Relief Workers Prepare Before Haiti’s Rainy Season

Wednesday, March 17, 2010

The Washington Post discussed today the threat that Haiti’s upcoming rain and flood season poses to the 700,000 people still living in tent cities in Port-au-Prince. The article discussed the sever sanitary problems that could arise in the congested camps as a result of rain, saying:

Government officials and relief organizations fear that Port-au-Prince will turn into a massive sewer of bacteria and disease when rains hit with their characteristic unrelenting gusto, possibly followed by June hurricanes…

“With the rains come the risk of water-borne diseases, which create intestine bacteria and diarrhea, and diarrhea is deadly to children,” said Simon Ingram, a spokesman for UNICEF. The organization estimates that 250,000 children are displaced. In addition, health-care providers noted that the rain can also escalate malaria cases as mosquitoes reproduce near stagnant water.

Relief workers are racing against mother nature to register displaced individuals and families in order to assess need and plan for relocation before the skies begin to pour. The Salvation Army has been working to register Haitians early on in our relief efforts, and UPS donated use of their high-tech Trackpad technology to increase speed and efficiency of our registration process.

The Salvation Army has also submitted a proposal to USAID for funding to provide 10,000 transitional shelters for the 20,000 Haitians over whom we care for near our Port-au-Prince headquarters. These shelters will provide greater protection against the torrential rains and support a more sanitary environment for Haitians to live in. A more detailed description of the project proposal can be found on an earlier blog entry, and we will post any updates on this project as they become available.

For more information about our work in Haiti, please visit our national website at www.salvationarmyusa.org or follow us on Facebook and Twitter. You may also contribute to our ongoing Haiti relief efforts by donating online.

Los Angeles Volunteers Help Haiti in Big Way

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

Saturday (March 12) marked the 2 month anniversary of Haiti’s destructive earthquake, and compassionate hearts continue to overwhelmingly volunteer their time and effort to help survivors.

More than 1,500 volunteers in the Los Angeles area turned out last Saturday and Sunday to package 1 million meals for Haiti, the latest of these community events coordinated by The Salvation Army and Numana, Inc. Meals contain rice, soy protein, seasoning and vitamin powder in specially-prepared plastic bags, ensuring Haitians receive the sustenance and nutrition they need as their country rebuilds.

The Salvation Army Western Territory has more information about the event and some great photos, so be sure to check out their blog! And THANK YOU to all the volunteers who worked so hard to package 1 million meals for Haiti. We couldn’t do it without you!

Photo Credit: John Docter, Salvation Army Western Territory

Salvation Army Red Kettles Set New Record!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

The numbers are in, and U.S. donors contributed a record-breaking $139 million in nickels, dimes, quarters and dollars to The Salvation Army’s iconic Christmas Red Kettle Campaign this year! The results are encouraging because the generous public not only helped us reach it despite a difficult economy, but the funds are especially needed as demand for social services has skyrocketed.

“Our local Corps units are reporting demand for social services that is more than 400 percent above normal in some cases,” said Commissioner Israel L. Gaither, National Commander of The Salvation Army. “We needed help this year and Americans, as well as corporate partners responded in a big way.”

These are a few ways our corporate partners helped make a big impact for a great cause:

* Walmart and Sam’s Club:

Red Kettles located at Walmart and Sam’s Club stores accounted for as much as 29 percent of the total given. The Walmart Foundation also made a direct donation of $1.25 million.

* Kroger:

Kroger stores hosted Salvation Army Red Kettles at nearly 2,000 stores. Those donations raised approx. $11.3 million, or 8% of the campaign’s physical Red Kettle total.

* Target:

Target donated more than $1.25 million in cash and in-kind donations. They also collaborated with Hasbro, Inc. to give 5% of the purchase price of Hasbro toys bought at Target to The Salvation Army.

* JCPenney:

JCPenney and The Salvation Army launched the first-ever Online Angel Giving Tree Program. People could “adopt” Salvation Army “Angels” and deliver gifts via the Internet. Tens of thousands of children and seniors in need were adopted.

* The Weather Channel:

The Weather Channel promoted a compilation CD featuring a Salvation Army-themed single entitled, “Please Don’t Forget,” performed by Grammy Award winner Aaron Neville.

The Salvation Army also used some tech saavy methods to raise money, from a new Apple iPhone application, to Facebook and Twitter, and the Online Red Kettle. An additional $1.9 million was donated through the online Red Kettle. Other online donations totaled $9.6 million, a 5.6% increase over the $9.2 million raised in 2008.

From its humble beginnings as a fundraiser started by a Salvation Army captain in San Francisco in 1891, the Red Kettle Campaign has grown into one of the most recognizable and important charitable outreach efforts in the United States.

Thank you, America, for your generous support and making it possible for our continued service to those in need! For more information, read our press release here.

Wichita – We Need Your Help!

Tuesday, March 16, 2010

You may have read about or heard of the many Million Meals packing events The Salvation Army has been hosting in partnership with Numana, Inc. Thousands of volunteers from Indiana, California, Kansas, Missouri, and other states have already turned out to these community events to help us package several million meals for earthquake survivors in Haiti.

Get excited because we have another opportunity coming up this weekend! Our next Million Meals event will be held in Wichita, Kansas on Saturday, March 20 and Sunday, March 21. We appreciate all the support we’ve received thus far and we need your continued efforts to reach our goal of providing this food for Haiti! Below is what you need to know about how to get involved. More detailed information can be found at The Salvation Army Wichita website at www.millionmeals.net.