For those of you wanting to help The Salvation Army’s earthquake relief work in Japan, you can support our efforts in several ways:
* Donate online at donate.salvationarmyusa.org
* Call 1-800-SAL-ARMY
* Text the words “Japan” or “Quake” to 80888 to make a $10 donation. (Please ensure that you respond “YES” to the Thank You message you receive.)
Thank you for generous support and continuous prayers for those in Japan. To learn more about our relief efforts, click here.
Gifts In-Kind: At this time, The Salvation Army is not accepting in-kind donations from the general public. It is extremely difficult and expensive to ship in-kind donations overseas from the US to Japan. It is more efficient for disaster relief agencies to purchase needed resources locally and for immediate distribution with the disaster area. The best way for U.S. donors to help Japanese disaster survivors is to make a cash donation. Please note that your local The Salvation Army continues to accept donations of used clothing, furniture and other items to support local programming. Please consider donating your used items to your local Salvation Army Thrift Store.
Following news of the massive earthquake and resultant tsunami in the Pacific, The Salvation Army in the USA is staying in contact with The Salvation Army in Japan. Our thoughts and prayers go out to all those affected by this unimaginable disaster.
Commissioner Makoto Yoshida of The Salvation Army in Japan described it as the largest earthquake in the last 100 years. He reported the most damaged city is Sendai, which is about 400 km away from Tokyo.
We’ve learned from him that they are sending a team to Sendai tonight and tomorrow will start providing basic needed necessities, as well as assessing the level of damages and what they can do.
In Tokyo, because the whole public transport shut down and stranded many commuters, The Salvation Army opened a section of their Territorial Headquarters building for those who could not get home. The Army served them hot drinks and meals.
We expect to have reports from The Salvation Army in Hawaii soon and will keep you updated as information comes in.
Background: The Salvation Army has been at work in Japan since 1895, operating more than 80 centers there, including two hospitals and four Children’s homes. The Salvation Army has nearly 200 officers, 3,000 members and just under 1,000 employees already at work in Japan.
In New Zealand, The Salvation Army continues earthquake relief efforts. Major aftershocks are still being felt, and members of the community are still “very distressed.” Our staff and volunteers are focused on providing them with food and psychological support.
Today, 56 psychosocial Salvation Army staff are at work, and a fresh team of about 50 others will take over Monday. Several Salvation Army buildings were significantly damaged in the quake, but thankfully our response teams are able to work from temporary locations.
An exciting international sporting and fundraising initiative is being planned for Saturday to raise funds for the Army’s earthquake response. Top international and Olympic athletes were to compete in Christchurch, but after the event was cancelled, the athletes decided to organize ‘Track Meet 4 Christchurch.’ World class athletes confirmed so far include: Nick Willis (Olympic silver medalist), Alan Webb (US mile record holder), Lee Emanuel (British representative and sub-four minute miler) and many more international and New Zealand-based track stars.
The meet is free to attend, but The Salvation Army will be on site to collect donations.
A long term response will be needed to help the community recover, and the Army’s aim is to support the local economy wherever possible in the use of donated funds. If you’d like to help support recovery efforts in New Zealand, click here to donate to their online campaign.
The Salvation Army New Zealand has been posting updates on their website every day since the earthquake. Visit them here for more info on how they’re helping.
The Salvation Army in New Zealand is responding after the city of Christchurch was struck by a major earthquake today – the second in less than 6 months. At least 65 people are known to have been killed hundreds are trapped in the debris.
By late afternoon The Salvation Army was assisting more than 1,000 people. Locals are being temporarily housed in large marquees that were already on site for a flower show.
Major Rex Cross, emergency services coordinator for The Salvation Army in Christchurch, said that The Salvation Army was calling its emergency response teams together but travel across the city was extremely difficult. Food supplies for approx. 1,500 people were also being organized.
Some Salvation Army buildings are reported to have been damaged by the quake.
This disaster comes as a significant blow, especially as the shock of September’s 7.1 magnitude earthquake is so fresh and reconstruction from that event has not even finished.
The Salvation Army New Zealand has launched a Canterbury Earthquake Appeal in order to swiftly respond to the area’s humanitarian need. If you’d like to support The Salvation Army’s relief efforts, click HERE to donate.
Read The Salvation Army’s full earthquake report here.
In Port-au-Prince today, The Salvation Army and Haitian citizens are gathering for a very special remembrance ceremony to mark the one-year anniversary of an earthquake the world will not soon forget.
The Salvation Army continues to work with the nation throughout the rebuilding process. To learn more about the ongoing efforts in the island nation, we caught up with Major Ron Busroe, Director of Haiti’s Recovery and Development Office. He and his wife first served in Haiti from 2001-2007. In response to the earthquake, they’ve been appointed to serve three more years.
Read on for a broad overview of The Salvation Army’s work and issues shaping those efforts.
For our latest statistics and program highlights, view our Haiti One Year Anniversary Fact Sheet at www.salvationarmyusa.org.
The Salvation Army’s efforts in Haiti have progressed from the emergency response phase to the recovery and development phase. The Haiti Development and Recovery Office was established as of September 1 to oversee and guide these long-term recovery efforts, such as renovating schools and buildings as well as providing for the emotional and spiritual care of survivors.
In addition, the contract that established us as the “lead-agency” overseeing the temporary camp in the Delmas 2 neighborhood expired October 31. While The Salvation Army no longer manages the camp, our personnel remain involved and regularly meet with the camp committee. Much of our effort within this population goes toward cholera prevention.
The Salvation Army Haiti intends to move into a new Divisional Headquarters this month as their facility was destroyed in the earthquake. They also plan to rebuild their clinic this year, and perhaps even a warehouse, as storage space is a rare commodity in Haiti.
Housing and Permanent Shelter
It was estimated that around 20,000 displaced Haitians were living in the Delmas 2 neighborhood’s tent city near The Salvation Army’s main compound following the earthquake. Major Busroe estimates the number has dissipated now to somewhere just below 13,000 as people move out to the country. However, it’s been much more difficult for people wanting to start over within the city.
“Following the earthquake we’re seeing limited construction in city of Port-au-Prince. There’s some small construction, but few houses are being built. The rubble’s not removed so they can’t build, ” he explained, adding that the government’s weakened state and hurdles to verifying land ownership also inhibit progress. Reports indicate that after a year, less than 5% of the city’s rubble has been removed.
So Haitians’ only choices are to move and face the struggles of rural life (lack of access to clean water, medical services, business opportunities, education, and more) or continue to stay in their makeshift shelters.
Major Busroe says the Haitian government is encouraging NGO’s to build up resources within the rural communities in an effort to encourage people to relocate and help decongest the city. It’s a plan Major Busroe says The Salvation Army supports, though much of their service has already been focused on reaching the underserved outside the city even before the earthquake.
While cholera is still a serious threat to the people of Haiti, the mortality rate is on the decline. In general, those under The Salvation Army’s care have fared relatively well against the outbreak, although 4 female students from one of our schools perished when the epidemic first struck.
The Salvation Army is aggressively working to educate against, prevent, and treat further infection. In addition to providing water filtration systems in key areas, Major Busroe reported they’re distributing soap, disinfectant, oral rehydration packets, and antibiotics within the temporary camp and to medical facilities. In addition, The Salvation Army hospital in Fond-de-Negres set up a cholera treatment center at the request of the government, which has been filled with patients. The hospital is looking to set up an alternate site.
Schools and Services
The Salvation Army runs 49 schools in Haiti with approx. 11,000 students enrolled. All but one of those schools, College Verena in Port-au-Prince, continue to operate following the earthquake. College Verena has been combined with another school and reconstruction efforts are expected to continue within the next year.
23 temporary classrooms have already been built and will officially open today as a part of the one-year remembrance ceremony. More than 1500 children will be able to attend classes there, broken up into a morning session for primary students and afternoon session for secondary students.
With the help of Numana, The Salvation Army hopes to one day serve meals in most of their rural schools. “We feel if we can provide a meal everyday at schools, that’s the best way of getting kids into school and getting people to leave the city to come to country,” said Major Busroe.
In addition to bolstering schools and school programs, The Salvation Army Haiti is looking into providing other long term services for the community in general, such as adolescent care, integrated family support, and vocational training, with the help of The Salvation Army in Canada, Switzerland, and other International Divisions.
For our latest statistics and program highlights, view our Haiti One Year Anniversary Fact Sheet at www.salvationarmyusa.org.
The Salvation Army in New Zealand has reported moving into its second phase of relief since being struck by a 7.1 magnitude earthquake early Saturday morning.
They’ve put a fresh team in the city of Christchurch to assess and respond to the mid-term need of affected residents. Emergency Services staff and volunteers continue to provide emergency aid and care at the city’s welfare centers and Salvation Army centers. The Salvation Army team is also arranging storage for food and goods donated by companies.
With the damage and disruption caused to many Christchurch businesses, The Salvation Army expects a large number of workers won’t have an income from this week and their families will need support, according to Salvation Army spokesman Major Robbie Ross.
The Salvation Army reports that community spirit is strong in Canterbury and they’ve received strong support. New Zealand companies and banks have provided significant quantities of food and household items and funds. Westpac Bank in New Zealand has committed NZ$1 million to the Westpac Canterbury Care Fund, naming The Salvation Army as its senior partner. The Salvation Army will use some of the money to help those needing food, shelter and care, and put the rest towards those needing longer-term support. The public has also generously donated $34,000 to the earthquake appeal.
In setting out the logistics and protocols around the provision of aid, The Salvation Army in New Zealand is borrowing from the experience of the Australian Salvation Army during the 2009 bushfires.
To read The Salvation Army New Zealand’s updates on ongoing relief efforts, click HERE. (Additional reports were posted over the weekend.)
Thank you for your continuing prayers and support for New Zealand’s recovery!
The Salvation Army has initiated its emergency services in New Zealand after a 7.1 magnitude earthquake struck the South Island Saturday morning. It is believed to be the largest earthquake to strike New Zealand since 1931. Aftershocks are continuing.
While no fatalities have been reported, there have been several serious injuries and significant damage to infrastructure. A State of Emergency has been declared that is expected to be in place for several days.
Within hours of the disaster, The Salvation Army was feeding around 1000 people in at least two locations within the major city of Christchurch and was standing ready to set up further operations as requested, with residents in some areas advised to prepare for possible evacuation.
The Salvation Army has a formal national partnership with the Ministry of Civil Defence and local governments across the country. Its immediate responsibility is to provide catering support in the aftermath of natural disasters and any other services that Civil Defence authorities request.
One hundred people in the Army’s addiction and supportive accommodation centre in Addington, Christchurch, are without power, water and sewerage.
The Salvation Army’s Bramwell Booth centre in Temuka, around 146 km south of Christchurch, is home to men and women with intellectual disabilities. One building at the centre has structural damage following the earthquake and Civil Defence engineers have ordered its evacuation.
To read the full report, click HERE.
To donate to The Salvation Army in New Zealand’s disaster appeal, click HERE.
The Salvation Army emergency disaster vehicles took water, fresh fruit, snacks and spaghetti dinners into Mexico to serve 500 of those hardest hit by Sunday’s 7.2 earthquake.
The El Centro Salvation Army has been helping people in El Centro, Calexico, Nyland, Slab City and Bombay, California, but had to wait for a formal request from The Salvation Army in Mexico to begin serving there.
“Led by Mexican police escorts, we travelled two and a half hours into Baja California, Mexico, around buckled roads, through washes and down dirt paths to an area where we found 500 people gathered on a concrete slab waiting for assistance,” reported Captain Jerry Esqueda who led the trip. “We fed them a hot spaghetti dinner with bread and apples, prayed with them and encouraged them.”
After the meal, The Salvation Army distributed enough emergency food to last four more days: canned beef stew, powdered milk, water, Corn Flakes, bread and pasta. All in all, Captain Esqueda says The Salvation Army supplied food for 6,000 meals.
This past week in Imperial Valley, The Salvation Army has distributed 5,250 bottles of water, 2,892 cold drinks, 2,460 snacks and sheltered 65 people at the El Centro Corps Community Center (for two nights) as well as providing 244 hot meals and 65 sandwiches at that center.
Aftershocks continue to rattle residents along the U.S.-Mexico border following Easter Sunday’s magnitude 7.2 earthquake whose epicenter was located just outside of Mexicali. Some 20 million people from Tijuana to Los Angeles are said to have felt it.
The Salvation Army is diligently serving in the Calexico and El Centro areas, which were the hardest hit cities within the United States.
Vicky Esqueda, a captain with the Salvation Army in El Centro, says, “El Centro’s main street has a lot of structural damage with fallen brick, busted storefront windows, and garbage everywhere. The hospital set up a triage outside with numerous people coming in with broken bones.”
Her husband was injured during the earthquake. Jerry Esqueda, also a captain with the Salvation Army, injured his arm and knee when he fell during the disaster, but after he was treated at an emergency room, the Esquedas began helping other earthquake victims in El Centro.
“The corps has set up beds for those needing shelter and we are busy feeding and handing out water,” said Vicky.
The Salvation Army is sheltering and feeding at its Community Center in El Centro multiple families whose homes suffered damage from the quake. Thirty individuals were housed last night. Volunteers and staff are busy preparing meals in the center’s kitchen, which will be distributed along with bottled water, fruit and snacks by Salvation Army mobile kitchen units, known as canteens. The Salvation Army now has two emergency canteens in the El Centro and Calexico area, serving first responders as well as those affected by the earthquake.
Other workers and volunteers are helping with clean up as well as assessing damage to Salvation Army buildings and thrift stores.
Those who would like to help with relief efforts may send donations to:
The Salvation Army
(designate Baja/Imperial Earthquake)
PO Box 503580
San Diego, CA 92150-3580
Or CALL 1 866-455-4357
Or donate ONLINE at www.sandiego.salvationarmy.org
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.