Strong Arms Around Chile

Friday, March 26, 2010

One month following the destructive magnitude 8.8 earthquake and tsunami that struck Chile, The Salvation Army continues distributing help throughout the country. More than 15,000 people have been assisted and 14,000 rations of food provided to individuals and families. Some 350 volunteers have given their help.

A campaign called ‘Strong Arms Around Chile’ has been set up to help collect donations and goods that can be delivered to the neediest Chileans.

In the area around the capital, Santiago, coffee, hot meals and other services continue to be offered.

The south of the country, particularly coastal regions, was most affected by the disaster and this area is where The Salvation Army is focusing its efforts.

Four hundred baskets with basic necessities have been given out in Caleta Tumbes, which was affected by both the quake and tsunami. Salvation Army workers are helping to clear debris in this area. The Salvation Army is also distributing family baskets with basic necessities such as food, water, hygiene products, and clothes to families who are sleeping outdoors since they no longer have homes.

In Concepción, around the epicentre of the earthquake, family baskets were distributed at a camp in the centre of the city.

In nearby Hualpén, a well on the grounds of Hualpencillo Corps (church) is providing water to the neighbourhood.

The Salvation Army’s Central Division in Chile sent 20 tons of food, clothing and water to the cities of Concepción and Hualpén, including some goods purchased with funds received from overseas.

The supplies were organized in a reception centre at Concepción Corps. The corps officers went to the affected zones to see where the aid was most needed and the community of Dichato was identified. Unfortunately, because of contamination, the military was not allowing people into the community.

Eventually a Salvation Army team was allowed to visit the New Dawn camp in Dichato, which is made up of 180 families – approximately 850 people. The team also visited Villa los Sauces, which has a number of temporary settlements, and the area of Coliumo, where many people are living in small makeshift camps along the side of the road.

In each of these places goods were given out, including food, water and some tents. Three volunteers, rotating every few days, are living in a tent in the New Dawn camp and there are plans to set up a community kitchen. Salvationists and volunteers have helped clear debris and have lifted people’s spirits with times of worship.

In an emergency services coordination meeting, it was decided that Concepción Corps would take responsibility for people in Dichato, Coliumo, Lota, Coronel and Hualqui. The corps at Hualpén will visit and document the communities of Las Salinas, Lenga, Talcahuano and Caleta Tumbes. Some of these areas are dealing with devastation from both the earthquake and the tsunami.

Major Raelton Gibbs (International Emergency Services) is now in Chile to assist and advise the local Salvation Army teams.

The Salvation Army has been shown great appreciation by those receiving help. Many are simply happy still to be alive. The Chilean Salvation Army continues to work and aid those in need by providing not only material necessities but also spiritual comfort.

To help support The Salvation Army’s ongoing relief efforts in Chile, visit our online donations page.

The Espwa Project

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Espwa means “hope” in Creole, the native language of Haiti. This idea of hope has been a general theme and desire for both citizens and aid workers who are joining together to rebuild Haiti after January’s disastrous earthquake.

From this shared goal has formed the Espwa Project, a labor of love and an endeavor to bring hope to Haiti by wearing it. When you give to The Salvation Army’s Espwa Project, a way to support our ongoing relief efforts in Haiti, you will receive a specially designed t-shirt with a message of hope.

As the Espwa website points out, “Hope, like laughter, is contagious. Each time you wear your [espwa] t-shirt, you spread its message of hope.”

Visit The Salvation Army Haiti Division’s Espwa Project wesbite for information.

Love it & Leave It

Thursday, March 25, 2010

If you haven’t been to the grand opening of the new Esprit flagship clothing store in NY City, you’ll want to get there ASAP. If you’ve already been, chances are you left pretty happy!

Today, March 5, through tomorrow, March 6, Esprit is hosting their ‘Love It & Leave It’ campaign, meaning you could be one of many lucky customers who pick out an outfit you absolutely love, try on, and take home for free! All you have to do is leave something you’re wearing. This trade sounds MORE than fair!

And what happens to the item you bid adieu? Esprit will donate everything they receive to The Salvation Army, where your clothes will embark on their second life at our Salvation Army Family Thrift Stores, and the proceeds from their sales will directly support our Adult Rehabilitation Centers (ARC) (See? The good just continues to snowball!).

Get a little bonus for yourself while doing some good, and help Esprit support a great cause. Details are below, and you can also visit their Love It & Leave It website, as well as their facebook page. For more information about The Salvation Army, visit our national website at

Spring is Here!

Monday, March 22, 2010

It is officially spring, and what better way to celebrate than to roll up your sleeves for a vigorous round of spring cleaning?

Ok, so there are probably better ways to enjoy the season, but whether you are a clean freak or deathly allergic to brooms, The Salvation Army can help you in your clutter-clearing efforts by taking unwanted or unused items off your hands!

And as additional encouragement, it may help to know that your generous donations to The Salvation Army Family Thrift Stores support our Adult Rehabilitation Centers (ARC) which are completely funded through the sales of Family Store donated items.

If you need even further encouragement, we’ve tried to make it as convenient as possible by offering multiple ways to donate:

* In Person – Drop off your belongings to a Salvation Army Family Thrift Store

* Call 1-800-SA-TRUCK – Schedule a pickup at your home by phone

* Visit – Schedule a pickup at your home by going online (Scheduling over the internet is not available in some areas.)

So gather up all those things that you’ve been “meaning to get rid of” and send them over to your local Salvation Army store, where an item worth a few dollars and cents becomes invaluable in restoring the life someone in need! Just ask James and many others like him: