Corporate Partners Support Ongoing Salvation Army Hurricane Hanna Assistance in South Texas

Dallas, Texas (July 30, 2020) – While conditions continue to steadily improve in South Texas after Hurricane Hanna moved through the area over the weekend, The Salvation Army disaster response teams continue to serve those affected by the storm. As of Thursday, the response efforts are concentrated in areas of McAllen and the Rio Grande Valley that experienced flooding and power outages.  

Mobile kitchens and teams from Kerrville, McAllen, Austin, Victoria, and San Antonio are serving food, hydration and providing emotional and spiritual care in Sullivan City, Palm View, Port Mansfield, San Pelita, Sebastian, Lyford and McAllen. Food service ended in Corpus Christi on Wednesday evening. Salvation Army staff continue to work closely with long established feeding partners and local jurisdictions to ensure that services and resources are not duplicated.

“The Salvation Army is fortunate to work with some wonderful partners in disaster response who come alongside us and make it possible to establish service quickly and effectively to reach those in need,’ said Alvin Migues, Texas Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army. “We are particularly grateful to Breedlove Foods, Coca-Cola and Midwest Food Bank for their generous donations of food products and water that have significantly supported our food delivery this week in South Texas.”

The Salvation Army in Texas stands prepared year-round to respond to disaster situations, including hurricanes, tornadoes, wildfires and flooding, storing essential equipment and supplies such as clean up kits, water, and paper products at their Emergency Disaster warehouse in Arlington, Texas. “Our network of partners respond very quickly to provide for any additional needs that we may have once a disaster strikes,” said Migues. “This week alone, Breedlove Foods provided multiple trucks of dehydrated food products that support rapidly deployable hot meals from our mobile kitchens, Coca-Cola delivered bottled water along with assorted Coke products, and two truckloads of food boxes arrived from Midwest Food Bank that are headed for the McAllen area for rapid distribution. Their support makes it possible for us to reach the most people and provide for their immediate needs.”

In response to Hurricane Hanna The Salvation Army has provided more than 6,480 meals and 5,441 snacks and drinks. It is anticipated that response efforts in the Rio Grande Valley will continue through the weekend as The Salvation Army continues to engage and coordinate with local and state Emergency Management, The Disaster Recovery Task Force, and the Texas Feeding Task Force.

For the latest information please go to www.disaster.salvationarmy.org and watch for regular updates on our social media pages at www.facebook.com/salvationarmytexas/ and www.twitter.com/salarmytx. To make a donation go to www.helpsalvationarmy.org or call 1-800-SALARMY

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit www.SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

Delivering Meals and Deep Cleaning as The Salvation Army Responds to Hurricane Hanna

Dallas, Texas (July 28, 2020) – Residents of South Texas affected by Hurricane Hanna received meals from The Salvation Army in several communities on Monday. Seven mobile kitchens delivered food and hydration in counties surrounding Corpus Christi and McAllen, and teams anticipate moving into additional communities on Tuesday as floodwaters recede.

“Today was a busy day of service in Corpus Christi, Laguna Vista, Sullivan City, Port Mansfield, McAllen and Flour Bluff,” said Alvin Migues, Texas Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army. “Our teams have done a great job of quickly establishing distribution locations and getting food and assistance into the hands of those in need. We will be serving affected communities as long as we are needed and are working closely with local and state Emergency Management and other partner agencies.”

On Monday, 1,240 meals were served, and 1,148 drinks and snacks were provided. In several locations, such as Sullivan City, drive-thru meal delivery took place with food being provided out of the mobile kitchen and hand delivered to a steady line of vehicles by staff and volunteers. This is one of many aspects of the current response effort to be adjusted due to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic.

“Disaster response is long and tiring work for staff and volunteers, but it is also very rewarding and fulfilling to know that you are helping someone who is experiencing crisis and in need of help,” said Lt. Adolph Aguirre, Commanding Officer of The Salvation Army in McAllen. “As the mobile kitchens return at the end of each day, we make sure to disinfect and clean every unit including the work surfaces and all of the utensils. This will be the daily process to make sure we provide a safe workplace for our volunteers and staff, as well as protecting those we serve. We are also using UV Disinfecting Lamps, like those used in hospitals, in the kitchen at The Salvation Army to ensure that all food preparation areas remain clean. We are working hard to follow all protocols related to COVID-19 as we serve our community.”

Donations are needed to support the ongoing response efforts in South Texas. “Financial contributions are the best way to support The Salvation Army in helping those affected by Hurricane Hanna and allow us to purchase product to meet the most urgent needs,” said Migues. “Where possible, purchases are made near the disaster site to help stimulate the local economy and for quicker delivery to those in need.” To make a donation go to www.helpsalvationarmy.org or call 1-800-SALARMY.

For the latest information please go to www.disaster.salvationarmy.org and watch for regular updates on our social media pages at www.facebook.com/salvationarmytexas/ and www.twitter.com/salarmytx.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit www.SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

My Coronavirus Story: Patrik Herak (United Kingdom)

God is Bringing Us Together

Atlanta, GA: As the Fresh Expressions Pioneer Leader for The Salvation Army in the seaside town of Margate, in the United Kingdom Territory with the Republic of Ireland, Patrik Herak and his wife, Ilona Herakova, oversee a vital ministry to members of the Roma community. He shared with Jo Clark (Program Resources, International Headquarters) how his congregation – known as Armáda Spásy, Czech for The Salvation Army – has responded to the COVID-19 pandemic, and how God has made his presence felt more strongly than ever. 

The first question I had when the COVID-19 lockdown started and the church ministry and worship meetings were closed, and we could no longer be together physically was: ‘How on earth can we go on in this pandemic?’
 
As a leader, from the very beginning people came to ask me all sorts of questions; they had so many doubts and fears. I knew immediately that I had to go to God to get answers for these people. 
 
The leaders of each ministry group within the church (men, women, children and youth, worship, prayer, etc) came together with the Roma ministry coordinating pastors (Majors Kathryn and David Blowers) for conversation and prayer. We knew from God – and decided together as a team – that we had to go on. 
 
For me, knowledge of the pandemic didn’t bring any fear; it was more like an opportunity to find other possibilities and ways of being and ministering. I saw this as a calling which God had given to me.
 
He also reminded me of how the apostles experienced similar situations. They faced times when they had to be closed-down, times of persecution, times when their leaders were physically absent (as when Paul was in prison) and when believers were separate from each other.
 
God reminded me that the only contact they had with each other was by letter. Today we are blessed with new technologies and new ways of being and connecting. We have had to learn these in recent weeks. Understanding and using the new technologies has been a real challenge for me, but I believe they are what God has given to us.
 
As Peter said in his first Letter to those in exile: ‘In all this [salvation and eternal inheritance] you greatly rejoice, though now for a little while you may have had to suffer grief in all kinds of trials. These have come so that the proven genuineness of your faith – of greater worth than gold, which perishes even though refined by fire – may result in praise, glory and honor when Jesus Christ is revealed’ (1 Peter 1:6-7 New International Version). This has helped me personally in these times and has enabled me to encourage others.
 
In the beginning, the reactions to the virus amongst our congregation were mixed. People had a lot of worry and fear for themselves and their families. Some even said they would go back to their homeland (Slovakia or the Czech Republic). The spread of this virus happened in such an unexpected way. No one could have imagined this.
 
In the end, although other friends returned to mainland Europe, all our congregation members decided to stay.
 
After a few weeks people began to take notice and see what was happening in their families during lockdown. While some struggled in their relationship with Christ and had doubts and trials of faith, it was revealed to others that things weren’t right within their family or marriage.
 
I had to accept some correction from God myself. This has strengthened me. I know that God has given us more to carry in these times, but I also recognize that the burden I carry is his and that he is with me. I first had to receive from God in these times before I was able to teach and share with others so they could be strengthened too. 
 
Ilona, my wife, and I have done this speaking, strengthening and encouraging ministry together. We have been meeting separately with the husbands and wives of married couples, and also together with the two. I can see things changing for the better and fruit coming out, with God bringing healing in marriages which they wouldn’t have known they needed before these COVID days. And even though some of the family struggles still carry on a little, it isn’t like it was before.
 
I once read something from Revd Billy Graham in which he said that, despite the harshest burden, blessing can come through times of suffering, pain and hopelessness; something can still grow. Yesterday we met with the leaders of each of the ministry teams within the church and asked them what these times have been like for them. Each leader has grown spiritually!
 
Everyone has had to seek God for themselves. There has been a deepening of their relationship with Christ, of hope and of the recognition that he is the path. As they have sought his wisdom in this time, I can see that spiritual fruits and gifts have emerged. In this way, this time has been an excellent experience.
 
Of course, our patterns of ministry and communication have had to change, and this has been a challenge. Getting to grips with organizing prayer meetings and Bible studies via Zoom, worship and preaching services via Facebook Live and daily connection, encouragement and prayer request conversations via WhatsApp has been vital. Every ministry group within the church has its own WhatsApp group and people (old and young) are now in contact daily.
 
Now that lockdown restrictions are easing, Ilona has been able to go out for exercise with some of the women and I have been able to meet with some of the men in their gardens to encourage them. Neither Ilona nor I have really had this same kind of opportunity to connect with and spend time like this with members until now. God really has created a situation which we couldn’t have imagined before.
 
During the pandemic there have been hard times. People we know have died. We have stood beside those who have lost loved ones, but at the same time I have seen how God has looked after us and has used us. Even in the hardest times and greatest difficulties of this pandemic we have been privileged to be able to support people.
 
Twice recently, as a congregation, we have sent monetary collections to people in Slovakia – to those suffering with great hunger and others severely affected by floods. In a beautiful way, God has used us for his glory. Through our actions people have come into his joy and we, in turn, have been blessed.
 
One thing I know – and maybe as a church we are really discovering this in these times – is that only with hope in Jesus will we find the way through this. My understanding, and one which has come to us as a church fellowship, is that God has waited for so long but during these times has given churches who didn’t want to change anything a kind of earthquake. Things they wouldn’t have done on their own, or dared to do on their own, God has stepped in and helped people to realize what they have to do.
 
There were many leaders who were very comfortable with what was, and wouldn’t have changed anything. People had come to rely too much on what they were comfortable with or which particular place they were comfortable in. Now we rely on God and on his Word. Life will never again be like it was before. God has this in his hands. He showed me this through Psalm 32:8: ‘I will instruct you and teach you in the way you should go; I will counsel you with my loving eye on you.’
 
God is teaching me exactly what he wants me/us to do, how he wants us to go on and live. The future is not going to be like it was, but God is saying that he is God and we just need to trust him.
 
These are difficult times, but I hold on to the positives (my wife always tells me how good I am at doing this!). Couples, families and our whole church congregation really have learned to love, encourage, support and be together in ways we couldn’t do before. 
 
Report by IHQ Communications
International Headquarters
(With grateful thanks to Major Kathryn Blowers for translation to and from Czech)

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit www.SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

South Texas Residents Affected by Hurricane Hanna Receive Meals from The Salvation Army

Dallas, Texas (July 26, 2020) – The Salvation Army staff and volunteers in Corpus Christi and McAllen spent Sunday preparing meals and serving those affected by Hurricane Hanna in their respective communities. The Category 1 hurricane swept through South Texas on Saturday evening leaving tens of thousands of residents without power and causing widespread flooding.

“We have deployed seven mobile kitchens and have commenced feeding operations in Corpus Christi, serving San Patricio, Nueces and Kelberg counties, and in McAllen, serving Willacy, Cameron, Starr and Hidalgo counties,” said Alvin Migues, Texas Emergency Services Director for The Salvation Army. “We anticipate ramping up mobile feeding in affected communities once we are able to fully assess the damage and flooding caused by the storm.”

Additional units from throughout Texas moved into the area on Sunday and will remain as long as needed. The Salvation Army disaster response model is extremely flexible and rapidly scalable with supporting units available from within the state, and beyond, depending on the scale of the disaster and the needs presented. A mobile kitchen from The Salvation Army in Kerrville is providing support in Corpus Christi, while units from San Antonio, Kerrville, Bryan, Austin and Laredo will deploy in the Rio Grande Valley. Additional supplies, such as clean up kits, bleach, tarps, trash bags and fans will arrive from The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services warehouse in Arlington for distribution by end of day Monday.

In Corpus Christi, The Salvation Army spent much of Sunday serving free hot meals, drinks, and snacks from the Rock City Church parking lot in Flower Bluff. “We know that a lot of people are without power in the Flower Bluff area due to the hurricane and so we are here providing a meal and some encouragement to keep them going for the rest of the day,” said Captain Patrick Gesner, Commanding Officer of The Salvation Army in Corpus Christi. “We’ll continue serving for as long as we are needed and expect to be out here for several days.”

One of the areas of particular concern is the Rio Grande Valley, along the border with Mexico, where many communities are flooded due to sustained heavy rainfall associated with the storm. Volunteers and staff at The Salvation Army in McAllen prepared and delivered meals to those without power on Sunday, including serving residents of a local shelter. “I am so thankful for our staff and volunteers who consistently answer the call to help those in need in our community. Our team has been working very hard to provide help to so many during the COVID-19 pandemic, including our drive-thru food pantry and daily to-go meals,” said Lt. Adolph Aguirre, Commanding Officer of The Salvation Army in McAllen. “Along with the additional Salvation Army teams and mobile kitchens on their way to help, I am confident that we will be able to meet the need caused by Hurricane Hanna too.”

Throughout the disaster response efforts, Salvation Army staff and volunteers will be observing all safety protocols related to the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic. PPE will be worn and social distancing will be maintained. 

For the latest information please go to www.disaster.salvationarmy.org and watch for regular updates on our social media pages at www.facebook.com/salvationarmytexas/ and www.twitter.com/salarmytx. To make a donation go www.helpsalvationarmy.org.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit www.SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

Multiple Salvation Army Units in Texas Placed on Standby In Response to Hurricane Hanna

Dallas, Texas (July 25, 2020) – Multiple Salvation Army disaster units in Texas are fully stocked and on standby for deployment in response to Hurricane Hanna after the Category 1 storm made landfall in South Texas on Saturday evening. Widespread flooding is a possibility in the area as a result of the slow moving storm and Salvation Army staff will continue to closely monitor the storm over the next 24 hours.  

The Salvation Army has been in communication with all affected field units and placed six mobile feeding units on standby for pre-positioning closer to the affected area. Each mobile feeding unit has the capacity to deliver up to 1,500 meals per day. In addition, eight 3,500 meal push packs and a supply of bottled water will be staged in San Antonio ahead of possible transportation to affected communities.

“We will be carefully watching the system overnight and have units and staff throughout South Texas ready to respond and provide food, drinks, and emotional and spiritual care to those affected and to first responders working to help. The McAllen Salvation Army has already opened its facility as a pre-landfall shelter at the request of Hidalgo County,” said Alvin Migues, Texas Emergency Services Director for The Salvation Army. “Of course, all teams will be paying special attention to safety protocols put into place due to COVID-19, wearing PPE and social distancing.”

Captain Patrick Gesner, with The Salvation Army in Corpus Christi, has been actively working with local staff in preparation for Hurricane Hanna making landfall and any resulting response efforts. “We’ve been preparing for the last three days and held a special Zoom meeting with key staff to go over response procedures in light of COVID-19. We have additional staff on duty at our shelters to assure safety procedures are followed and residents of our centers were briefed yesterday on all protocols,” said Gesner. “We will be ready to support those affected by this storm, both in our own programs and in the community. The Salvation Army was here before and after Hurricane Harvey and we will be here to serve after Hanna as well!”

For the latest information please go to www.disaster.salvationarmy.org and watch for regular updates on our social media pages at www.facebook.com/salvationarmytexas/ and www.twitter.com/salarmytx. To make a donation go www.helpsalvationarmy.org.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit www.SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

The Salvation Army Midland Division Opens Cooling Centers with Missouri and Illinois with COVID-19 Protocol

St. Louis, Mo. – July 24, 2020, The Salvation Army Midland Division is dedicated to the protection of our staff members and the clients we serve and has opened daytime cooling centers in Missouri and Illinois as a result of the Excessive Heat Advisory issued by the National Weather Service with operation guidelines to reduce the spread of the COVID-19 virus within our facilities. 

Cooling center locations are activated when a Heat Advisory is issued when the Heat Index is expected to reach 105 degrees, or air temperature reaches at least 100 degrees. A Heat Warning is issued – when the heat index is expected to reach, at least 110 degrees for two consecutive days with a minimum heat index no lower than 75 degrees at night or if a Heat Advisory is expected to last four or more days.

The Salvation Army Corps will operate cooling centers in collaboration with local coalitions. A Corps is The Salvation Army’s worship centers. The locations and hours of the cooling centers are listed below:

MISSOURI

​Arnold Corps

3740 Telegraph Road 

Arnold, MO 63010 

8:30 a.m. – 3:30 p.m.

Mon. – Fri.

Services Provided: Hydration & Snacks

Branson Corps 

Community Center

1114 Stanley Street

Branson, MO  65616

9:30 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Mon. – Fri.

Services Provided: Hydration & Snacks 

Cape Girardeau Corps

701 Good Hope

Cape Girardeau, MO 63701

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

Mon. – Fri.

Services Provided: Hydration, Snacks & Lunch Meals

Center of Hope

927 Jefferson Street

Jefferson City, MO 65101

24 hours 

7 Day/Week

Services Provided: Hydration, Snacks,

Meals & Overnight Shelter

Chillicothe Corps

621 West Mohawk Road

Chillicothe, MO 64601

10:00 a.m. 4:00 p.m.

Mon. – Fri.

Services Provided: Hydration 

Columbia Corps Community Center

1108 West Ash Street

Columbia, MO 65203

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Mon. – Fri.

Services Provided: Hydration & Snacks

Euclid Corps

2618 North Euclid Avenue

St. Louis, MO 63113

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Services Provided: Hydration (Call to confirm)

Family Haven

10740 Page Ave.

St. Louis, MO. 63132

24 hours 

Sun. – Sat.

Services Provided: Hydration, Meals, Snacks, Overnight Shelter

Gateway Citadel Corps

824 Union 

St. Louis, MO 63123

8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

Mon. – Fri.

Services Provided: Hydration & Snacks

Harbor House

602 North Ann Street

Columbia, MO 65201

8:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Sun. – Sat.

Services Provided:  Hydration, Meals, snacks

Joplin Corps 

Community Center

320 East 8th Street

Joplin, MO 64801

8:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

Mon. – Fri.

Services Provided:  Hydration, 

Snacks, Meals

Maplewood Corps 

Community Center

7701 Rannells

Maplewood, MO 63143 

11a.m. – 3 p.m.

Mon. Thurs. & Fri.

Services Provided: Hydration

O’Fallon Corps

Community Center

1 William Booth Drive

O’Fallon, MO 63366

8 a.m. – 4 p.m.

Mon. – Fri.

Services Provided: Hydration

Springfield Corps 

Community Center

1701 West Chestnut Expressway

Springfield, MO 65802

8:30 a.m. – 4:30 p.m.

Mon. – Fri.

Services Provided: Hydration 

St. Charles Corps 

Community Center

2140 North 4th Street

St. Charles, MO 63301

9:00 a.m. – 5:00 p.m.

Mon. – Fri.

Services Provided: Hydration & Snacks

ILLINOIS

Alton Corps

Community Center

525 Alby Street

Alton, IL 62002 

9:00 a.m.-3:00 p.m. 

Mon. – Fri.

Services Provided: Hydration & Snacks

Belleville Corps Community Center

20 Glory Place

Belleville, IL 62220

9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Mon./Wed./Fri.

Services Provided: Hydration & Snacks

Lunch Meals 

East St. Louis Corps

Community Center

616 N. 16th Street

East St. Louis, IL  62205

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

Mon./Wed./Fri.

Services Provided: Hydration & Snacks

John Gardner Stevenson Shelter & Social Services 

501 Broadway

Quincy, IL 62301

24Hr

Sun. – Sat. 

Services Provided: Hydration, Snacks,

Meals & Overnight Shelter

Jacksonville Corps Community Center

331 W. Douglas

Jacksonville, IL  62650

9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m. 

Mon. – Fri.

Services Provided:  Hydration & Lunch Meals 11:45 a.m. – 12:30p.m.

Quincy Family Store

425 Broadway Street

Quincy, IL 62305

9:00 a.m. – 7:00 p.m. 

Mon. – Sat. 

Services Provided: Hydration, Snacks,

Meals & Overnight Shelter

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit www.SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

The Salvation Army in Texas Ready and Prepared to Respond to Tropical Storm Hanna

Dallas, Texas (July 24, 2020) – The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) teams in Texas are ready and prepared to respond to potential heavy rain and flooding associated with Tropical Storm Hanna as the area of low pressure approaches the South Texas coastline.  

Alvin Migues, Emergency Services Director for The Salvation Army said, “Our disaster response units in Corpus Christi, McAllen, and Harlingen are on standby and will be ready to respond as needed. We will be watching this system very closely over the next 24-36 hours and its projected track as it moves inland.”

The principle threat from Tropical Storm Hanna will be rainfall, with totals of over five inches possible and potentially higher amounts where bands of rain stall for a period of a few hours. The flash flooding threat will extend from the Texas Coast to well inland, on a line stretching Corpus Christi to Laredo and then on into northern Mexico.

The 2020 Hurricane Season is predicted to be an active storm season, with another named storm, Gonzalo, already having the potential to reach the Gulf. The Salvation Army is prepared to provide emergency response, providing support to first responders and affected communities, as they have done since the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 prompted the first relief effort of its kind in the USA.

The ongoing COVID-19 pandemic presents significant challenges to the long-established models and methods of EDS service delivery and The Salvation Army staff is actively working to put response protocols in place that adhere to social distancing and limit any potential exposure.

“We have sent a survey to more than 5,500 Emergency Disaster Services volunteers registered with The Salvation Army in Texas, specifically addressing their willingness and availability to serve should the need arise in the current pandemic,” said Migues. “Our phenomenal network of volunteers is the foundational backbone and driving success of The Salvation Army’s ability to meet the needs of those who need it most and we anticipate being in a strong position to respond quickly and effectively, even considering the challenges in the world today.”

In addition to a fleet of more than 35 mobile kitchens assigned year-round to locations in Texas, The Salvation Army also operates two Field Kitchens with the ability to provide more than 7,500 meals per day, a mobile Laundry Unit, two Shower Units and more.

“The Salvation Army has an extensive network of trained staff, volunteers and Officers who are prepared to respond to disasters in Texas, and across the nation,” said Migues. “The focus of our response efforts is the provision of meals and hydration to both first responders and affected communities, as well as emotional and spiritual care. Every disaster is unique and creates its own special needs and our services are flexible and rapidly scalable. The Salvation Army stands ready to respond when and where we are needed.”

For the latest information please go to www.disaster.salvationarmy.org and watch for regular updates on our social media pages at www.facebook.com/salvationarmytexas/ and www.twitter.com/salarmytx. To make a donation go www.helpsalvationarmy.org.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit www.SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services ready to respond to Hurricane Douglas

HONOLULU (July 23, 2020) – As Hurricane Douglas continues on a track to potentially affect the Hawaiian Islands, The Salvation Army Hawaiian & Pacific Islands Division today announced that they are prepared to respond with community assistance as needed. The Salvation Army is part of a team of agencies providing assistance during events and is a member of the State of Hawaii Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD).

“The Salvation Army has an established presence on Kauai, Oahu, Maui, Molokai, and Hawaii, and we are ready to respond in our island communities as needs arise,” said Victor Leonardi, Divisional Director of Emergency Services & Safety for The Salvation Army Hawaiian & Pacific Islands Division. “During emergencies, the best way the public can help is to provide monetary donations which allows the delivery of the exact relief supplies a community needs. Plus, The Salvation Army uses one-hundred percent of all donations designated ‘disaster relief’ in support of disaster operations.” 

Donations may be made online at Hawaii.SalvationArmy.org. Listings of current volunteer opportunities also may be found at Hawaii.SalvationArmy.org.

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About The Salvation Army – Hawaiian & Pacific Islands Division

The Salvation Army – Hawaiian & Pacific Islands Division covers the state of Hawaii and the Pacific Islands including Guam, Republic of the Marshall Islands and The Federated States of Micronesia. The Division offers a wide variety of programs throughout the islands including: adult day health services; affordable senior housing; at-risk youth services and housing; camp & conference center; family stores; food distribution and feeding programs; homeless services; The Kroc Center – Hawaii’s largest community center; preschools & day care services; social services – emergency assistance; substance abuse treatment; and work therapy & rehabilitation services. For more information, call 808-988-2136, visit hawaii.salvationarmy.org, or follow us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit www.SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

The Salvation Army Provides One Million Meals in Connecticut

The Salvation Army has provided over 1 million meals to Connecticut residents during the Coronavirus pandemic. Since mid-March, 1,006,629 meals were provided, and 68,030 people have been served. Emotional and spiritual care was provided 3,648 times and 831 volunteers have provided important logistical support throughout the state.

“The need for food assistance has greatly increased during this pandemic, and we are forever grateful to our donors, local foundations and corporations who have helped provide this much-needed support,” said Debbie Camner, Advancement Director for The Salvation Army’s Southern New England Division. “Since 1865, The Salvation Army has been a beacon of light for the underserved and marginalized. During the COVID-19 crisis, the faces of those who need help have changed greatly. I am proud that we are here to serve all who need us.”

“Every week since the start of the COVID-19 pandemic, I have sent out volunteer opportunities available at our various locations and every week I am amazed with the faithful volunteers that are stepping up to meet that need,” said Katheryn Perrett, Volunteer Coordinator for The Salvation Army’s Southern New England Division. “Whether it was packing emergency food boxes, unloading food deliveries or donations, or helping at the distribution sites…these volunteers have made it happen!  They come in with a joyful spirit ready to serve those in need.  We are just so appreciative to those who are willing to give of their time to come alongside The Salvation Army!”

The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services Department is continuing to provide emergency food to those in need as a result of COVID-19. Hub locations have been operating in Ashford, Hartford, New Haven, Waterbury and Bridgeport, sorting and distributing emergency food boxes to Salvation Army locations throughout the state. To ensure adequate family meals, we are purchasing wholesale foods from 3 vendors to supplement items from Foodshare, CT Food Bank and many public and private donations.

“It’s hard to believe that the numbers of meals we have been able to provide to Connecticut residents has surpassed 1,000,000,” said Major Greg Hartshorn, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army’s Southern New England Division, “It speaks to the sheer magnitude of this crisis, but also to the passion and determination of our staff and officers to do what it takes to make sure families have a dependable supply of food for every meal. We are grateful to be able to serve our neighbors in this way.”

The Salvation Army is uniquely positioned to meet the needs of the most vulnerable members of society in times of disaster, such as the current COVID-19 crisis, through its Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) department. The Salvation Army is serving in every zip code in Connecticut, including 17 food pantries and 29 Service Unit towns, reaching vulnerable populations where established social services are minimal.

For those who need assistance: Emergency food distributions are held at Salvation Army locations on Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays from 9:00am to 12:00pm. Please call ahead.

The Salvation Army’s EDS department is coordinating with state and local leads to determine gap feeding needs for vulnerable populations across the state. With the increased need and scarce food resources available throughout the state, EDS is continually working to secure food products from multiple sources and assemble and then distribute hundreds of these food boxes to hard-hit areas each week.We are committed to helping those impacted by COVID through all phases of their recovery and rebuilding,” said Chris Farrand, Director of Emergency Disaster Services for The Salvation Army’s Southern New England and Massachusetts Divisions.

The Salvation Army has introduced an Emotional and Spiritual Care Hotline for anyone in the US to call during the pandemic. Its hours of operation are 9:00 am to 9:00 pm EDT. By calling 844 458-HOPE (4673) trained Salvation Army Officers and employees are available to talk, advise, and above all pray for individuals, families and situations. Anyone who is feeling lonely, isolated, or fearful of the coronavirus outbreak can call the hotline number to reach a friendly and reassuring voice.

To donate:
For Connecticut: Text GIVECT to 71777

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit www.SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

My Coronavirus Story: Captain Astrid Carillo, Guatemala

Flexible, Adaptable, Sacrificial and Inspirational

Atlanta, GA: As The Salvation Army’s school coordinator for Guatemala (and both school director and corps officer in Tierra Nueva), Captain Astrid Carillo finds herself on the frontline in the fight to care for children, some of whom live in very vulnerable situations. She told Jo Clark (Program Resources, International Headquarters) how teachers in Salvation Army schools are finding ways to care for pupils, all of whom have to stay away from school during the COVID-19 crisis. She reveals that, despite the difficulties that need to be overcome, the situation is bringing together teachers, pupils, families and community members more closely than ever before:
 
I have been a Salvation Army officer for eight years. Before that, my professional background was in education administration and so, since becoming an officer, alongside each of my corps appointments I have held responsibility within a school. At the moment, I am the coordinator of the five Salvation Army schools in Guatemala and the director of one. Across the five schools we have almost 600 pupils (aged from four to 12 years). Tierra Nueva School, which I oversee, has 87 pupils.
 
We have been in COVID-19 lockdown from 13 March until now. As you can imagine, this has posed immense challenges for us as a school community over the past months.
 
Our school, in Guatemala City, lies in one of the most dangerous zones in the country. Even in normal times, economic poverty and drug addiction are rife. Life before COVID-19 was already tough, but we were able to see and meet the challenges of the life circumstances of our pupils by providing a stable school life and a good education. When coronavirus hit, we realised that we were going to have to develop a whole new strategy to support our children.
 
The majority of families do not have access to broadband Internet or computer technology, so providing online classes was not going to be an effective way forward for us. Many parents, though, do have a smart phone and data access to WhatsApp, so that is where we started.
 
Teachers have been developing work materials and sending them out as attachments to parents’ phones via WhatsApp. They have also sent out links to YouTube videos for those who have sufficient data and are able to watch with their children, and they have been arranging class group video calls where possible. For those families without smart phones, the team of teachers has been trying (where restrictions on movement allow) to visit in order to take worksheets to children’s homes and make sure to keep in touch with the families through regular support phone calls.
 
These support phone calls have been particularly important for families where a member has suffered from COVID-19, meaning they were required to completely isolate. To know they are being remembered has been crucial to families in such challenging times and has enabled us to build real confidence with them.
 
Where possible we have tried to support isolating and other particularly vulnerable families with some food and other necessities for their children. We have few resources for this but have witnessed corps and community members who do have more coming together to support those in most need.
 
The logistics of helping in this way have also proved particularly complicated. For the past three months it has been difficult to move around. Each Sunday the country president gives a televised COVID-19 briefing. Movement restrictions for the following week are announced at that briefing and depend on how the COVID infections are tracking at that time. Sometimes we are locked down completely and other times we are allowed out to buy essentials on one or two specific days of the week. Sometimes markets and supermarkets in our area will be allowed to open but other weeks they will be closed. Sanitary cordons are quickly set up to monitor temperatures and movements of people, disrupting plans for shopping or, at best, slowing them down.
 
This uncertainty of things, never knowing what the next week is going to bring, is one of the hardest things to deal with. It makes planning almost impossible and is leading to many stresses within families. For example, where families work to make money on a day-to-day basis it is not possible for them to buy supplies to last for a number of days, which is important in case the lockdown is re-tightened.
 
While our situation in the city has been difficult, at Chimaltenango – another of our schools, more than an hour’s drive from Guatemala City – the challenges are multiplied by its rural location. In this area, the community is much more vulnerable, and even in normal times life is more marginal. Many people speak only Kaqchiquel (not Spanish), electricity and other basic services are not available to the general population and access to smart phones and mobile data is not common. Despite this, our teachers are doing their utmost to keep the pupils connected and supplied with learning materials.
 
The flexibility and adaptability of our teachers in all our schools during these days really has been incredible.  They have extended their contact hours, making themselves available whenever works best for parents and pupils, enabling parents to manage their children’s education alongside other stresses and priorities, such as sourcing food and household necessities, perhaps while supporting family and neighbors.
 
Some teachers have been using their own resources to top up data plans on their phones in times when we haven’t been able to support with this, in order that they can keep in contact with their students. They have also continued working even when our reserve funds were low (since parents have not been able to pay fees in these weeks) and we struggled to pay them on time. Thankfully, from last month we started to receive some financial support from the Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO), enabling us to have more confidence in the coming months.
 
Our teachers continue to make huge efforts to bring variety into the lockdown lives of their pupils in order to boost their emotional well-being. Each week they try to do something different to cheer and inspire the children and their family members. Last week, some teachers from Tierra Nueva School sent an exercise video and began a ‘day of challenges’ for the children to do with their family members. Yesterday they put on a puppet show for the children via WhatsApp!
 
Amazingly, despite the challenges we have faced we have managed to make and maintain contact with all our pupils from Tierra Nueva School. Making the first contacts wasn’t easy, and in some cases it was down to our stubborn determination (following up word-of-mouth leads and tracing down a number of other relatives in order to locate a particular family home) that we managed to find out how to contact the children. The efforts we made in locating people have enabled us to keep track of the most vulnerable children during the times we are allowed out.
 
During these months of lockdown, I personally have been eternally grateful for those from my school team and my corps family who have been so generous in their support. Being single, and living alone, has made this isolation particularly difficult at times. My father lives some distance away and I have not been able to visit him. Having the support of people from the corps who have called to check up on my health and welfare, and have supported with food when they can, has been a godsend, especially since corps monetary offerings (which support my allowance) have ceased.
 
I have come to appreciate the shared passion and dedication which my team of teaching staff has for the children in our care. The ways in which they have given of their own resources and have made themselves available for contact, any time of day and night, to support pupils and their families has really been extraordinary. This dedication and teamwork shown by the teaching staff in these unprecedented weeks has greatly deepened the relationships we, as a school, have with the pupils, their parents and families. As a result, we are finding that parents are becoming more interested and involved in supporting their children’s learning.
 
Approaching people with open hearts has enabled us all – teachers, pupils, parents, extended families and wider community members – to move forwards together.
 
We have no idea what the coming weeks will hold (in our area, cases of the virus have been increasing again recently) but we do know that with this closer union we have developed, God will continue to open doors and work out ways – even beyond our imagination – for us to meet our needs and for him to sustain us in the days ahead.
 
Report by IHQ Communications
International Headquarters

 

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit www.SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org