Worldwide Support Helps Salvation Army Emergency Response in Japan

Wednesday, March 16, 2011

Three Salvation Army teams in Japan have arrived and are serving at several disaster sites in Japan. The Japanese Government has recognized The Salvation Army’s work and has given our teams permission to enter the disaster area and use access roads that are closed off to the public.

The first of the three teams went to Sendai, where about 1,000 meals were served to evacuees. Our mobile emergency canteen prepared hot meals and drinks to give out at the Sendai Salvation Army church.

Another team went to a relief office in the Mito area and unloaded bottles of water, biscuits, blankets, diapers and tissue boxes for distribution to evacuees.

The third team headed to an area where people had been evacuated from the vicinity around the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, but snow and shortage of petrol meant they had to divert to other areas to support evacuees.

Offers of support are pouring in from around the world. Two experienced emergency services workers have flown to Tokyo from The Salvation Army’s International Headquarters in London to assist their Japanese colleagues. The BBC reports that volunteers from a British group which failed to obtain clearance to work in the affected areas ‘donated their food and medical supplies to The Salvation Army working in the country’.

The Salvation Army’s Korea Territory has arranged for the K-Water Corporation to provide 100,000 bottles of water to be sent to Japan – 30,000 bottles by the end of the week, followed by the rest within a short time – and the Korea Disaster Relief Association will be sending 5,000 first-aid kits. Salvationists in Korea are holding a month of prayer for the people of Japan.

In a touching show of solidarity 1,500 young Salvationists in Haiti – who themselves have recent experience of a devastating earthquake – made prayer for Japan a focus of their rally in Fond-des-Nègres on March 11-12.

Read More

Disaster Teams at Work in Japan, More on the Way

Monday, March 14, 2011

The Salvation Army in Japan has three emergency service relief teams working in areas affected by the earthquake and tsunami. One of the teams is assisting people who have been evacuated from areas threatened by the damage of nuclear power plants.

In our original blog post on the disaster, we mentioned a Salvation Army assessment team was sent to Tokyo to Sendai (the city nearest the center of the earthquake). While this trip usually takes 6 hours, it took the team 20 hours to reach their destination.

Emergency service personnel from The Salvation Army International Headquarters (IHQ) in London will also soon head over to Japan to assist with the relief effort.

Overall, there is much damage to the country. Road and rail systems have been severely affected. Gasoline supplies are low, with many gas stations closed and lines up to three kilometers long at stations that are open.

The disaster has affected a 2,000 kilometer north-south stretch of Japan. Official reports now state that more than 10,000 people are dead or missing.

At this time there are no reports of any loss of Salvation Army personnel or damage to our buildings.

Many Salvation Army territories are offering financial and prayer support for our relief effort in Japan. The Salvation Army in South Korea has set aside the next four weeks specifically for prayer and fundraising for Japan.

If you’d like to support The Salvation Army’s Japan relief efforts, you can do so in the following 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.)
* By mail: Send your check, marked “Japan earthquake relief” to

The Salvation Army World Service Office
International Relief Fund
PO Box 630728
Baltimore, MD 21263-0728

Read More

How To Support Japan Relief Efforts

Friday, March 11, 2011

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.

Read More

Japan Earthquake Efforts

Friday, March 11, 2011

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.

Read More

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.

Read More

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.

Read More