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The Salvation Army Marks One-Year Anniversary of Hurricane Harvey

Long-term recovery to continue for years to come in affected communities along Texas coastline

Dallas, TX (8/7/18) – The Salvation Army continues to provide long-term recovery services to residents whose lives were forever changed after Hurricane Harvey. Making landfall as a Category 4 Hurricane in late August 2017, Harvey devastated much of the Texas coastline. The storm initially hit the Coastal Bend area causing widespread damage and flooding in Corpus Christi, Rockport, Port Aransas and the surrounding communities. The following days saw similar impact along more than 300 miles of coastline before Harvey stalled over Houston, causing widespread flooding in the city and in the Beaumont area. 

The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) immediately responded on August 25 providing food, hydration, and emotional and spiritual care to survivors and first responders. In addition to local units in the path of the hurricane, trained disaster teams from throughout Texas and beyond staged in San Antonio and deployed in the aftermath of the storm. At the peak of service, 103 Salvation Army mobile feeding units were working in affected areas delivering almost 1 million meals, 33,000 food boxes, 92,000 comfort kits and 15,000 cleanup kits in the months after the storm. 

Thanks to the generous support of the American public, corporate donors, and philanthropic organizations, The Salvation Army raised more than $30 million for Hurricane Harvey response and recovery efforts. The long-term recovery of storm survivors, with their many and varied needs, is an ongoing focus for the Army, and is where the bulk of donated funding is allocated.

“Hurricane Harvey required a response and ongoing recovery efforts from The Salvation Army not seen in Texas since Hurricane Katrina,” said Lt. Colonel Ronnie Raymer, Commander of the Texas Division of The Salvation Army. “The immediate response of our Emergency Disaster teams was swift and effective. We were able to provide practical assistance in the form of a hot meal, a drink, perhaps a cleanup kit, and an encouraging word and prayer to many thousands of people who overnight found themselves in crisis. It was such a blessing to be told, ‘Thank you, I knew The Salvation Army would come’ by those in affected communities. However, though the flood water has long receded and much of the debris is gone, the recovery for many is going to take a long time.”

Initial Response

Of the total donated, The Salvation Army has spent more than $12 million on emergency response operations, including the deployment of 103 mobile kitchens and EDS teams for up to eight weeks. During response operations, The Salvation Army provided: 

  • Almost 1 million meals, drinks and snacks
  • 92,000 comfort/hygiene kits
  • More than 15,000 cleanup kits.
  • 140,000 hours of employee and volunteer service
  • Emotional and spiritual care to 57,000 individuals
  • Emergency financial aid to thousands of families with assistance such as gift cards, vouchers to Salvation Army Family Stores and referrals for a variety of services.

All the while, The Salvation Army continued to operate its regular programs and services, providing meals, emergency shelter, clothing and energy assistance to residents in need who were not affected by the disaster.

“Salvation Army disaster teams from as far as Hawaii, Canada and California were deployed to serve to Texas, along with units from our neighboring states. Teams served for 14 days at a time and worked tirelessly to provide much needed relief to those affected. This is a testament to the dedication and scope of The Salvation Army,” said Lt. Colonel Raymer. “For many of those we helped, this was the worst day of their lives. The Salvation Army works to provide for not only the physical needs of a person, but also the spiritual needs. We will continue to serve our neighbors whenever and wherever there is need.”

Long-term Recovery

As the disaster response has transitioned from immediate response to long-term recovery services, The Salvation Army continues to support families affected by Harvey and to help rebuild communities. The Salvation Army has committed the balance of the total donated, $18 million, to long-term recovery, including the following:

  • Supporting long-term recovery case management and direct aid for disaster survivors
  • Opening and operating eight warehouses to serve as points of distribution in affected areas
  • Programs to help disaster survivors replace furnishings, appliances and general household goods
  • Providing building materials to assist homeowners in repairing damage to homes

The Salvation Army caseworkers are meeting with those in affected areas providing financial assistance and referrals to partner agencies and non-governmental organizations. Eight warehouses serving as points of distribution across the affected region have been opened and these facilities are receiving, sorting and distributing a wide range of items that have been donated to The Salvation Army to help survivors.

Special efforts have been made by The Salvation Army to reach into underserved areas of Texas affected by Harvey, working closely with local community advocates and agencies. Four Regional Recovery Program Managers have been hired to oversee these efforts and to network with partner agencies to provide Salvation Army support and assistance.

“The Salvation Army, motivated by the love of God and with a mission to meet human need, provides service in every zip code in Texas and is committed to stand by its brand promise “Doing the Most Good,” as individuals and families continue to put life back together,” said Lt. Colonel Raymer. “We were there long before the hurricane hit, and we’ll be there long after the recovery process is over.”

To support the ongoing work of The Salvation Army Hurricane Harvey recovery or for more information go to www.salvationarmytexas.org/harvey/   

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: 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. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

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Lynchburg Center of Hope Shelters Flood Evacuees

Heavy rains in recent days, along with added precipitation on Thursday, resulted in flooding throughout Lynchburg, Virginia. Local officials had particular concerns on the stability of the dam at College Lake, leading to the evacuation of 124 residences. In addition to a shelter set up at a local high school, residents of the Sandusky Apartments were evacuated to The Salvation Army Center of Hope in Lynchburg. Once they arrived they were able to contact family and friends to find lodging, but two families did stay the night.

Lynchburg is under a continuing flash flood warning and the dam is being monitored since nearby creeks may rise several feet with heavy currents. Local news outlets were reporting that the National Weather Service officials warned that if a complete dam failure occurs, “the water depth in Lynchburg could exceed 17 feet in seven minutes.” Forecasts call for additional rain, so The Salvation Army in Lynchburg is there to assist as the need arises. The Salvation Army Center of Hope serves neighbors in Lynchburg, Amherst, Appomattox, Bedford, Campbell and Nelson counties.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: 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. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

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The Salvation Army Responds to Wildfires in US, Canada, Europe

London – With much of the northern hemisphere coping with high temperatures and long dry spells, wildfires are affecting communities from Greece right up to the Arctic Circle, claiming dozens of lives and damaging ecosystems, homes, livelihoods and infrastructures. The Salvation Army is responding in a variety of ways, according to local needs and in partnership with other agencies.

The world leader of The Salvation Army, General André Cox, is conscious that ‘the heatwave is creating chaos, fear, evacuations and loss’ and calls Salvationists and friends to prayer. He writes: ‘Those on the front lines need our support and those affected need our prayers.’

Extreme heat affects everyone, but the risks are greater for young children, pregnant women, older adults, people with chronic illnesses and the homeless.

Dangerous wildfires have been burning in numerous parts of California, USA. Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services teams have been deployed to more than a dozen separate sites in Santa Rosa, Napa, Grass Valley, and Solano and Butte Counties. The initial emphasis was to provide meals and other urgent assistance to first responders and to residents evacuated from their homes. Now, the focus has shifted to distributing meals and providing emotional and spiritual care to residents re-entering areas which had been fire damaged. In Santa Rosa alone, Salvation Army teams have served more than 85,000 meals, provided $60,000 in gift cards and given away more than 18 tonnes of essential household items.

In the south of California, partnering with other agencies in Alpine, near San Diego, The Salvation Army has been a key provider of support at the Local Assistance Center set up to serve those affected by a wildfire which ravaged across more than two square kilometres and destroyed 18 structures. As well as food, water and store gift cards, emotional and spiritual care is being provided by Salvation Army officers and volunteers.

Across on the east coast – in Altona, New York – a Salvation Army team provided hydration to several hundred first responders involved in containing and extinguishing a large fire near Flat Rock State Park on the USA/Canadian border. ‘A team of volunteers provided snacks and water to the incident command post for distribution into the rough terrain that the first responders are operating in,’ explains Michael R. Schwartz, Divisional Disaster Director for the Empire State Division of The Salvation Army.

Firefighters from 19 fire departments from New York, Vermont, Quebec and the Akwesasne Nation, as well as personnel from the New York State Police, New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Forest Ranger Division, New York State Office of Fire Prevention and Control and the New York National Guard attended the incident in very warm and dry conditions.

In British Columbia, Canada, 18 emergency community response units – equipped with stoves, fridges and grills – are on the scene after fires affected communities around Okanagan. More than 200 homes are subject to evacuation orders after fires blazed through dry scrubland. ‘We are uniquely positioned to respond quickly in times of crisis,’ explains Mike Leland of The Salvation Army. ‘Our priority is providing those being impacted with practical and emotional support to help see them through devastating circumstances.’

Across Canada, The Salvation Army is responding to rising summer temperatures by setting up cooling centres and distributing water. ‘We want to make sure there’s a place for people to sit inside if they need to just cool off, get some water and get hydrated, and make sure they’re not out in the hot sun and heat all day,’ spokesperson Major Rob Kerr explains. ‘Anything we can do to alleviate the conditions, we are going to do.’

Fires are also causing large-scale damage in Europe. In the North West of England, Salvation Army volunteers – led by emergency response coordinator Major Nigel Tansley – provided food and refreshments to blue-light services fighting a major fire on Saddleworth Moor that took more than three weeks to put out. In the first two days of the response, The Salvation Army provided support to in excess of 70 firefighters, mountain rescue teams, park rangers and farmers. More than 1,000 drinks were provided, as well as 600 chocolate bars and sandwiches using 40 loaves of bread.

Greater Manchester Fire and Rescue Service group manager for Tameside, Phil Nelson, says: ‘It is physically draining working at this incident and it is vital that our firefighters have regular breaks and that relief crews are available to take over. I would like to thank The Salvation Army for keeping our crews fed and watered during this incident.’

Support was also provided to emergency services dealing with a large grassland fire in east London.

Wildfires are also causing loss of life and property in Sweden, where more than 50 fires have taken hold in the Arctic Circle, and in Greece, where at least 60 people have been killed in fires that are tearing through an area that is popular with tourists. The Salvation Army’s International Emergency Services team has offered its assistance in both countries.

The General concludes with a request for Salvationists and friends around the world: ‘Please take a few moments to ponder the impact of these disasters and join me in asking our loving God for protection and his boundless love for those around the world facing uncertainty.’

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: 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. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

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The Salvation Army in San Marcos, Texas, Serving Following Deadly Apartment Fire

San Marcos, Texas (July 23, 2018) – Following a deadly apartment fire in San Marcos, Texas, that began on Friday morning, The Salvation Army has been providing meals and emotional and spiritual care throughout the weekend.

The Salvation Army Service Center in San Marcos responded to a request for assistance and a mobile kitchen was deployed from The Salvation Army in neighboring New Braunfels. Lunch and dinner was served to around 250 survivors and first responders on Friday and Saturday.  

“At least one of the apartment complexes affected by the fire served as student housing for the summer session of Texas State University here in San Marcos,” said Kathy McNeil, Director of The Salvation Army Service Center in San Marcos. “Tragically, we have learned that four individuals died in the fire and several others were seriously injured. The Salvation Army has arranged for hotel rooms for the families involved. These families desperately need our prayers.”

Mike Jones, Emergency Preparedness Coordinator for Hays County, was responsible to deliver the tragic news to the families about their missing children. Jones, a Salvation Army Board Member in San Marcos, specifically requested that Kathy McNeil be present and available to pray with these families.

Close to 200 people have been displaced because of the apartment fire. Local Salvation Army staff, volunteers and Advisory Board members will continue to serve as part of the City of San Marcos Fire Assistance Center on Tuesday and Wednesday. The Salvation Army will provide emergency assistance in the form of gift cards to affected individuals and families.

This ongoing emergency response effort is an example of the continued successful collaboration between the Service Extension program in Texas, local Corps and the Emergency Disaster Services team. All Texas Service Extension Representatives, and many of the Service Center staff and Unit volunteers are certified Salvation Army disaster volunteers, including the Ministry of Presence.

For more information on Salvation Army EDS efforts or to make a donation please go to www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: 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. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

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Salvation Army Williamsburg on the Scene of Helicopter Crash and Fire

A townhome community adjacent to the College of William & Mary in Williamsburg, Virginia, was the scene of a helicopter crash that killed at least one person and resulted in a fire on Sunday afternoon just before 4:45 p.m.

The accident scene is just about 100 yards from the new building for The Salvation Army of Williamsburg. Corps officers, Lieutenants Jeremy and Whitney Lind provided bottled water, snacks, and spiritual care to the first responders, townhome residents, and neighbors. The Corps also offered the use of their parking lot to first responders and displaced residents. As the investigation continues into the cause of the crash that took the life of the helicopter pilot, the Corps will continue to monitor the scene and offer needed support.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: 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. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

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The Salvation Army Responds to Fire in Franklin County, Florida

EASTPOINT, FL – The Salvation Army Disaster Response Team from Panama City is currently en-route with a mobile feeding unit (canteen) to provide meals and hydration to residents and first responders impacted by severe fires in Franklin County, Florida. 

The fire, presently under control, has impacted a reported 40 homes and conditions warranted a mandatory evacuation of the area.  Residents received little to no notice as flames quickly destroyed more than 950 acres. 

“Our team is prepared to serve meals and snacks and will continue to provide additional services, such as emotional and spiritual care, to help meet the needs of the displaced families,” says Lieutenant Chelsea Fleeman with The Salvation Army of Panama City.

Additional updates will be provided as information becomes available. 

HOW TO HELP:

Sign up to become a trained Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services Volunteer: http://disaster.salvationarmyusa.org
Donate: 1-800-SAL-ARMY or www.SalvationArmyFlorida.org 

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: 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. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

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The Salvation Army of McAllen Responds to Severe Flooding in South Texas

Dallas, TX  – The Salvation Army of McAllen serving Hidalgo County is responding to major flooding in South Texas. According to the National Weather Service up to 15 inches of rain have fallen particularly in Donna and Weslaco, TX.

The Salvation Army will be providing meals, water, and emotional and spiritual care at two temporary American Red Cross shelters in Donna and Weslaco. Additionally, The Salvation Army of McAllen has been asked to provide shelter to those affected by the flooding and is offering after-hours intake for individuals or families who have been displaced due to the rising waters.

“The Salvation Army has been faithfully serving Hidalgo County since 1931, and we stand ready to serve in times of disaster,” said Captain Stephen Correira, Commanding Officer of The Salvation Army of McAllen.

The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services of Texas is dispatching a truck filled with feeding supplies, water, and clean-up kits in support of the relief efforts in Weslaco and surrounding towns.

Financial contributions are needed to support relief efforts. If you would like to help, visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. Monetary donations allow The Salvation Army the flexibility to quickly and efficiently meet the immediate needs of disaster survivors without incurring many of the costs associated with sorting, packaging, transporting and distributing donated goods.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: 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. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

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The Salvation Army in Georgia Focused on Irma Long-Term Recovery

Since Hurricane Irma’s high tidal waves and severe winds battered ashore and swept through Georgia in the fall of 2017, The Salvation Army of has been restoring hope, giving strength and providing healing. At the height of Hurricane Irma, The Salvation Army served 57,800 meals, 81,000 snacks, and 47,800 drinks. They also provided emotional and spiritual care for 11,800 individuals, distributed 1,900 food boxes, 900 clean-up kits, and $425,000 in gift cards.

However, those in Georgia impacted by Hurricane Irma have months and even years of recovery ahead. The Salvation Army is helping these Georgians get back on their feet by identifying their needs, developing long-term recovery plans, connecting them with resources that can help and supporting them as they work toward their goals.

“The need throughout many Georgia communities remains great,” said Lanita Lloyd, Director of Emergency Disaster Services for The Salvation Army of Georgia. “People are still coming to our doors as they work to recover from the long-lasting effects of Hurricane Irma.”

According to Ms. Lloyd, The Salvation Army has a number of case workers strategically placed throughout the state to help individuals impacted by Hurricane Irma with the consultation and processing work for long-term recovery. In addition, The Salvation Army continues to work closely with local partner agencies and Non-Governmental Organizations as they support recovery efforts and provide referrals to survivors where appropriate.

“The Salvation Army is committed to being involved and helping Georgians in their long-term hurricane recovery efforts,” says Ms. Lloyd, “And we are working hard to identify all those in Georgia who have been negatively affected by Hurricane Irma and may qualify for relief aid.”

The mission of The Salvation Army is simply to touch human lives at the point of their greatest need. It may be an individual or community that needs help, and the impact may be in the form of a natural or personal disaster. Regardless of the source, scale or scope of human tragedy, The Salvation Army’s goal remains the same; serving the most people, meeting the most needs and doing the most good – 365 days a year.

To apply for hurricane long-term recovery in Georgia, email [email protected] or visit SalvationArmyGeorgia.org/recovery.

For more information on how to obtain required training to serve as a future Salvation Army disaster volunteer in Georgia, or how your business can partner with The Salvation Army of Georgia in disaster relief, please email [email protected] or visit SalvationArmyGeorgia.org/recovery.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: 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. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

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Salvation Army Support Continues Following Santa Fe, Texas Shooting

Galveston, Texas – The Salvation Army continues to serve in the aftermath of the tragic shooting at Santa Fe High School.

Immediately following the incident, Captain Patrick Jones, Galveston Commanding Officer, was on-site serving food and water to first responders. A second mobile feeding unit was deployed from Freeport and provided dinner at the Family Reception Center established at the High School. Additionally, four emotional and spiritual care (ESC) officers arrived from the Greater Houston Area Command and were positioned at the Alamo Gym where parents waited to reunite with their children following the shooting. These ESC officers were available to counsel and pray with families, including those who received the devastating news that that their children were lost in the tragedy.

The Salvation Army services were available to first responders and Santa Fe community members throughout the day. “Sad and tragic are words that fall short of describing the tragedy we witnessed today,” said Captain Patrick Jones. “It is our privilege to be a small part of serving the families affected, and the many first responders and emergency workers who were a part of this day.”

Commissioner Willis Howell, Territorial Commander of The Salvation Army Southern Territory, shared his sympathies on social media, saying, “Our hearts go out to the Santa Fe community, friends, and families forever impacted by this tragedy. The Salvation Army stands with you, prays for you and is available to you.”

Salvation Army staff are liaising with Santa Fe city officials and the IMT established at the High School in order to ascertain the need for additional support. Salvation Army units and officers remain available to serve survivors, families and law enforcement in the coming days.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: 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. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

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