Friday, April 23, 2010
The Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia is in need of an army of volunteers – more than 5,000 – to help package 1 million meals for survivors of the Haiti earthquake. That’s a lot of people, but we’re confident Philly will show us why they earned the nickname “City of Brotherly Love!”
We’re partnering with Drexel University and Numana, Inc., an international hunger relief organization, to provide nutritious meals targeted to help the immune system of malnourished people. Your efforts are needed to help assemble and package these meals before we send them to Haiti!
Their dinner was made possible by volunteer efforts.
What Do You Need to Do Next?
Mark off Friday, May 21 and Saturday, May 22 on your calendars and plan to be at Drexel University’s State Armory in Philadelphia, PA.
Get friends and SIGN UP for a 2 hour volunteer shift at www.saphilly.org.
Raise awareness by SHARING our Philadelphia Million Meals Facebook Event Page.
Check out The Salvation Army of Greater Philadelphia’s website for more information.
Tuesday, April 20, 2010
The Salvation Army of San Francisco and Numana, Inc. will be holding a Million Meals packing event in the Bay Area this Saturday, April 24 between 8 a.m. and 11 p.m., and they are still looking for plenty of volunteers to lend a hand!
It’s easy to sign up – just grab some friends (the more the merrier) and select volunteer time slots at The Salvation Army Golden State Division’s online registration.
This event will be unique to those previous because they will attempt to pack all 1 million meals in only 1 day! What better way to help those in need in Haiti by contributing a few hours of your time towards reaching this million meal goal? Plus, it’s a perfect opportunity to celebrate National Volunteer Week.
For more information about and registration for the San Francisco Bay Area’s Million Meals Event, visit The Salvation Army’s Golden State Division’s website at www.tsagoldenstate.org. You can also raise awareness by sharing their Facebook Million Meals for Haiti event page!
Wednesday, April 14, 2010
Prisoners at the El Dorado Correctional Facility in Kansas packaged 93,146 meals to help with The Salvation Army’s relief efforts in Haiti! It was a huge success. More…
Tuesday, April 13, 2010
According to USA TODAY article “Poll: More donated to Haiti than to Chile after quakes,” a recent USA TODAY/Gallop poll found that nearly half (45%) of respondents donated money to Haiti earthquake relief efforts, whereas less than one third (28%) of respondents donated to Chile aid work for the earthquake that struck the South American nation just more than a month later.
The article discusses several possible reasons for the disparity, but according to those who directly donated to Haiti efforts, 87% of them said they gave based on the amount of the country’s damage, and 73% gave based on the island nation’s dire economic state.
What factors affect you when considering donating to a disaster relief? Did you donate to efforts in Haiti or Chile, and why or why not? What do you think about the poll’s direct and implied findings?
The Salvation Army is actively working in the earthquake devastated communities of both Haiti and Chile, serving human need without discrimination. We have been present in Haiti since 1950, operating schools, clinics, hospital, feeding programs, children’s homes and church-related activities across the country. The Salvation Army has also been present and active in Chile since 1909, offering educational outreach, childcare programs, skills training, and anti-drug programs.
Wednesday, April 7, 2010
Benjamin Franklin once wrote in a letter to French physicist Jean Baptiste Leroy, “In this world nothing is certain but death and taxes.”
Now, more than 220 years following those insightful words, Americans are gearing up for Tax Day, as April 15 is only about a week away.
If you still haven’t completed your return or are in need of assistance, The Salvation Army may be able to help.
Some of our Salvation Army community centers are partnering with the IRS Volunteer Income Tax Assistance Program (VITA) to offer free tax preparation and assistance to low income and elderly taxpayers who qualify. You can contact your local Salvation Army community center to see if they offer this service. The IRS website also has more information on the VITA program and offers the contact number 1-800-906-9887 to call for VITA site locations.
The Salvation Army in Sheboygan, Wisconsin said they expect to assist with between 700 and 800 returns this year by the April 15 deadline. In Sioux City, Iowa The Salvation Army’s Captain Capt. Von Vandiver told local news station KPTH 44 that most of their clients received $400 in returns for each taxpayer they helped.
Another useful tool for taxpayers regardless of your income bracket is The Salvation Army’s valuation guide, which you can find here on our website www.satruck.org. This is incredibly handy for estimating the worth of your tax deductable, in-kind donations from clothes to appliances to cars, and The Salvation Army will provide you with a receipt when you drop them off in store or schedule a home pick up.
Also, don’t forget that if you donated to Haiti relief efforts before March 1, 2010, the federal government passed into law the charitable deduction bill that says your 2010 donation can count towards your 2009 return.
Hopefully this information will be able to help in some way as you work on your return. Best wishes in getting everything completed by April 15!
Monday, April 5, 2010
The Salvation Army will host its next Million Meals Event for Haiti relief in California’s San Francisco Bay Area, and this one will be like no other before! Instead of packaging 1 million meals in two days, our goal is to package them all in ONE DAY!
If you haven’t heard of these events before, The Salvation Army distributes one million meals per week in Haiti and will continue to do so over the next six to nine months. In order to meet the demand, meal packing events are being organized around the United States in partnership with Numana .
And that means we need your help! Below is information about how you can be involved. You can also check out the About “Million Meals For Haiti” page to learn about packaging events nationwide and The Salvation Army’s work in Haiti.
WHAT: ONE MILLION meals to help curb hunger in Haiti
WHEN: Saturday, April 24, 2010.
Teams are being recruited for the following shifts:
8:00 a.m. to 12:00 p.m.
12:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m.
4:00 p.m. to 8:00 p.m.
8:00 p.m. to 11:00 p.m.
WHERE: The Cow Palace, Exhibit Building #2, 2600 Geneva Ave, Daly City, CA., 94014. Free parking, provided by The Cow Palace. Click here for a map to the Cow Palace
HOW YOU CAN HELP: Recruit a team of 12 people (age 10 and older, please) and sign up your team or sign-up as an individual.
Wednesday, March 31, 2010
The State of New Jersey, Department of Human Services, and Department of Homeland Security are providing in a tremendous way for Haiti by donating to The Salvation Army thousands of cots for earthquake survivors.
It would take The Salvation Army 3 months to be able to purchase the necessary amount of cots, but today New Jersey, with the approval of its partners, will provide The Salvation Army with 8,000 cots purchased from the Grainger Company. They will be sent to Florida via truck and then transported to Haiti. A backup order has already been made by The Salvation Army for a later date.
These cots, though simple items, will meet a significant need for the displaced population. Tens of thousands of individuals are living in tent cities, making for crowded and unsanitary conditions. The need for cots extends beyond just a place to sleep – parents sometimes spend the night sitting up to hold their children off the ground and safe from the elements. The rainy season has also begun, making conditions worse and threatening lives. These donors’ generosity will provide much needed relief for many.
Monday, March 29, 2010
The Salvation Army’s Major Laurie Robertson reports that recommendations coming out of a Salvation Army international strategy conference held in London confirm that The Salvation Army will be heavily and closely involved in rebuilding Haiti well past the conclusion of the current emergency situation caused by January’s massive earthquake.
The conference was attended by a delegation from The Salvation Army’s Caribbean Territory, representatives from 10 Salvation Army territories involved in the relief and rebuilding process, personnel from The Salvation Army USA National Headquarters, Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO), and The Salvation Army International Headquarters.
The emergency phase for The Salvation Army in Haiti is expected to last for another six to nine months. During this time The Salvation Army will continue to care for 20,000 displaced people who are living in cramped camp conditions on a soccer field in Port-au-Prince. Emergency assistance will also be ongoing for those who were adversely affected in Jacmel and Petit Goave.
One of the urgent challenges for The Salvation Army is the relocation of the 20,000 people from its emergency camp to transitional housing. It is hoped this housing will be constructed before the end of the year.
The Salvation Army in Port-au-Prince provides essential services to one of the poorest areas in Haiti and conference delegates strongly expressed their belief that The Salvation Army’s facilities needed to be rebuilt as quickly as possible. Most of its buildings have been so badly damaged that they will need to be demolished.
During the next few months prioritization of the transitional and long-term projects will take place, applications for further funding will be processed and some projects commenced while emergency relief service continues.
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.
Thursday, March 18, 2010
The following report is a personal account of Haiti’s January 12 earthquake as seen through the eyes of The Salvation Army’s Divisional Commander Lucien Lamartiniere. It was submitted by Stacy Howard, Public Information Officer for The Salvation Army’s Haiti Incident Command in Port-au-Prince.
Jan. 12, 2010 – 3:30 PM.
He described it as any other afternoon. The Salvation Army’s Haiti Divisional Commander Lucien Lamartiniere wrapped up a meeting at the Divisional Headquarters building. It ran later than expected.
The Major dropped his wife Marie off at a friend’s house. He noted this as being the first time ever, she didn’t want to go straight home with him, but wanted to visit her friend.
Major Lamartiniere planned to stop at the store to buy a drink. He forgot, and headed home.
He stood in his kitchen where he opened the fridge to grab a drink. The earth shook, his house began to crumble around him and in what he says “felt like forever” he ran outside. His gate was locked. The earth still shook – hard enough to break the gate open. He ran into the street where he watched his own house and his neighbors’ collapse. “I thought it was the end of the Earth,” Lamartiniere said.
The shaking stopped. In less than one minute, one of the most devastating earthquakes in history nearly demolished an entire country. He called his wife. No answer. He walked to search for her. When he finally arrived at her friend’s house, he breathed a sigh of relief as their house still stood. But Marie had left – to search for him.
Marie returned home, to see their car smashed under the caved-in house. She feared the worse.
Major Lamartiniere arrived on foot, back at his house where he reunited with his wife.
Two months later he shares his story as if it happened yesterday. Watching his eyes it’s clear every time he speaks of the quake he’s immediately taken back to the time, the place, the fear…and the hope.
He credits four miracles from God, as the reasons he survived what at least 230,000 others did not.
1. The meeting ran late. Had it finished earlier the participants likely would have been shopping in a location where most buildings fell.
2. Marie went to her friend’s house to visit. The house survived, while hers did not. She would have been in her own kitchen preparing dinner. The roof caved in over the kitchen and dining room.
3. The Major forgot to stop at the store. That store no longer exists.
4. His instinct told him to run, the second the shaking started. Many Haitians’ deaths are said to be due to lack of understanding in how to properly escape. Many thought they should stay inside for shelter.
Since the day that forever changed Haiti, Lamartiniere says many people who never sought The Salvation Army’s services before, now flock to the organization for help. The staff originally found some food that survived in storage and began cooking meals for those in need.
Once The Salvation Army established an Incident Command to spearhead the relief efforts, people began to form a tent city camp next to the former Divisional Headquarters, school and clinic which partially collapsed. With aid from around the world, The Salvation Army began its ongoing food distributions which now feed 20,000. One camp member expressed his gratitude to the Incident Command Team. “Without The Salvation Army we would die. Thank you.”
The Majors still live in a tent in the former Divisional Headquarters’ parking lot. They wanted and needed to be with their people, to let them know they were there beside them.
Major Lamartiniere’s primary hope for the future is to move people into permanent housing outside Port-au-Prince.
His outlook is simple. “I know The Salvation Army can’t do everything…but we’re going to be here to do what we can.”
The Salvation Army set up a Haiti relief fund and is accepting monetary donations. Donors may contribute $10 via their phone bill by text messaging the word “HAITI” to 52000, and confirming the donation with the word, “Yes.” Donors can also give via www.salvationarmyusa.org, 1-800-SAL-ARMY and through the mail at: The Salvation Army World Service Office, International Disaster Relief Fund, P.O. Box 630728, Baltimore, MD 21263-0728 with designation “Haiti Earthquake.”