds are trapped in the debris.
By late afternoon The Salvation Army was assisting more than 1,000 people. Locals are being temporarily housed in large marquees that were already on site for a flower show.
Major Rex Cross, emergency services coordinator for The Salvation Army in Christchurch, said that The Salvation Army was calling its emergency response teams together but travel across the city was extremely difficult. Food supplies for approx. 1,500 people were also being organized.
Some Salvation Army buildings are reported to have been damaged by the quake.
This disaster comes as a significant blow, especially as the shock of September’s 7.1 magnitude earthquake is so fresh and reconstruction from that event has not even finished.
The Salvation Army New Zealand has launched a Canterbury Earthquake Appeal in order to swiftly respond to the area’s humanitarian need. If you’d like to support The Salvation Army’s relief efforts, click HERE to donate.
Read The Salvation Army’s full earthquake report here.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Across the country The Salvation Army is making preparations for the massive winter storm forecast to bear down today and tomorrow on states stretching from the Midwest all the way to the Northeast.
Feeding locations and mobile kitchens are being stocked and readied to serve hot meals in many areas. Pending a review of tonight’s expected conditions, The Salvation Army in Nebraska hopes their Winter Night Watch (WNW) program will be able to roam the streets of Omaha to distribute food and drinks to the homeless, as well as winter outerwear for those in need.
As temperatures drop into the teens and negative digits, the homeless or anyone in need of a safe, warm place is encouraged to head to Salvation Army warming centers open across Missouri, Nebraska, Iowa, Illinois and other states. Specific addresses are being reported by the local media or can be found by contacting your nearest Salvation Army.
In Chicago, where they’re predicting historic blizzard conditions, the city’s Emergency Services Director has announced they will be partnering with The Salvation Army, the Red Cross, and other organizations to effectively coordinate storm response. Many of our Salvation Army Divisions, in fact, are participating in conference calls today to plan with local governments and other entities.
If you or your loved ones are in the storm’s path, we hope you stay warm and safe over these next few days.
Check back soon for updates on The Salvation Army’s efforts.
Tuesday, February 1, 2011
Following the massive mid-January floods and landslides in Brazil, The Salvation Army continues to respond to need in affected communities. The Salvation Army of Brazil has posted photos to their Flickr account of damage and disaster relief efforts. We’ve included a few below to share with you a clearer picture of some of the work being done and the challenges that remain for survivors. You can find the full album here.
Supplies, logistical support, and more than 10 tons of donations have gone out to key areas, as well as financial support from The Salvation Army’s World Services Offices (SAWSO), the international arm of The Salvation Army USA. Local Rotary Clubs, businesses, and churches in São Paulo and Sorocaba have also pitched in to assist with disaster relief efforts. It is expected it will take months for local communities to recuperate.
If you’d like to support The Salvation Army’s Brazilian mudslide appeal, please visit https://secure20.salvationarmy.org/donation.jsp to make a donation.
Wednesday, January 12, 2011
In Port-au-Prince today, The Salvation Army and Haitian citizens are gathering for a very special remembrance ceremony to mark the one-year anniversary of an earthquake the world will not soon forget.
The Salvation Army continues to work with the nation throughout the rebuilding process. To learn more about the ongoing efforts in the island nation, we caught up with Major Ron Busroe, Director of Haiti’s Recovery and Development Office. He and his wife first served in Haiti from 2001-2007. In response to the earthquake, they’ve been appointed to serve three more years.
Read on for a broad overview of The Salvation Army’s work and issues shaping those efforts.
For our latest statistics and program highlights, view our Haiti One Year Anniversary Fact Sheet at www.salvationarmyusa.org.
The Salvation Army’s efforts in Haiti have progressed from the emergency response phase to the recovery and development phase. The Haiti Development and Recovery Office was established as of September 1 to oversee and guide these long-term recovery efforts, such as renovating schools and buildings as well as providing for the emotional and spiritual care of survivors.
In addition, the contract that established us as the “lead-agency” overseeing the temporary camp in the Delmas 2 neighborhood expired October 31. While The Salvation Army no longer manages the camp, our personnel remain involved and regularly meet with the camp committee. Much of our effort within this population goes toward cholera prevention.
The Salvation Army Haiti intends to move into a new Divisional Headquarters this month as their facility was destroyed in the earthquake. They also plan to rebuild their clinic this year, and perhaps even a warehouse, as storage space is a rare commodity in Haiti.
Housing and Permanent Shelter
It was estimated that around 20,000 displaced Haitians were living in the Delmas 2 neighborhood’s tent city near The Salvation Army’s main compound following the earthquake. Major Busroe estimates the number has dissipated now to somewhere just below 13,000 as people move out to the country. However, it’s been much more difficult for people wanting to start over within the city.
“Following the earthquake we’re seeing limited construction in city of Port-au-Prince. There’s some small construction, but few houses are being built. The rubble’s not removed so they can’t build, ” he explained, adding that the government’s weakened state and hurdles to verifying land ownership also inhibit progress. Reports indicate that after a year, less than 5% of the city’s rubble has been removed.
So Haitians’ only choices are to move and face the struggles of rural life (lack of access to clean water, medical services, business opportunities, education, and more) or continue to stay in their makeshift shelters.
Major Busroe says the Haitian government is encouraging NGO’s to build up resources within the rural communities in an effort to encourage people to relocate and help decongest the city. It’s a plan Major Busroe says The Salvation Army supports, though much of their service has already been focused on reaching the underserved outside the city even before the earthquake.
While cholera is still a serious threat to the people of Haiti, the mortality rate is on the decline. In general, those under The Salvation Army’s care have fared relatively well against the outbreak, although 4 female students from one of our schools perished when the epidemic first struck.
The Salvation Army is aggressively working to educate against, prevent, and treat further infection. In addition to providing water filtration systems in key areas, Major Busroe reported they’re distributing soap, disinfectant, oral rehydration packets, and antibiotics within the temporary camp and to medical facilities. In addition, The Salvation Army hospital in Fond-de-Negres set up a cholera treatment center at the request of the government, which has been filled with patients. The hospital is looking to set up an alternate site.
Schools and Services
The Salvation Army runs 49 schools in Haiti with approx. 11,000 students enrolled. All but one of those schools, College Verena in Port-au-Prince, continue to operate following the earthquake. College Verena has been combined with another school and reconstruction efforts are expected to continue within the next year.
23 temporary classrooms have already been built and will officially open today as a part of the one-year remembrance ceremony. More than 1500 children will be able to attend classes there, broken up into a morning session for primary students and afternoon session for secondary students.
With the help of Numana, The Salvation Army hopes to one day serve meals in most of their rural schools. “We feel if we can provide a meal everyday at schools, that’s the best way of getting kids into school and getting people to leave the city to come to country,” said Major Busroe.
In addition to bolstering schools and school programs, The Salvation Army Haiti is looking into providing other long term services for the community in general, such as adolescent care, integrated family support, and vocational training, with the help of The Salvation Army in Canada, Switzerland, and other International Divisions.
For our latest statistics and program highlights, view our Haiti One Year Anniversary Fact Sheet at www.salvationarmyusa.org.
Tuesday, November 9, 2010
Salvation Army in Indonesia Provides Help to Volcano Evacuees
Salvation Army teams in Indonesia continue to help those affected by the eruption of Mount Merapi in Java. At least 138 people are known to have been killed and more than 200,000 evacuated.
It’s been a dangerous and difficult time for our workers and those of other NGO’s. A team from the Salvation Army’s William Booth Hospital in the city of Semarang originally responded to the first eruption during the end of October and set up operations only 8 km from Mt. Merapi. But after another, more violent eruption on November 3, they and everyone else in the area had to be evacuated immediately with no time to recover tents, supplies, or resources.
Our team is now working at a safer distance (approx. 36 km front the volcano) at Tlogoadi Village Elementary School assisting 692 displaced people, including 140 children.
The circumstances are difficult in their makeshift shelter – there’s a lack of nutritious food, clean water for drinking and bathing, and not enough toilets (10 for 692 people). But The Salvation Army is providing as much support as possible with medical care and nutrient-rich food such as noodles, sardines, eggs, milk, and porridge. Local women from Tlogoadi are helping cook.
The Salvation Army Emergency team will continue working in the area until the volcano settles and people are allowed to return home.
Salvation Army Responds as Tomas Storms Across the Caribbean
The Salvation Army across the Caribbean is responding to damage caused by Tropical Storm Tomas. Some countries like Haiti experienced overall minimal damage. For others, it was a much different story.
In Barbados, Salvation Army Major Dewhurst Jonas described it as “the worst storm to hit…since Hurricane Janet in 1955.” On the north side of the island many homes and businesses suffered significant damage, along with some Salvation Army properties. Most homes were left without water or power, and those of some Salvationists were destroyed completely.
In response, The Salvation Army quickly provided those affected with hot meals, shelter and basic necessities, for which the Barbados government expressed their deep appreciation.
In St Lucia, where 14 lives were lost in the storm, the Army is providing relief assistance in cooperation with NEMO, the government’s National Emergency Measures Organization, to offer counseling and some daily feeding programs.
A local Salvation Army leader reported widespread damage across the island including destroyed homes, fallen trees, downed utility lines, flooding, and landslides.
In St Vincent The Salvation Army is offering assistance as needed, Jamaica appears to have faced little damage, and Haiti seems to have fared well where one report describes it as ‘business as usual’.
Monday, November 8, 2010
While the world held its breath as Hurricane Tomas hit Haiti this weekend, we’re thankful to report that the tent cities under The Salvation Army’s care in Port-au-Prince seem to have fared well amidst the storm.
According to a brief update from The Salvation Army’s Major Rae Doliber, it appeared to be “business as usual” when he visited the camps in the neighborhood of Delmas 2.
He added, “While the rains washing down the mountainside resulted in pooling water and debris, tents appear to be standing strong with a few tarps flapping in the breeze. People were setting up shop like nothing was going on.”
We’re happy that damage appears to be minimal in a community that has already lost so much. Please continue praying for Haitians and aid workers in the country, especially as cholera and waterborne diseases pose a significant threat to the population.