National Hurricane Preparedness Week

Tuesday, May 25, 2010

May 23 – May 29 has been designated National Hurricane Preparedness Week in anticipation of the 2010 hurricane season that begins June 1. For now, forecasters predict a more active storm season compared to last year’s generally mild one, but being informed and prepared can help diminish the damaging effects of hurricanes.

The National Hurricane Center (NHC) has set up a helpful page online about hurricane hazards, preparedness information, and practical ways to plan ahead. Click here or visit http://www.nhc.noaa.gov to learn more. Plus, the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) has a fun page for kids with lots of hurricane background information so that they can be knowledgeable and prepared as well.

And you have probably seen in the news or even been served by The Salvation Army as we provide needed relief following hurricanes and other disasters. In fact, The Salvation Army’s first major disaster response effort in the United States followed the devastating hurricane that destroyed Galveston, TX in 1900, so we have a long history of disaster relief! Our goal is to meet human need by providing material, physical, emotional, and spiritual comfort to survivors and first responders, which could come in the form of a hot meal, a temporary shelter, financial assistance, a shoulder to lean on, and many other things.

Hopefully the referenced links will be helpful as you prepare for hurricane season. We’ll keep you updated on important information and our efforts this season. Be sure to visit our website at www.salvationarmyusa.org, as well as our national Facebook and Twitter pages!

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Cots for Haiti

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.

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Salvation Army Aids Chile’s Fishing Communities

Tuesday, March 30, 2010

The Salvation Army in Chile is focusing their tsunami relief response mainly on the communities of Dichato and Caleta Tumbes. Many locals here fled to high ground and watched as the tsunami destroyed their homes, possessions and livelihoods, and in some instances took the lives of their loved ones.

One woman lost her 92-year-old father who decided to stay in their house after trusting his son, a local fisherman, that the sea well would not reach the house. On any other night that would have been true – but not on this occasion.

Another fisherman explained that he didn’t think about the boat he left behind as he and his family fled, and now he doesn’t know how he’ll be able to afford to pay for a new one. His family is currently living with many others in tents and makeshift shelters in woods on high ground inland from their homes.

The tsunami destroyed the communities’ fishing fleets, and this time of year is the most important for sardine fishermen. The season lasts only three months, and many earn almost their entire annual income during this short period.

Salvation Army officers and volunteers have been working selflessly in these coastal communities to provide food, water and clothes, helping to clear and clean properties that are still standing, and offering spiritual support. In one camp volunteers are running a children’s club to try and assist in their recovery.

The secretary of the fishermen’s cooperative in Dichato said: ‘The young men may be able to retrain to do something else but many of us are too old. All we know is fishing – it is our livelihood, it is our life.’

In addition to providing food, water, clothes, and spiritual support, The Salvation Army in Chile is considering raising donations for the purpose of replacing the boats that were swept away.

The secretary of the fishermen’s cooperative in Caleta Tumbes thanked The Salvation Army for all it was doing in the community and appealed for it to continue to give assistance.

If you would like to support The Salvation Army’s ongoing relief efforts in Chile, please visit our online donation page.

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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.

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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 www.satruck.org – 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:

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Don’t Forget – Meal Packing Event March 12, 13

Tuesday, March 9, 2010

The Salvation Army’s next meal packing event for Haiti disaster relief will take place in the Los Angeles, CA area on Friday, March 12 and Saturday, March 13, 2010. If you live in or near this area, come show your support for those in need by rolling up your sleeves and helping! Our goal is 1 million meals, so bring your friends!

Again, here are the details:

WHAT: Million Meals for Haiti Packaging Event with The Salvation Army and Numana

WHO: You and Anyone Else You Can Recruit (ages 12 yrs.or older, please!)

WHEN: Teams are being recruited for the following shifts:
Friday, March 12
8:00AM to 12:00PM
12:00PM to 4:00PM
4:00PM to 8:00PM

Saturday, March 13
8:00AM to 12:00PM
12:00PM to 4:00PM
4:00PM to 8:00PM

WHERE: The Salvation Army’s warehouse at 5600 Rickenbacker Road, Building 1C and 1D, Bell, California. Click here for a map to the Bell warehouse.

And don’t forget to register online!

For more information, visit The Salvation Army’s Southern California website. You can also find helpful details on their blog and Facebook page.

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Recognizing Others Who Do “Good”

Monday, September 21, 2009

Today, the Daily Commercial reported that The Salvation Army in Leesburg, Florida, honored all current, retired and fallen members of the fire, police and EMS departments in the…

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Korean Newspaper ‘Heralds’ Good Work of The Salvation Army

Monday, August 24, 2009

Tom Uden, writing for The Korea Herald, talks about The Army’s impact in a country on the other side of the world. It is a tricky thing to…

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