It’s been over a week since the wildfires began, just east of Austin, Texas. On Sunday, President Obama declared the fires a federal disaster in order to increase federal aid for temporary housing repairs. The fires have impacted Bastrop County, exhausting firefighters and leaving many people homeless. 35,000 acres and over 1,600 homes have been destroyed since last Sunday.
Salvation Army staff, relief teams and volunteers are in the region with mobile feeding units, serving the emergency responders with snacks, drinks and meals. Thus far, over 9,000 drinks, 3,000 snacks, and over 700 meals have been served.
Salvation Army relief teams are also assisting at several wildfires in East Texas and in the Houston area.
If you’d like to help The Salvation Army’s relief efforts in Texas, please visit www.SalvationArmyUSA.org. If you’d like to send payment, please mail checks to:
The Salvation Army
PO BOX 36607
Dallas, TX 75235
Today we reflect with heavy hearts. If you’re like me, you remember where you were standing when you heard the news and what you were wearing. I recall thinking the first plane hitting was merely an accident, a failed engine or other technical problem. When the second plane hit it was declared an act of terrorism, I remember feeling sick with worry, angry about the evil in this world, and overwhelming sadness for the pain and suffering of the victims involved.
This past week The Salvation Army has been using the slogan Remember & Honor. While we remember the events of that day and pray for those still grieving, we honor the servants. Thousands upon thousands of volunteers stepped up to help on the day of the disaster. Emergency response crews from surrounding states rushed to Ground Zero to help. The Salvation Army had 39,000 volunteers help throughout the nine months we were stationed! Surely, we are a nation that knows how to unite for a greater good during times of disaster.
We remember our faith- in both God’s promises and man’s abilities. This spirit of unity, love and compassion is a manifestation of Christ’s presence during times of affliction. We are united through our experiences and through our faith in Christ’s promises. Though we question why these things happen, we give praise that his teachings of brotherly love endure through the sacrifice of others.
We honor the survivors; the victims, policemen, firemen, emergency response crews and volunteers. Though we mourn this day, we know that our nation continues forward stronger, with confidence that our enduring spirit can be tested but it will always empower us. Remembering our faith we thank God for the gifts of unity, compassion, love and strength.
“I will love You, O Lord, my strength. The Lord is my rock and my fortress and my deliverer; My God, my strength, in whom I will trust; My shield and the horn of my salvation, my stronghold.” (Psalm 18.1-2)
This weekend The Salvation Army will be commemorating the 10th anniversary of September 11 at locations nationwide. Here’s a list of some of the services and events happening around the country:
Albert Lea, MN: The Salvation Army will be set up at the Moose Lodge by the Legion Color Guard. Events throughout the day will include a remembrance ceremony at 5:30pm CST.
Anchorage, AK: The Anchorage Salvation Army Corps is planning a service of remembrance on September 11 at 6:00pm AKDT.
Denver, CO: A 9/11 remembrance parade in Denver will include Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Service (EDS) volunteers, local FEMA partners, Colorado Governor John Hickenlooper and Mayor Michael B. Hancock.
Grand Rapids, MI: The Salvation Army will host a day-long remembrance in partnership with the Boy Scouts and other local, state and national organizations for a series of family events at the Gerald R. Ford museum and the Cathedral of Saint Andrew.
Kenai, AK: The Kenai Ministerial Alliance is coordinating a moment of silence for all member churches at 11:10am AKDT. The Salvation Army Corps Community Center in Kenai will show 9/11 videos before and after.
Los Angeles, CA: The Salvation Army will conduct a 9/11 Remembrance Service at the Corps Center in the afternoon and will host a Ceremony of Remembrance & Appreciation at Rose Hills Memorial Park, at 7pm PST.
Minneapolis, MN: The Salvation Army will participate in the “Mass of Thanksgiving & Remembrance” at the Cathedral of Saint Paul starting at 4:30pm CST, with a civic commemoration and Memorial Mass at 5:00pm CST.
Rochester, MN: Mayor Ardell Bredewill honor The Salvation Army with a special award for their services at 12pm CST.
Sacramento, CA: The Salvation Army will partner with The Fish (Christian Radio) and Fox 40 (affiliate) for a shoe drive to benefit clients of the Army’s rehabilitation centers.
Salt Lake City, UT: The Salvation Army will host an appreciation event for neighborhood firefighters and police officers.
Santa Rosa, CA: The Santa Rosa Corps will host a Food Drive and Root Beer Float Social at the Oakmont retirement from noon to 3pm PST on 9/11. The Army is also working with local churches on a one day food drive that day.
San Francisco, CA: The Salvation Army will participate in a morning prayer at Crissy Field in Golden Gate National Recreation Area, hosted by the San Francisco Interfaith Council at 5:47am PST, and a remembrance at Golden Gate Park with the San Francisco Interfaith Council and the San Francisco Opera at 1:30pm. The Opera will perform Mozart’s Requiem, with readings of prayers and passages between each piece.
Wichita Falls, TX: The Salvation Army will dedicate its morning Holiness Meeting in honor of those who lost loved ones on 9/11. The service will include a candlelight vigil.
The Salvation Army continues to provide emergency relief services to those struggling with the double blow of Tropical Storm Lee and the aftermath of Hurricane Irene. Some areas along the Northeast coast were hit with both storms. Continued flooding and a serious lack of resources have made living conditions extremely difficult for those in the impacted areas.
Within the last two weeks, The Salvation Army has served more than 515,000 meals, snacks and drinks to victims and emergency responders along the East Coast, using 76 emergency response vehicles.
“Tropical Storm Lee and Hurricane Irene did a one – two punch, severely increasing the need in flood impacted northeastern states. Nevertheless, The Salvation Army is there, serving and providing relief services to all community members in need”, said Major George Hood Community Relations & Development Secretary.
Here are the most recent updates:
The Salvation Army is feeding at ten Red Cross shelters and has deployed six canteens to assist.
The Salvation Army is providing meals in the areas of Rutland and Waterbury.
In New York:
The Salvation Army is still feeding evacuees and emergency responders from mobile canteens in various New York towns such as Schenectady, Margaretville, Fleischmanns, Binghamton, Nichols and Sydney.
Salvation Army personnel are stationed at three Disaster Assistance Centers in Delaware, Schenectady and Schoharie counties. Centers are in operation from 12:00 p.m. – 7:00 p.m.
In Amsterdam, a feeding support is set up at the Montgomery County shelter. In Schenectady, a shelter is provided at the Schenectady High School.
The Salvation Army deployed emergency relief teams to the areas of New Bedford, Attleboro and Metro Boston to provide food, drinks and clean-up kits.
The best way that you can help us provide is to donate monetarily. Donations can be made online by visiting www.SalvationArmyUSA.org.
You can also text the word ‘STORM’ to 80888 to make a $10 donation through your cell phone.
Checks should be designated “2011 Hurricane Season” and can be sent to:
Disaster Gift Processing Center
PO B ox 1959
Atlanta, GA 30301