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Using Humor to Heal Broken Hearts in OK

Post courtesy of Krachel Greenwood, E-Communications Manager at The Salvation Army – Wisconsin Upper Michigan Division.

David McCullough makes a living by making others smile. The professional clown, known as Korn Pop, was only 12 years old when he realized his calling in life. “I was the class clown and was always getting into some kind of mischief in school,” he says. “I wrote a report on the circus. My teacher knew a retired circus clown and introduced him to me. His name was Popcorn, and I wanted to be just like him when I grew up.”

When the EF5 tornado touched down in Moore, Oklahoma, McCullough’s pastor at the Rock Hill Baptist Church in Brownsboro, Texas, put a call out for volunteers to assist with clean-up efforts. McCullough agreed to go, so long as his pastor would allow him to share a few balloon animals along the way.

“I love Jesus, and I know Jesus has a heart for people. It’s my ministry. It’s how I can show Jesus’ love, by bringing smiles to others,” he says.

McCullough spent the morning clowning around at The Salvation Army’s Distribution Center located in Plaza Mayor at the Crossroads. While he was there he spoke to several children who lost everything during the recent tornadoes across Oklahoma City.

Fifteen-year-old Aaron, who lives next door to Briarwood Elementary School, says he likes to lift weights. That inspired McCullough to tie up a balloon-figure weightlifter, something that the high school sophomore could give a thumbs up to.

Nine-year-old Sterling flew in with family from Georgia to assist a brother who lost his home. She says there isn’t much left of his house, located on 6th Street in Moore.

Five-year-old Jayden couldn’t believe her eyes when Korn Pop asked her to hold a balloon and it popped out of her hands.

“I love The Salvation Army. I love what you guys do,” McCullough says. ”When winter rolls around I ring bells. I do what I can to help.”

For the boy who wrote a school paper about the circus, serving others by clowning around has proved to be the perfect way to share the love Jesus has for others.

Disaster Services Continues In Oklahoma

Post courtesy of Cynthia (Cindy) Fuller, Public Relations for The Salvation Army Arkansas & Oklahoma Division.

Despite thunderstorms and threat of severe weather, The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster response teams have worked diligently since the early hours of Sunday evening to provide support to first responders and those impacted in the Shawnee, Carney and Little Axe area as well as Moore, Oklahoma.

Now that the all persons have been accounted for in the destruction areas, families and individuals are being allowed back into their neighborhoods. As this occurs, The Salvation Army is ramping up its operations on the ground. Twelve Salvation Army Disaster Canteens (mobile kitchens) from various locations in Arkansas and Oklahoma are roaming in the Shawnee and Moore devastation areas.

As of Tuesday, The Salvation Army provided 4,684 hot and cold meals, 7,752 drinks and 3,188 snacks. This assistance will continue for the foreseeable future as The Salvation Army is committed to supporting the residents of this community as they return to their homes and begin rebuilding their lives.

In addition to providing food, hydration and emotional and spiritual care, The Salvation Army is also securing warehousing and staging areas as they prepare to increase operations to serve all those affected by the tornadoes.

Monetary donations continue to be the most critical need as supplies and personnel are mobilized. The Salvation Army is unable to accept in kind donations at this time. By far the most effective way to support The Salvation Army response in Oklahoma, is by making a financial contribution:

• MAIL – please send checks to The Salvation Army, PO Box 2536, OKC, OK 73102
• PHONE at 1-800-SAL-ARMY
• ONLINE at disaster.salvationarmyusa.org
Text “STORM” to 80888 to make a $10 donation on your smartphone.

If you would like to support The Salvation Army’s disaster relief efforts in Oklahoma, please visit www.SalvationArmyUSA.org to donate. For other ways to give, click here.

Salvation Army Responds to Sichuan Earthquake

Sichuan EarthquakeThe Salvation Army is responding after a 7.0-magnitude earthquake hit China’s Sichuan Province on Saturday 20 April. Latest reports show that at least 200 people lost their lives in the disaster, with more than 11,500 sustaining injuries and at least 1.5 million people being left homeless.

A Salvation Army team from its Sichuan Earthquake Reconstruction and Recovery Office headed towards the city of Ya-an – the epicentre of the quake – on Sunday. The city was initially cut off because of roads being torn apart or blocked by mudslides. Many rural communities are still impossible to reach.

Salvation Army staff contacted officials from the Lushan Township Earthquake Bureau and discovered that four townships – Longmen, Taiping, Shuangshi and Baosheng – were the worst hit. Most of the houses in the area are traditional small huts with green tile roofs. It appears that the few buildings to have survived the earthquake have been destroyed by aftershocks.

Currently, most of the victims are sheltering under self-made temporary tents, although many are having to survive without any shelter at all. Rain is making things worse, hindering the rescue work and worsening the living conditions of the survivors. There is urgent need across the region for tents, folding beds and food.

Salvation Army relief personnel are trying to purchase food items such as sausages and instant noodles. Having carried out initial assessments, Salvation Army teams are preparing to distribute food and folding beds.

 

Report by Envoy Simon Wong

The Salvation Army responding at large explosion in West, Texas

txcanteenDallas, TX (April 18, 2013) – The Salvation Army is responding after a large explosion at a fertilizer plant devastated the small city of West, Texas, just before 8:00 PM, Wednesday evening. The Salvation Army quickly mobilized support teams and by midnight had deployed five Emergency Disaster Canteens (mobile kitchens) to the area.

The massive blast, that measured 2.1 on the Richter scale, was felt as far as 80 miles away in Dallas. It is estimated that between 50-75 homes have been damaged or destroyed including a 50 unit apartment complex. More than 170 people have been hospitalized with multiple fatalities at the scene.

The Salvation Army is providing refreshment and emotional and spiritual care to survivors and first responders at several locations in and around West. Disaster Canteens (mobile kitchens) from Waco, Corsicana, Waxahachie, Fort Worth and Williamson County are all serving at the scene. Major Dan Ford, Commanding Officer of the Waco Salvation Army, is the Incident Commander coordinating The Salvation Army response with city and state emergency personnel.

The temperature has dropped dramatically overnight with heavy rain moving into the area. The Salvation Army has 50 cases of rain suits, jackets and blankets to distribute. This morning The Salvation Army is preparing to serve breakfast to 500 people and as the situation develops will remain ready to serve as long as needed.

The most effective way to support The Salvation Army response in West, Texas, is by making a financial contribution:
• MAIL – please send checks to The Salvation Army, PO Box 36607, Dallas, TX 75235
• PHONE at 1-800-SAL-ARMY
• ONLINE at www.salvationarmytexas.org

For more information about The Salvation Army’s disaster response effort, please go to www.Facebook.com/SalvationArmyTexas, www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org, or www.salvationarmytexas.org.

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About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. 82 cents of every dollar The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.

Salvation Army unveils new canteen in Joplin

By Ryan Richardson Joplin Globe Staff Writer

JOPLIN, Mo. — Members of the Salvation Army of Joplin rolled out a new $100,000 mobile canteen Tuesday that will help provide disaster relief to area residents and could be used for future relief efforts across the country.

The mobile canteen is equipped to serve 1,500 meals per day and will be stationed in Joplin. In the past, the Joplin Salvation Army shared a canteen with Springfield and Branson.

During the dedication for the vehicle, Salvation Army Lt. James Curry said that the vehicle will help increase the reach of the Joplin Salvation Army.

“When the May 22 tornado hit Joplin, Pittsburg’s unit showed up quickly without being called in that night,” Curry said. “That’s the kind of reach that we want to have in other communities. We want a unit to be able to help not only in disasters, but to be able to feed and help those who are hungry. This vehicle gives us that opportunity.”

Joplin’s canteen will join a fleet of 14 other mobile canteens stationed in Missouri. Each canteen is equipped with two microwaves that can be converted in to full-size ranges, a refrigerator, a three-sink cleaning area and several stacks of warming trays for hot meals. There is also a powered generator, propane access and water on the truck.

“We can load a hot meal in here and six hours later and they can still be ready to roll out,” Curry said. “Those can be ready to be rolled out while we are cooking other meals here. We’re equipped to be full service here to get those meals out to people in their time of need.”

During the May 22, 2011 tornado, the Salvation Army served more than 10,000 meals in a two-week period following the storm. City officials celebrated the efforts of the Salvation Army since the tornado and commemorated the dedication of the canteen with a ribbon cutting ceremony by the Joplin Area Chamber of Commerce. Mayor Pro Tem Bill Scearce spoke on behalf of the city.

“Anything that helps the Salvation Army do more is something that can benefit every community they are in,” Scearce said. “I’m still amazed by what they have done and what they will do.”

The mobile unit was donated by Beacon Roofing Supply — which operates in Joplin as RSM Supply — as a continued partnership with the Salvation Army over the past six years. Peter Lippert, who represented Beacon, said it was the third mobile canteen that the company has donated.

“Our company has similar values as the Salvation Army and that is why we have continued to work with them in communities across the country,” Lippert said. “We value our employees and their families and it is our goal to take keep their values and needs taken care of. That is how the Salvation Army treats their communities. They are always there for them during times of need.”

Salvation Army Advisory Board member Dave Evans said that the van will be an asset to the surrounding area because of the shorter response time to Jasper County residents.

“It is a tremendous asset to us to have this here because Jasper County has the highest annual average of tornadoes,” Evans said. “We can be on the ground and responding as quickly as possible to people in our own backyard. This is possible because of donations and we’re happy to be here to celebrate what Beacon Roofing could with us today.”

Salvation Army serves Carnival Triumph Passengers and Families

carnical triumphThe Carnival Triumph cruise ship and its 4,229 passeners have finally made it to port in Mobile, AL after an engine room fire caught four days ago.  Reports indicate the crew and passengers suffered through horrific conditions during what was intended to be a luxurious four day getaway.

The Salvation Army joined passengers’ friends and family at port as they waited for their loved ones.  Salvation Army staff provided food, beverages, and comfort to the crowd.

Major Mark Brown of The Salvation Army’s Coastal Alabama Area Command described the event stating “Each of these families are awaiting the assurance that their loved ones are safe and secure. We can only imagine the anxiety each must be experiencing. We pray that our presence can be a source of hope and calm amidst their concern.”

For updates on The Salvation Army’s disaster services, visit http://www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org/.