Daily News: Students exceed fundraising goal in tornado, flood relief efforts

Monday, June 20, 2011

Article published with permission from author Allison Roorda of the Faribault Daily News

Members of the Divine Mercy Catholic School student council, from left to right, Kelsey Novak, Shelby Meyer, Patrick Swenson, Zachary Schwab, Brendan Trump and Garrett Johnson. (Allison Roorda/Daily News)

When the sixth-grade members of the Divine Mercy Catholic School student council in Minnesota set out to raise money for the victims of tornadoes and flooding in the south, their goal was $700.
After several weeks and many different opportunities for fundraising, they ended up with $1,705.11.

“We just decided that it would be cool to help the tornado and flood victims down south,” said Kelsey Novak, president of the student council.
For weeks the six senior student council members worked on a variety of ways to raise the money, said Betsy Thomas.

“One of the reasons was we’ve been praying for these people since those devastating tornadoes hit down south,” said Thomas, who teaches sixth grade and also acts as the student council adviser at DMCS. “They just felt like they wanted to do more than just pray.”
The students were adamant about their contributions.

“As a Christian school, one of our biggest duties as Christians is to help others,” said Shelby Meyer, secretary of the student council. “So when we got the chance, we took it.”
The students got permission to take up collections at student Masses and at the dress rehearsal and performance of the annual school concert.

“It was a long two weeks of raising money,” Meyer said. “I think we spent at least half a day just running around the school, hanging up flyers and stuff.”

One of the major fundraisers ended up being the school’s Dress Down Day.
“We do this all year long,” Thomas said. “For a dollar the kids can be out of dress code. The kids decided they had a $2 dress down fee, and many people donated even more than $2. The class that contributed the most got a dress down pass they can use any time for two weeks.”

Normally, any money collected for DMCS’s Dress Down Days goes to various charities. The student council members decided to donate money they raised with their own Dress Down Day to the Salvation Army, according to Thomas.

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Salvation Army Disaster Response Powers Up with Rayovac and Six Flags

Thursday, May 26, 2011

We all know the importance of food, water, clean-up and medical supplies when responding to an emergency situation like the current efforts in Joplin, MO. But what’s the unsung hero of Salvation Army disaster relief? What everyday household item makes all of the other efforts possible? One word: Batteries.

Salvation Army personnel provide food and drinks in Joplin, MO.

That’s right. Batteries enable The Salvation Army and other relief organizations to power essential tools like flashlights, phones, radios and more when responding to a disaster.

That’s why The Salvation Army has teamed up with Rayovac and Six Flags theme parks for a unique “battery drive.” From now until May 30, people can donate a new and unopened pack of Rayovac batteries at the ticket booth of any participating Six Flags park and in return receive a day’s entry at kids’ price. No coupon or receipt is necessary.

“Rayovac is committed to recognizing and supporting efforts that help others. We hope that this donation eases at least some of the deep suffering of all those affected,” said David Carlson, Director of Marketing Communications for Rayovac. “The enthusiasm of The Salvation Army and Six Flags has been overwhelming. This is truly a community-wide effort – we hope each and every donation makes a real difference.”

Ticketing agents at Six Flags will collect the battery packs and, at end of the drive, the batteries will be donated to local Salvation Army locations for use in disaster preparedness and response efforts.

Participating Six Flags parks include:

* Six Flags Discovery Kingdom – Vallejo, CA
* Six Flags Over Georgia – Austell, GA
* Six Flags Great America – Gurnee, IL
* Six Flags St. Louis – Eureka, MO
* Six Flags Great Adventure – Jackson, NJ
* Six Flags Great America – Queensbury, NY
* Six Flags Fiesta Texas – San Antonio, TX
* Six Flags Over Texas – Arlington, TX

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Photos: Joplin Relief Efforts

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

The Salvation Army has four mobile feeding kitchens serving in Joplin,Missouri, and each is capable of serving thousands of meals per day.If you’d like to donate to our relief efforts, please visit www.salvationarmyusa.org, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY, or click here.

Take a look at the first photos of a canteen from Tulsa, OK that is serving at St. John’s hospital in Joplin, MO. Your continued prayers for survivors and relief workers are greatly appreciated.

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Why Donate Money When I Can Send this Stuff? Here’s Why…

Wednesday, May 25, 2011

[Disaster Poster]

We’ve received tons of messages and comments from people wanting to organize donation drives and ship items to recent tornado survivors. If this is you, please read the following important message from FEMA!

Joplin, Missouri is actually overwhelmed with unsolicited donations, like clothes, toys and household items. This can lead to what disaster relief personnel call the “secondary disaster,” in which valuable, life sustaining resources are redirected to sort, transport, store, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of survivors.

Read on to learn how your support doesn’t become “too much of a good thing” for those in need, and please consider giving monetary donations through the options listed here:

[FEMA]

KANSAS CITY, MO— To help better manage the outpouring of support for Joplin, Missouri tornado survivors, disaster recovery experts have established some simple ways to help, whether volunteering or donating resources.

The Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) offer those who are impacted or just wanting to help the following advice:

Volunteer or Donate

The easiest way to help is to call 2-1-1 in most areas in Missouri to volunteer time or make a donation. Cash is the best because it offers voluntary agencies the most flexibility in obtaining the most-needed resources. Confirm what is needed BEFORE taking action!

Donate in-kind goods that are specifically requested or needed by recognized organizations. Unsolicited donated goods such as used clothing, miscellaneous household items, and mixed or perishable foodstuffs require helping agencies to redirect valuable resources away from providing services to sort, package, transport, warehouse, and distribute items that may not meet the needs of disaster survivors.

Confirm the needs by contacting the voluntary organization of your choice before starting to collect.

If you have a quantity of a given item or class of item to donate, and you need help in determining which organizations to give to, you can make your offer through http://www.aidmatrixnetwork.org/fema after this, just click on Missouri.

###

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Kansas City Chiefs Team Up with Salvation Army for Disaster Relief

Tuesday, May 24, 2011

The Kansas City Chiefs are proving they have big hearts for tornado survivors. The team is donating $35,000 to disaster-relief efforts in Joplin, Missouri and Reading, Kansas.

They’re also partnering with us at The Salvation Army to host a bottled-water drive at Arrowhead Stadium. If you’re a Kansas City resident or live nearby, this is a great way for you to help too. Here’s what you need to know:

Kansas City Chiefs Bottled Water Drive for Disaster Relief

WHAT: Donate Cases of Bottled Water, Cash, and Checks (Made out to Heart-to-Heart International)
WHEN: Tuesday, May 24, 12:00am – 7:00pm and Wednesday, May 25, 7:00am – 7:00pm
WHERE: Arrowhead Stadium, Lot C, Kansas City, MO
WHY: Help Support Disaster Relief Efforts in Missouri and Kansas! Financial assistance and water are identified as the greatest need.

All bottled-water donations will be distributed by The Salvation Army at our four mobile feeding kitchens stationed in Joplin. The Chiefs are also accepting financial donations for Heart-to-Heart International for disaster recovery efforts in Joplin and Reading.

We hope you’ll come out to show your support! The Salvation Army would like to offer a huge thanks to The Kansas City Chiefs, their broadcast partners, and the public for all the great ways you’re assisting storm survivors. If you have any questions about the event, learn more at kchiefs.com.

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How to Support Storm Relief Efforts in Central US

Monday, May 23, 2011

Tornadoes have slammed Missouri and several states in the central US, where need is high and the fatality rate is expected to rise. The Salvation Army is on the scene throughout Missouri, Kansas, and Minnesota, and your monetary donations are vital in making sure we can continue our work there.

To support The Salvation Army’s relief efforts, you can donate:

* Online at www.salvationarmyusa.org. Designate Specific Use for “Joplin Relief.”
* Over the phone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY
* Via text. Send “JOPLIN” to 80888 to make a $10 donation. Confirm when prompted with “yes.”

Many have asked about donating in-kind items, such as clothes, toys, or furniture. The Salvation Army is not accepting gifts in-kind, as there are not suitable facilities to store these items, and manpower to sort and transfer them are also limited. Monetary gifts are flexible and portable, and they allow our disaster teams to purchase the exact supplies they need, when they need them, in the amounts they need them. Click here for more information on this topic.

The local Salvation Army centers have not expressed a need for volunteers at this time, but you can register your name here in our disaster database should a need arise.

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Bold, Vintage Salvation Army Ads

Friday, May 20, 2011

These are amazing.
These 1960’s vintage fundraising ads from The Salvation Army UK are gritty, real, and challenging. The stark ads and posters and the massive campaign behind them were a progressive, bold step for the Army.
As Kathy Lovin explains in the Western Territory’s Expect Change blog, The Salvation Army pushed the envelope to try to reveal the alarming truth of conditions faced by the country’s most vulnerable citizens and raise $1 million British pounds (or $22 million dollars in the US today) for their aid.
Click here to see more ads and read about the Army’s groundbreaking work on Kathy’s blog.

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When Good Intentions Aren’t Enough

Thursday, May 19, 2011

Earthquakes. Tornadoes. Floods. Unfortunately, there’s been no lack of natural disasters of late, and The Salvation Army is responding in the US and all over the world. At the same time, we’re very thankful to say there’s no shortage of public support either.

If you scroll through the comments on our blog’s disaster posts or Facebook updates, we get message after message from people wanting to help. While we tell supporters that financial contributions are best, many ask about donating gifts-in-kind, meaning items other than money, such as clothes, furniture, toys, food, etc.

People have asked why we don’t always accept gift-in-kind donations for disasters. Shouldn’t we donate as much as possible to people in need? The aforementioned items are great, but they’re not always what’s needed the most by disaster survivors. Sometimes, they can actually be more harmful than helpful…even when they’re donated with the best intentions.

And that’s what many tornado relief workers are grappling with right now in the southern US, as reported by the Daily Mail: A 3 ft Santa Claus and used underwear: Bizarre donations swamp tornado disaster workers

So how do donors still give generously while making sure their donations go the furthest in serving those in need? Be informed. Reach out to a charity/relief agency to see what it is they need before you donate. And remember, financial donations are the most flexible and portable.

The Salvation Army’s Disaster website has an article on this subject that every donor should be aware of: Why Send Money When I Have All This Stuff I Could Send?

We hope this helps make sense of our donation policies during times of disaster.

P.S. Just because we don’t always accept clothes or in-kind donations for disaster relief, that doesn’t mean your items can’t be put to good use! Donate to our Salvation Army Family & Thrift Stores where they can benefit people in need from your local community.

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FAQ About Supporting The Salvation Army’s Tornado Relief Efforts

Tuesday, May 3, 2011

We’ve received tons of feedback from people across the US wanting to get involved with The Salvation Army’s tornado relief efforts. Thank you for your desire to help those in need! Here are some frequently asked questions and answers about getting involved with us.

1. How do I donate to The Salvation Army’s ongoing relief efforts?

The best way to help tornado survivors and rescue workers is to make a financial contribution. Monetary donations allow disaster responders to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors. You can donate several ways:

(In all cases, please designate your gift “April 2011 Tornado Outbreak.”)

* Visit www.salvationarmyusa.org and click on the red “Donate Now” button in the top right corner.
* Call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.
* Text “GIVE” to 80888 to make a $10 donation. Please confirm when prompted with “Yes.”
* Send a check to:

The Salvation Army Disaster Relief
P.O. Box 100339
Atlanta, GA 30384-0339

2. Can I volunteer with The Salvation Army in tornado affected communities?

Volunteer opportunities and need vary by local community.

If you live within areas affected by the recent tornadoes, please contact your local Salvation Army to see if they are in need of volunteers to serve. You can find their contact information by typing in your zip code in the ‘Search’ bar in the upper right hand corner of our national website at www.salvationarmyusa.org.

Salvation Army units are currently not recruiting volunteers from outside the disaster area. However, you can register as a volunteer should future opportunities arise. You may do this at www.disaster.salvationarmy.org or click the direct link here. http://disaster.salvationarmyusa.org/give/?volunteer

3. Are you accepting gifts in-kind, like clothes or canned food, for tornado survivors?

If you live in disaster- devastated regions, before beginning an in-kind donation drive, contact your local Salvation Army to confirm the need (see answer #2 for finding contact information). Get precise information about what products are needed. Used clothing, furniture and motor vehicles are usually not needed during a disaster response. Shipping costs and arrangements, transportation logistics, and sorting/packing of goods can consume more time, manpower, and finances than are available to a local organization.

In addition, communities hit by a disaster can be quickly overwhelmed by well-intentioned but uncoordinated shipments of donated goods and often do not have the resources to dispose of unneeded product. For these reasons we request you speak with your local Salvation Army first or consider making a financial donation, which is efficient and immediate in serving disaster-stuck areas.

The Salvation Army is not at this time collecting in-kind gifts outside of the disaster area. However, your gifts are vitally important in supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army. Please consider donating these items to support The Salvation Army within your local community.

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Happy Spring Cleaning

Wednesday, April 20, 2011

Have you started your spring cleaning yet?

If you go by Martha Stewart’s checklist, the chore may be daunting for even us die-hard dusters. But she has at least one item on there that anyone can feel good about crossing off: donate items you no longer use.

This is where The Salvation Army wants to help you get spick and span for spring. Not only will you clear out clutter in your home, your donations to our Family Thrift Stores will help support our Adult Rehabilitation Centers (ARC) and provide a low-cost retail option for the local community.

To make it easier, we have many convenient drop off locations, and in some areas of the country we even schedule donation pick-ups at your house!

Also, don’t limit yourself to just donating clothes. Did you know The Salvation Army accepts items such as microwaves, rugs, bakeware, bicycles, and even cars? Click here to see a list of commonly donated appliances, furniture, household goods, and more.

For information about donating and finding a Salvation Army near you, visit www.satruck.org.

Happy cleaning!

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