The Fruits of Their Labor

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

What did you do on Labor Day?

Maybe you spent the waning days of summer by the pool or over a sizzling grill. Or maybe you skipped town for a brief getaway. Or maybe you had a lot of big ideas but never seemed to get beyond changing out of your pajamas.

If you’re like me, your aspirations for the Labor Day holiday probably didn’t include much laboring.

But 60 volunteers in Charlotte, North Carolina had a different idea. They spent their day off cleaning, painting, and transforming a Sunday school building into an emergency overflow shelter for homeless women. The site is being opened by The Salvation Army’s Center of Hope, whose main facility is experiencing overcrowding and must sometimes turn women away.

The Salvation Army expects the overflow shelter will be ready to open next week after one more volunteer-work day.

We appreciate these volunteers and the Caldwell Memorial Presbyterian Church (who donated use of the facility) for making it possible for The Salvation Army to better to serve the city’s homeless. Thanks to their efforts, at least 50 more women will have a safe place to rest their heads at night.

You can check out a video news story on these Labor Day laborers HERE.

To learn more about The Salvation Army of Greater Charlotte, visit their website HERE

Wildfires Blazing Across Boulder, Colorado

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

Video courtesy of Fox News

Wildfires that broke out Monday in Boulder, Colorado’s Fourmile Canyon continue to blaze, forcing thousands of residents to flee their homes and leaving 3,500 acres of land charred. About 100 fire fighters were on the scene yesterday battling the flames. The cause of the fire is unknown, and high winds have made it difficult to tame.

The Salvation Army has been called on to help serve first responders who are working to contain the disaster. Those first responders include fire fighters, law enforcement, Emergency Medical Technicians and the command and control staff that is coordinating the fire efforts at the command center. By providing food, drinks and emotional support, The Salvation Army provides much needed nourishment as these crews work around the clock.

The Salvation Army served more than 450 dinners last night to emergency personnel and 300 hearty breakfasts including omelets, hash browns, sausage patty, coffee, juice and fruit were served early this morning.

First responders will also be provided lunch and dinner today by The Salvation Army. The mobile kitchen and cold truck will remain on site as long as necessary to support this effort.

We certainly hope that the fires will be contained quickly so that more homes and buildings are not claimed by the blaze. Thankfully, there have been no reported fatalities as a result of the fire.

If you’d like to support The Salvation Army’s fire relief efforts, visit imsalvationarmy.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY and earmark the donation for Emergency Disaster Services.

Salvation Army Moves into Second Phase of New Zealand Quake Recovery

Tuesday, September 7, 2010

The Salvation Army in New Zealand has reported moving into its second phase of relief since being struck by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake early Saturday morning.

They’ve put a fresh team in the city of Christchurch to assess and respond to the mid-term need of affected residents. Emergency Services staff and volunteers continue to provide emergency aid and care at the city’s welfare centers and Salvation Army centers. The Salvation Army team is also arranging storage for food and goods donated by companies.

With the damage and disruption caused to many Christchurch businesses, The Salvation Army expects a large number of workers won’t have an income from this week and their families will need support, according to Salvation Army spokesman Major Robbie Ross.

The Salvation Army reports that community spirit is strong in Canterbury and they’ve received strong support. New Zealand companies and banks have provided significant quantities of food and household items and funds. Westpac Bank in New Zealand has committed NZ$1 million to the Westpac Canterbury Care Fund, naming The Salvation Army as its senior partner. The Salvation Army will use some of the money to help those needing food, shelter and care, and put the rest towards those needing longer-term support. The public has also generously donated $34,000 to the earthquake appeal.

In setting out the logistics and protocols around the provision of aid, The Salvation Army in New Zealand is borrowing from the experience of the Australian Salvation Army during the 2009 bushfires.

To read The Salvation Army New Zealand’s updates on ongoing relief efforts, click HERE. (Additional reports were posted over the weekend.)

Thank you for your continuing prayers and support for New Zealand’s recovery!

The Salvation Army Responds to New Zealand Earthquake

Saturday, September 4, 2010

The Salvation Army has initiated its emergency services in New Zealand after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the South Island Saturday morning. It is believed to be the largest earthquake to strike New Zealand since 1931. Aftershocks are continuing.

While no fatalities have been reported, there have been several serious injuries and significant damage to infrastructure. A State of Emergency has been declared that is expected to be in place for several days.

Within hours of the disaster, The Salvation Army was feeding around 1000 people in at least two locations within the major city of Christchurch and was standing ready to set up further operations as requested, with residents in some areas advised to prepare for possible evacuation.

The Salvation Army has a formal national partnership with the Ministry of Civil Defence and local governments across the country. Its immediate responsibility is to provide catering support in the aftermath of natural disasters and any other services that Civil Defence authorities request.

One hundred people in the Army’s addiction and supportive accommodation centre in Addington, Christchurch, are without power, water and sewerage.

The Salvation Army’s Bramwell Booth centre in Temuka, around 146 km south of Christchurch, is home to men and women with intellectual disabilities. One building at the centre has structural damage following the earthquake and Civil Defence engineers have ordered its evacuation.

To read the full report, click HERE.

To donate to The Salvation Army in New Zealand’s disaster appeal, click HERE.