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Remembering Joplin: 2 Years Later

Post courtesy of Lt. Jamie Curry – Commanding Officer of The Salvation Army Joplin, Missouri Corps.

Today, the city of Joplin recognizes its second anniversary of the devastating tornado that ripped through the community. The loss of 161 lives leaves holes in our hearts and minds, but trees and memorials remind us that life will go on.

In the aftermath of destruction, The Salvation Army was a presence to dispense bottled water, food and spiritual support to those who were impacted by the storm. We too were affected with the complete loss of our Family Store and the income it brings to the social service programs of our Corps. How do you rebound from that sort of loss? How do we serve the community in the same ways without the resources we are familiar with using? You walk by faith.

In the past two years, the staff and Commanding Officers of the Joplin Corps have worked tirelessly withcommunity groups to create a Case Management program for disaster survivors. The goal was to get families back into stable housing and meet other areas of need. As of May 2013, the Case Management program finally closed its doors at The Salvation Army, after helping at least a few thousand families.

The Family Store was not only a great loss to The Salvation Army, but the community as well. Many regular shoppers and supporters of The Salvation Army have hoped and prayed for the reopening of a new store to replace the one destroyed by the tornado. As of January of 2012, the Family Store reopened in a temporary location, and plans were put into motion to purchase property closer to the current Corps building with room for growth and big ideas. As of May 2013, The Salvation Army of Joplin has obtained property to build a 17,000 square foot building in the heart of downtown Joplin.

We are coming back bigger and better for the community. The Salvation Army has never left the community, and as we celebrate The Salvation Army’s 125th year serving Joplin, we hope to head into the future with Christ on our lips and love in our hearts and hands. We still walk by faith, but we have a purpose and a desire to seek to save the lost – even in the wake of devastation. We will continue to rebuild…both our community and the lives of its members.

Disaster Relief in Moore, OK – Ways You Can Help

Tornadoes have slammed the town of Moore, Oklahoma. The need is high and unfortunately, the fatality rate is expected to rise. Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) teams are on the ground and providing food, beverage, and spiritual support to survivors and first responders and surrounding impacted areas.

 The Salvation Army is so grateful for the enormous outpouring of support you’ve shown online and through your donations. Our Twitter and Facebook pages have been filled with your supportive comments and questions about ways to help. It is because of you that The Salvation Army is able to provide for these Oklahoma communities in need.

If you’d like to support The Salvation Army’s relief efforts, you can donate:

  • Online, please visit: donate.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).
  • By mobile phone: You can also text the word “STORM” to 80888 to make a $10 donation through your mobile phone; to confirm your gift, respond with the word “Yes.”
  • Send it in the mail: Checks designated to “Oklahoma Tornado Relief” may also be mailed to: The Salvation Army PO Box 12600 Oklahoma City, OK 73157

Want to donate something other than money? 

Many have asked about donating in-kind items, such as clothes, toys, or furniture. At this point, in-kind donations are not being accepted for disaster relief as there are not suitable facilities to store these items, and manpower to sort and transfer them are also limited. However, these items are vital to supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army. Please consider giving these items to your local Salvation Army Family Store or dial 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825).

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. This type of donation is vital in making sure we can continue our work in Moore.

How your donations make a difference:

  • A $10 donation feeds a disaster survivor for one day.
  • A $30 donation provides one food box, containing staple foods for a family of four, or one household cleanup kit, containing brooms, mops, buckets and other cleaning supplies
  • A $100 donation can serve snacks and drinks for 125 survivors and emergency personnel at the scene of a disaster
  • A $250 donation can provide one hot meal to 100 people or keep a hydration station operational for 24 hours
  • A $500 donation keeps a Salvation Army canteen (mobile feeding unit) fully operational for one day

Volunteer Information:

The Salvation Army recruits and deploys disaster workers through its local Salvation Army units. To register as a disaster worker:

  • Call your local Salvation Army.
  • Register online at www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org

If you are a new volunteer, registering today, bear in mind that The Salvation Army deploys trained disaster workers already associated with The Salvation Army first.  A standard deployment is two weeks, including twelve working days and two travel days. For more information on ways to give or the latest updates, visit The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services site at: www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org

We thank you for your continuous prayers and support for these communities in need.

Tornado Devastates Oklahoma, Salvation Army Lines Up to Serve

Estimated to be over two miles wide at one point, a devastating tornado with winds up to 200 mph struck just south of Oklahoma City this afternoon, ripping apart homes and other buildings in populated areas.

The Salvation Army, mobilized and serving since before yesterday’s bout of tornadic activity, is currently organizing disaster response units to serve hard-hit areas in Central Oklahoma, including Moore and South Oklahoma City.

In Pottawatomie County: The McAlester, OK and Shawnee, OK disaster response teams served multiple locations in the Shawnee area, including devastated neighborhoods and rural areas throughout the night and day.  Around 3:00 PM all units were pulled into safety as tremendous storms threatened the area. Response teams will be out once again upon an all-clear.

In Lincoln County: The Enid, OK canteen provided breakfast, lunch & dinner to the Carney, OK area throughout the early morning hours and all day today.

In Cleveland County: The Central Oklahoma Area Command Disaster Service Unit responded to the Little Axe area with breakfast, lunch & dinner today.  The Salvation Army was responding, even as one of our Salvation Army family member’s home was destroyed.

“The Salvation Army is calling on everyone to pray for all of those impacted by the devastating tornadoes in Oklahoma,” said Major Steve Morris, Divisional Commander of the Arkansas-Oklahoma Division of The Salvation Army.

Supporters are encouraged to give online at www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769). You can also text the word “STORM” to 80888 to make a $10 donation through your mobile phone; to confirm your gift, respond with the word “Yes.”

Donations in the form of checks designated to Oklahoma Tornado Relief may also be mailed to:

The Salvation Army

PO Box 12600

Oklahoma City, OK 73157