Haiti/Hurricane Tomas Update

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.

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In Haiti, Clinic Prepares for Influx of Cholera Patients

Wednesday, October 27, 2010

A cholera outbreak in Haiti has been the cause of at least 259 deaths and thousands of more infections, with a handful of cases emerging in the capital city of Port-au-Prince.

While the infection and death rate seems to be stabilizing, officials and aid workers are focused on containing the disease so that it does not spread en masse in the highly populated area of Port-au-Prince.

Dr. Danielle Prosper leads The Salvation Army clinic there and is preparing should there be a possible influx of cholera patients.

The clinic is surrounded by an Internally Displaced Persons camp managed by The Salvation Army in partnership with Concern Worldwide and Viva Rio. The camp shelters 13,000 residents. While conditions are harsh, the camp does have a sufficient supply of safe drinking water, toilets, and a good drainage system.

For some months, classes have been conducted in the camp teaching women and children the importance of thorough hand washing and cooking of food since cholera is primarily spread through contact with dirty water.

The Salvation Army is communicating with Haitian health officials about the government’s recommended course of treatment for victims, as well as acquiring an adequate supply of vaccines for medical staff and response workers.

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Athletes Emphasize Charitable Giving

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

The Washington Post reports that Washington, DC sports teams and athletes are increasingly focusing on charitable giving.

Staff writer Susan Kinzie says, “For reasons idealistic, self-serving or practical, athletes and teams are putting a greater emphasis on donating money, volunteering and helping local communities — with more commitment to providing real impact rather than just photo ops.”

As a DC resident, it’s nice to hear that my teams are giving back. Between the baseball, hockey, basketball and football teams, DC athletes are helping revitalize local neighborhoods, investing in cancer prevention, fighting hunger, supporting children’s education programs and addressing a load of other issues. With the unique voice and wide supporter base that comes with the territory, athletes have a great platform to get the message out on deserving causes and make lasting, positive impacts on communities and individuals.

I’ll admit though, sometimes I’m skeptical when I hear about big names pushing a cause. I wonder, do they really care about or have a genuine commitment to this issue they’re attaching themselves to? For me, sincerity is important.

What’s your take on athletes being active in philanthropy? Do you have a favorite athlete who’s an outspoken advocate for a charity or a cause? Does a sports/charity partnership make you more likely to support the members involved?

Felix Jones spends time coaching kids at The Salvation Army’s North Mabee Center in Tulsa, OK.
Felix Jones spends time coaching kids at The Salvation Army’s North Mabee Center in Tulsa, OK.

Since becoming a Salvation Army employee, I’m happy to say my skepticism has tempered after seeing athletes and teams from around the country give and serve generously through our organization in ways that have invaluably inspired and assisted those in need. Their collaboration with us has ranged from extended partnerships to isolated volunteer efforts. Some athletes have never been involved with the Army before, while others have actually been clients in our programs.

Maybe you root for some of the teams and players who have worked with us:

* Felix Jones, Dallas Cowboys – He tutors students in ACT prep at The Salvation Army’s North Mabee Boys & Girls Club in Tulsa, OK and has served as a role model in other programs. He’s also pledged $25,000 to the North Mabee Center. Why? He played football at North Mabee as a kid and personally knows what a great impact it has on the local community.

* Robert Meacham, New Orleans Saints – Young aspiring football players received personal tips on playing the game from this Super Bowl Champion during a summer sports camp at The Salvation Army’s North Mabee Center in Tulsa. Yep, Meacham also grew up playing ball at the center with Jones.

* Julius Erving, NBA Hall of Famer – The b-ball legend is an advocate for exercise and sportsmanship for youth in Atlanta, where he hit the basketball courts as a kid at The Salvation Army. One way he gives back is through his annual “Dr. J” Biddy Ball tournament hosted this year at The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center, with the help of other players including Cory Blackwell, Vincent Askew and Duane Causwell.

* Omaha Nighthawks (UFL) – These players not only helped establish two mentoring programs through a $25,000 donation to the Omaha Salvation Army Kroc Center, the Nighthawks also serve as mentors themselves! And they’re holding their training camp at the Kroc Center where kids and the community will have the opportunity to see their role models in action.

* Indianapolis Colts – From hosting Christmas toy drives to a $25,000 donation equally shared by The Salvation Army and 4 other non-profits, the Colts are community-focused. On top of that, their Senior VP Tom Zupancic just joined our Advisory Board!

* Philadelphia Eagles – When disaster struck Haiti, the team wanted to help. Eagles guard and Haiti native Max Jean-Gilles, Eagles linebacker Akeem Jordan and Eagles employees volunteered to help The Salvation Army and Numana pack nutritious meals for earthquake survivors.

* Dallas Cowboys – For 13, going on 14, years the Dallas Cowboys Thanksgiving Day game halftime show marks the official launch of our Red Kettle Christmas Campaign. The annual campaign has raised more than $1 billion since the partnership began in 1997 and has helped the Army to serve 30 million people each year nationwide. Plus, Cowboys owner Jerry Jones and his wife, Gene, opened the Gene and Jerry Jones Family Center for Children – a Salvation Army child care center for low-income families in Irving, TX. Mr. Jones is now an Emeritus member of The Salvation Army’s National Advisory Board and his daughter and wife are active board members.

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Haiti: 6 Months Later

Tuesday, July 13, 2010

Since responding to the massive earthquake that jarred Haiti six months ago, The Salvation Army continues work side by side the recovering communities. We have transitioned from focusing on the provision of immediate needs, including temporary shelter, food, water and medical aid, to providing for long-term needs that will help survivors get back to a level of normalcy in their lives.

And today, in an exciting step for many displaced Haitians, we’ve completed construction of 600 long-term intermediary housing shelters in Jacmel to help relocate those displaced by the earthquake back to their home communities.

Our Transitional Shelter Program has been a great way to empower Haitians during this reconstruction process. In a nation where more than 2/3 of the labor force is unemployed, more than 400 Haitians have been hired as carpenters and construction crew-members to assist in reconstruction efforts and be actively involved with reestablishing their communities.

The shelters house on average five people and last several years. With Haiti in the midst of its rainy season, their design will also enable them to withstand strong winds as well as drain water away from the structure, helping to reduce the spread of water-borne illnesses.

Now that hundreds of shelters have been built in Jacmel, The Salvation Army will work with Haitian government officials to plan the development of another 1,000-1,500 homes in the northern coastal community of Petit-Goâve, which was severely damaged by a strong earthquake aftershock in January.

We are excited by the steps being taken by Haitians and the The Salvation Army to help the country heal and emerge from this disaster stronger than before! As The Salvation Army’s Lt. Col. Dan Starrett stated, “These homes are the first steps of many in that direction.”

If you’d like to support our ongoing work in the country, you can give via www.salvationarmyusa.org, 1-800-SAL-ARMY and text messaging “HAITI” to 52000 with confirming “Yes.”

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Numana Reaches 20 Million Meals for Haiti

Monday, June 28, 2010

Hunger relief organization Numana, Inc. has packaged 20 MILLION MEALS for Haiti Disaster Relief, according to the organization’s official press announcement released Saturday. The latest milestone was reached this weekend as volunteers from across the Midwest banded together at Numana community events held in Fayettville, AR, Milwaukee, WI and Pratt, KS.

In their statement the relief organization said, “Numana would like to thank first of all the thousands of people who have shown up to give of their money, energy and time to help make this happen. Rick McNary, Founder and CEO said, “We knew that if we provided people with the opportunity, they would respond overwhelmingly, and they have.” The Salvation Army deserves a special thanks as they have helped facilitate nearly half of all the meals packaged.

Fayetteville’s ‘Razorback Relief’ packaged a record 1.4 million meals in 24 hours, breaking the previous record held by Kansas City of 1.2 million. Milwaukee produced an impressive 573,000 meals, and Pratt turned out 276,00!

Thank you to everyone for your helping hands that together have made an incredible difference in the lives of Haiti’s starving population. For more information about Numana and how to be involved in upcoming events, visit their website at www.numanainc.com. You can also follow them on Twitter for the latest information and statistics @NumanaInc.

And sure to visit The Salvation Army online at www.salvationarmyusa.org for news of our ongoing service, as well as on Facebook and Twitter.

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Volunteers Help Salvation Army Show Continuous Care for Haiti

Tuesday, June 22, 2010

News of Haiti’s ongoing recovery has slipped from the headlines, but the country’s need has not disappeared. Despite this drop in media attention, The Salvation Army and volunteers continue to devote countless man hours to serving earthquake survivors.

Just this past weekend hundreds of individuals from Kalamazoo, MI and the surrounding area gathered at an old Sam’s Club warehouse where they packaged 620,784 meals for Haiti over a period of two days. The event was hosted by hunger relief organization Numana, Inc. and The Salvation Army. A photo run by the Kalamazoo Gazette showed a grown man and a four year-old boy working together in the assembly-line style packing process. Though the picture may at first appear unremarkable, the sharp contrast of this seemingly mismatched pair captures the unique sense of unity and passion to help that bonds an otherwise diverse group of volunteers. Kalamazoo proved to have a great turn out of helping hands!

You would expect with it being more than five months following the earthquake, public interest would fade. But Numana hosts widely-attended meal packing events like the one in Kalamazoo every week across the country in order that The Salvation Army will have a continuous supply of food to distribute to Haitian survivors. Actually, three separate events will be taking place this weekend in Kansas, Wisconsin, and Arkansas, with Arkansas attempting to set a record of packing 2 million meals during a first-ever 24 consecutive hour event! It actually seems like the public’s desire to help is gaining steam.

Numana founder Rick McNary told the Kalamazoo Gazette that in the five months since the earthquake more than 18 million meals have been packaged for Haiti through Numana’s partnership with The Salvation Army and volunteers across the country!

The Salvation Army is incredibly thankful for the help of Numana and all the compassionate volunteers who continue to diligently give their time, efforts, and resources for those in need in Haiti, even after the overwhelming need no longer makes news headlines!

For more information about The Salvation Army in Kalamazoo, visit their website at www.tsakalamazoo.org or find them on Facebook.

You can also learn more about Numana, Inc. through their website www.numanainc.com.

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Memorial Day Weekend

Friday, May 28, 2010

Happy Memorial Day Weekend! As we recognize those who gave their lives in service to our nation, do you plan to participate in any events taking place around your community? The Salvation Army will be out and about, so make plans to join us!

Here are just a few of the many ways The Salvation Army will be serving others and recognizing Memorial Day:

San Francisco Bay Area, California – Since 1924, The Salvation Army has held an annual Memorial Day service at Cypress Lawn to honor our fallen soldiers. They will continue the tradition this Sunday, when they’ll remember service members with song, prayer, scripture, and an inspirational message. Click here for more info on this and other area events.

Nashville, Tennessee – Member s of the community are invited to honor veterans and their families at the National Cemetery on Memorial Day, where food and beverages will be served throughout the day. Visitors are welcome to share their war and Salvation Army service stories.

Davenport, Iowa – The Salvation Army Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) will take members of its recovery program for a fun day at the county park, where they’ll be able to relax with their families and grill out. Plus, members of the Salvation Army’s Des Moines ARC will also join and challenge Davenport in a friendly game of softball.

Kodiak, Alaska – During the annual Kodiak Crab Festival, The Salvation Army will team up with the local fire department to serve delicious homemade doughnuts to festival attendees. They estimate that they’ll make and serve about 1,500 doughnuts!

Seattle, Washington – On Saturday and Sunday The Salvation Army will sponsor a community volunteer event at the State Convention Center to pack a million meals for Haiti earthquake survivors. Just a few hours of your time can make a huge difference for those in need. Follow the link to volunteer: http://salvationarmynw.org/haiti/ .

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Phildelphia Eagles Doing the Most Good – Come Help Them!

Friday, May 21, 2010

We’ve been posting a lot recently about our partnering with hunger relief organization Numana, Inc. to host community meal packing events around the country for Haiti earthquake survivors. Yes, even four months after the disaster, much help is still needed and will continue to be needed for a long time.

Today, May 21, and tomorrow, May 22, volunteers will gather in Philadelphia at Drexel University to help The Salvation Army prepare 1 million meals. We we will ship and distribute the food to the 20,000 displaced Haitians that we are caring for in Port-au-Prince. We’re looking for 5,000 volunteers to make this possible, so if you want to get involved, register online at www.SalvationArmyPhiladelphia.org. We need your help!!

And we think it’s pretty cool that the Philadelphia Eagles are partnering with us for this event! This afternoon Eagles guard and Haiti native Max Jean-Gilles, Eagles linebacker Akeem Jordan and Eagles employees will be volunteering in our effort to provide nutritious meals to earthquake survivors.

Come out and lend a hand for a few hours while making a big difference in the lives of those in need. Here are some important links for more information including the event’s address and important FAQ:

* The Salvation Army Philadelphia’s Website -www.SalvationArmyPhiladelphia.org/millionmeals
* Facebook – SalvationArmyPhiladelphia
* Twitter – @SalArmyPhilly

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Hey, Northwest! Here’s Your Opportunity to Help Haiti

Wednesday, May 19, 2010

[Million Meal Event]
Photo: The Salvation Army Western Territory

As The Salvation Army continues our relief work in Haiti following January’s earthquake, we need 2,000 volunteers to help us prepare more meals for earthquake survivors.

The Salvation Army and Numana Inc. will be hosting another Million Meals Packing event next weekend in Seattle, Washington on Saturday, May 29 and Sunday, May 30 at the Washington State Convention Center.

You and your friends are invited to the packing party, where you will prepare bags of vitamin-fortified rice, beans and vegetables. One bag is enough to feed a family of six! The work required is simple, but it’s a great time and your efforts will go a long way in benefiting the lives of others in need.

*If you’re in the Seattle area and ready to volunteer a few hours of your time, visit The Salvation Army Northwest Division’s registration page at http://www.salvationarmynw.org/haiti for more information.*

For fun photos of past events, check out The Salvation Army Western Territory’s Flickr page here.

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Looking for Volunteers in Chicago

Monday, May 17, 2010

The Salvation Army and Numana, Inc.’s next community meal packing event for Haiti relief will take place in the Chicago, IL area (Melrose Park) this coming weekend on Saturday, May 22 and Sunday, May 23rd.

If you can spare just a few hours to help earthquake survivors, register online and come lend a hand! Volunteers across the country have already packed more than 10 million meals for Haiti, and we hope to prepare 1 million more this weekend with your help!

We are partnering with Navistar and will be holding the event at their 10400 W. North Avenue, Melrose Park, IL location.

For more information or to register for the event, visit The Salvation Army Chicago’s website at http://www.salarmychicago.org/volunteer/ or call 773-205-3636.

View the below video from Chicago’s WGN News for information about another Salvation Army and Numana Meals for Haiti event that took place recently in Elgin, IL.

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