Salvation Army Turning the Tide on Tybee Island After Hurricane Irma

SAVANNAH, GA (September 16, 2017) – Tybee Island is a barrier island 18 miles from Savannah, Georgia. It’s a place where the sand, sea, and salty breezes have a charm all their own. People from all over come to Tybee Island to get away from the hustle and bustle of the city to enjoy the easy-going coastal life for a while.

Forty-seven years ago, Charles Kirk came to Tybee Island and liked it so much, he stayed. Since then, he has weathered many storms that have blown across the coastal Georgia region, including Hurricane Matthew in 2016. But Irma was different.

“I’m 70 years old and have lived in this house for 47 years, but I’ve never seen anything like it,” said Kirk. “I can’t sell my house now. And my office out back – I lost everything.”

For the folks on Lewis Street on Tybee Island, it was a quick rush of water from Hurricane Irma’s tidal surge and punishing rains that swept through their eclectic community that did the most damage. “We saw the water coming in and said ‘Wow – where is this coming from,’” said Kirk. “It came in and then left almost as soon. We were shoving water out as quick as we could – everything is ruined.”

He is not alone. Home after home all along Lewis Street, at the end of each driveway, are heaps and cluttered piles of water-logged couches, drywall, mattresses, washers and dryers, clothes, toys, and random household goods all types. Pictures can’t tell the whole story of what it is like after a flood event. It smells. It squishes. It’s discolored. It rots. It bleeds. What’s moving shouldn’t, and what needs to move can’t. It’s ALL dirty. And you can’t just walk to what you see.  

“The Salvation Army was here twice a day all this week,” said Tybee Island resident Shirley Sessions. “We are all so appreciative of the help they have given us.”

“We’ve been eating out of the Salvation Army truck since the hurricane hit,” said Mr. Kirk. “You don’t know what The Salvation Army does until you have somethings like this right here happen.”

Conditions are slowly improving on Lewis Street. “We’re turning the tide,” says Mr. Kirk. “And it seems every time something like this happens, The Salvation Army is there.” 

According to Captain Jason Smith, Planning Chief for the Georgia Salvation Army Incident Management Team, “As the services requested of us are met, we will continue to assess the areas of need and redeploy our resources to where they will be most effective.” Captain Smith added, “In the weeks, months, and years ahead we will continue to fulfill our mission to serve those who need our services wherever and whenever that might be.”

Indeed, The Salvation Army has been a symbol of help and hope to the people of Georgia for over 125 years. And as the people of Tybee Island dig out from under the impact of two hurricanes in one year, Georgia Incident Management Commander Major Douglas McClure assures them, “Wherever you are, The Salvation Army will always be there to help you through the disasters of life; physical, emotional, and spiritual – 365 days of the year.”

For those who want to help people directly affected by recent hurricanes, a financial contribution is the best way to help. A cash donation allows charitable relief agencies to use monetary contributions to purchase exactly what disaster survivors need.   In addition, money used to purchase needed items locally can support local and state economies, helping local businesses and workers, which have suffered losses in the wake of the disaster event.

You can donate in the following ways:

Online: helpsalvationarmy.org

Donate by phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY

Text to give: text STORM to 51555

For the latest emergency disaster services news, please visit www.disaster.salvationarmymusa.org and follow the disaster services team on Twitter @SalArmyEDS.

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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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

Officer's Prayer Bracelets Open Conversation Leading to Salvation

Sebring, FL – Emotional and spiritual care during disaster and emergency situations is why The Salvation Army stands out after the unthinkable happens. Not only do survivors need their physical needs taken care of, but just having someone to talk to can make all the difference.

Meridian, Mississippi Corps Officer, Major Young Soon Kim, on deployment in Sebring, Florida, takes a unique approach. She makes prayer bracelets from yarn and hands them out as she ministers to those coming to canteens for food and water.

“Making these bracelets is a hobby of mine,” said Major Kim. “I was packing to serve in Florida, and saw the yarn, so I thought it could be a tool I use to spread the gospel.”

Turns out her forethought was correct. Major Kim noticed a family of three waiting in their car for a hot meal as the mobile feeding truck set up to serve.

“We started talking and I heard their stories, how they were hurting,” said Major Kim. “I asked if they are Christians. The mother quickly said, ‘I am, but they’re not.’”

Major Kim showed the family her bracelets…blue, red, and yellow interwoven together. Major Kim explained they are Salvation Army colors but also represent the Trinity, the Father, Son and Holy Spirit.

“The father told me he knew about the Trinity, but it wasn’t coming to his heart, because he had to be baptized,” said Major Kim. “I told him the story of the two men next to Jesus on the cross.”

Major Kim asked him if he thought the criminal next to Jesus was baptized. Jesus said, ‘Truly I tell you, today you will be with me in paradise.’

“I tied the bracelet on his wrist and told him, nothing is blocking you now,” said Major Kim. “So, we prayed, and as soon as we finished, his daughter said, ‘I need to be saved too.’”

So, they got out of their car, held hands and Major Kim prayed one more time, this time with the daughter.

Major disasters, like Hurricane Irma, can turn lives upside down. We know feeding the body is the immediate need, but feeding the spirit makes all the difference in putting lives back together.

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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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

The Salvation Army Speaks Hope to Tragedy

Brunswick, GA (September 15, 2017) – Tragedies have a tendency to pile up. Just three months ago a mother of three attended her husband’s funeral. He was only 43. When the mayor ordered an evacuation for Hurricane Irma, she spent her rent money taking her children to safety. When she returned home she had 42 cents and a landlord demanding payment.  She had never asked for help before, but she didn’t know what to do.

The Salvation Army’s social worker, Audrey Easterling, greeted her with open arms. The Salvation Army paid her full month’s rent, and provided a box of food and fresh water. Aubrey encouraged her, “Don’t you give up.” She responded, between tears, “God has never failed me and my kids and I am not going to stop trusting him now. There are some storms out there on the horizon but we are not going to give up trusting him.”

It is that very trust in God that motivates The Salvation Army to do the most good for the most people in the most need. Captain Billie Powell, officer of the Brunswick corps, said, “We are supposed to be the hands and feet of Jesus. People should not be hungry or thirsty.”

The Salvation Army has four mobile feeding units feeding over 1200 meals a day. Captains Powell started serving people as they escaped, and they are meeting people in their moment of need as they return. Hurricane survivors can find food, bottled water, ice, clean up kits, and emotional and spiritual care at The Salvation Army’s Center for Worship and Service.

How to help those Harvey and Irma Hurt

A financial contribution is the best way to help.  A cash donation allows charitable relief agencies to use monetary contributions to purchase exactly what disaster survivors need.   Monetary contributions are also easy to get to the disaster area. Moving a container of donated goods can sometimes cost more than the value of the items. Getting a donated commodity into containers and onto a ship, or onto a truck, across the sea or across the country to the disaster site, through the port costs and the customs’ tariffs, quality checked, quantity checked and sorted, and organized into warehouses, incurs a cost at each step. Supplies can almost always be purchased locally at the disaster site and provide savings in multiple ways.  Finally, money used to purchase needed items locally can support local and state economies, helping local businesses and workers, which have suffered losses in the wake of the disaster event.

Online: helpsalvationarmy.org

Donate by phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY

Mail checks to: The Salvation Army P.O. BOX 1959 Atlanta, GA 30301

Please make checks payable to The Salvation Army and designate ‘Hurricane 2017’ on all checks.

To receive a donation link via text: Text STORM to 51555

The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations.  If you donate to hurricane relief efforts (and designate your gift to a specific disaster) 100 percent of the gift will be used in support of that event.  It may be used to provide food and drinks to survivors, cleaning supplies and other essential commodities, direct financial aid to those effected, or to support disaster relief workers serving in the area.

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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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

Crossroads Residents Learn the Value of ''Others''

(Fort Myers, Fla.) Sept. 15, 2017 – It’s hard to explain the calm inside The Salvation Army shelter on Sunday morning as Hurricane Irma lashed Fort Myers.

Fifteen men in The Salvation Army Fort Myers’ Crossroads program, staff and their families had a short devotional in the morning and spent the rest of the day waiting out the storm.

Crossroads is a  corps salvage rehabilitation center (CSRC), which helps men recover from their addictions, similar to an ARC.

“All the windows were boarded, but we could still see through the doors,” said Crossroads resident George Sprague, 51. “It was so strange to see all the trees blowing and going down.”

The very next day Sprague and the rest of the Crossroads’ residents were out clearing the property, making food off The Salvation Army mobile kitchen and driving to a family store to help transform the store into a staging area for Salvation Army Irma operations.

No one asked the residents to help

They just picked up tools and started working.  

They haven’t stopped.

Residents have been on canteens, distributing meals even helping to cook.

“I don’t have any more family,” Sprague said. “The Salvation Army is my family.”

In November 2016 Sprague sat in his 2002 Ford Expedition watching the sunrise in North Fort Myers, by his side was a bible, his Alcoholic Anonymous book and a four-pack of Natural Ice beer.

“I opened the beer,” Sprague said. “That’s when I hit bottom.”

A few weeks later Sprague entered Crossroads.

He graduated from the program in June and decided to stay a little longer until he can find stable work.

That’s when Irma hit.

“There’s no place I’d rather be than helping,” Sprague said. “I feel that I’ve finally found my calling.”

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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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

Bringing Smiles Back: One Little Girl at a Time

Naples, Fla. (Sept. 15, 2017)  – There are many things a kindergartner could be doing on a September evening – playing with dolls, riding her bike, chasing the ice cream truck, even, practicing her ABCs. Translating for her mother who wants to know if she is allowed to get food from The Salvation Army canteen should not be one of those things.  Yet, this was what precious, six-year-old Carmen found herself doing, while her anxious mom held her five-month-old sister nearby. 

“Of course you can have something to eat,” said Nancy, The Salvation Army volunteer, as she helped Carmen’s mother gather hot meals, shelf stable meals, fruit, and drinks for her family.  

Nancy then graciously helped the family pile the food on the baby’s stroller because that was their only means of transportation. 

Carmen, struggling to find the right English word, explained the family had been without power since the storm, and they were scared and hungry. 

Carmen shared she was “very scared” when the storm came through the area.  Her mother added that Carmen had not been herself the last couple of days.  She is afraid to go outside, even though it is hot inside their home.  She thinks it is because she thinks another storm will come.

“The first time I saw her excited in days was when she saw your truck.  She pulled my shirt and pointed towards it,” her mother explained.  Then, with tears welling up in her eyes, she added, “She told me, ‘Mommy, they will give us food!’” 

Yes, Carmen, you can be assured The Salvation Army will make sure you eat. The Salvation Army is committed to ensuring those who are the most vulnerable in Collier county have hot food, cold drinks, and hope. This is the sacred commitment. 

As, the family walked away, with Carmen pushing the stroller and her mother carrying her sister, they both glanced back at the canteen.  Carmen simply smiled and shyly waved.  Her mother, still crying, said, “Gracias, le diste a mi hija su sonrisa.”

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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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

The Salvation Army Expands Services in the Florida Keys

Florida Keys, FL (September 15, 2017) – On Friday, The Salvation Army amplified support and services to hurricane survivors in the Florida Keys.

With flights from AERObridge, The Salvation Army began flying additional supplies and personnel directly to the Summerland Key Cove Airport in the Florida Keys. “The Florida Keys are in need of immediate and long-term recovery assistance,” said Major Barry Corbitt of The Salvation Army in Lakeland. “That means everything from a hot meal, which we’re now providing by the thousands in the Keys, to providing emotional and spiritual care, rebuilding funds, and vouchers. We’re here to help, whatever that may look like according to the needs of the people.”

Also on Friday, The Salvation Army’s Field Kitchen arrived in Marathon. With the capacity to serve 10,000 meals a day, The Salvation Army stands ready to serve the first mass hot meals many will enjoy since Hurricane Irma made landfall five days ago. “We stayed, right along with some of our neighbors, and made it through just fine, but the chaos after the storm can be just as dangerous.” said Sergeant Kevin Bickford of The Salvation Army Key West Corps. “Sharing a hot meal and encouraging words with our neighbors when times are really hard, is just something tangible we can do to bring a little hope.”

In the short-term aftermath of the storm, Salvation Army officers, staff and volunteers will continue to focus on immediate needs providing food, hydration, and emotional and spiritual care to impacted individuals and families. To support survivors throughout the state of Florida, The Salvation Army has deployed 56 mobile kitchens and to date has prepared and distributed 333,429 meals, drinks and snacks.

Captain Mark Hunter, Incident Commander for The Salvation Army’s Florida Keys response management team, also participated in a press briefing with Florida Governer Rick Scott, Senator Marco Rubio, and Congressman Carlos Carbelo.

The best way to help survivors and relief workers is to make a financial contribution. Monetary donations allow disaster responders to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors.  Visit helpsalvationarmy.org

For the latest emergency disaster services news, please visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org and follow the EDS team on Twitter @SalArmyEDS.  

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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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

'The Salvation Army are Like Angels'

SAVANNAH, GA (September 15, 2017) – As evacuees from across Georgia return to rebuild and refurbish their homes, The Salvation Army of Georgia continues to assess and redeploy its disaster relief operations for the most effective service of people impacted by Hurricane Irma. As power is restored to increasing areas, many Salvation Army service locations in the northern and central parts of the state have been concluded.

Earlier this week, The Salvation Army moved its Incident Management Team (IMT) to Savannah, GA to be closer to, and more effectively serve, the most severely impacted coastal area. The IMT is tasked with coordinating The Salvation Army relief efforts state-wide, plus coordinating efforts with local and state authorities and partner agencies.

To better serve the coastal Georgia area, The Salvation Army teamed up with the Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief organization. The Baptist organization cooks the hot meals, which are then stored in specially designed containers, and The Salvation Army mobile feeding units (canteens) then deliver the meals throughout the coastal area. The Baptist Disaster Relief team moved into the parking lot of The Salvation Army Savannah Corps, where the IMT has set up their disaster operational headquarters, so the two organizations could work closely side-by-side.

The Salvation Army is also distributing specially designed cleaning kits – often a welcome sign for those cleaning out flooded homes and businesses. “The Salvation Army was here twice a day all this week,” said Tybee Island resident Shirley Sessions. “They are always the first to arrive and the last to leave.” Now retired from the United Way “Hands-On Savannah,” Shirley has worked in partnership with The Salvation Army for years, adding, “The Salvation Army are like angels!”

Hurricane relief efforts continue in areas throughout the state wherever needed, including a request from Georgia State Operations Center (SOC) asking if someone could provide gluten-free meals for a special-needs child located in Sautee, GA. The boy’s family had their power cut off by the storm and it is anticipated to take be off for at least a week. Lieutenant David Birks from Toccoa, GA, worked directly with the SOC to provide gluten-free food to the family until their power can be restored.

“It’s a great feeling to be able to help people in their time of need,” said Lt. Birks. “In The Salvation Army we just ask people two questions; What do you need, and how can we help.”

As people from across the state return to their homes in previously evacuated areas, they are mindful of how this is the second hurricane to hit their area in one year. Georgia Incident Commander Major Douglas McClure assures them, “Wherever you are, The Salvation Army will always be there to help you through the disasters of life; physical, emotional, and spiritual – 365 days of the year.”

Coastal and Southern Georgia area service highlights:

  • Savannah Corps – Divisional Incident Management Team relocated to the Corps building. Canteens are roaming Tybee Island. Distributed 593 meals, 677 drinks, 724 snacks, and 140 emotional care contacts were provided.
  • Brunswick – Five National Capital/Virginia canteens are serving the Brunswick area: Distributed 1261 meals, 1,471 drinks, and 1,049 snacks, with 88 emotional spiritual care contacts. 
  • Albany – Services concluded on September 13.
  • Waycross –Distributed 40 meals, 40 drinks, and 4 snacks. Services concluded on September 15.
  • Valdosta – Services concluded on September 12.
  • Thomasville – Services concluded on September 12.
  • Tifton – Distributed 100 meals, 200 drinks, and 150 snacks. Services concluded on September 13.
  • Americus – Distributed 21 meals, 24 drinks, and 21 snacks. Services concluded on September 14.
  • Douglas – Distributed 89 meals, 481 drinks, and 278 snacks. Services concluded on September 14.
  • St. Marys – Three canteens are serving the St. Marys area. Distributed 1,700 meals, drinks and snacks, plus 46 food boxes.

Metro Atlanta, central and north Georgia:

  • Metro Atlanta Area Command – Services concluded on September 11.
  • Central GA Command (Macon) – Provided food support to Brooks East Macon Center, North Park Community Center, Frank Johnson Community Center, and Memorial Park. Distributed 1,278 meals, 1,339 drinks, and 925 snacks, with 3 emotional care contacts.
  • Columbus – Distributed 374 meals, 400 drinks, and 402 snacks. Services concluded on September 14.
  • Augusta – Services concluded on September 13.
  • Covington – services have concluded.

As of Thursday evening, September 14,  46,338 meals, 72,164 drinks and 39,354 snacks, 45 clean up kits, and 10,328 contacts for spiritual and emotional care have been provided in Georgia to those impacted by Hurricane Irma.

Those who want to help people directly affected by recent hurricanes are asked to donate in the following ways:

Online: helpsalvationarmy.org

Donate by phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY

Text to give: text STORM to 51555

For the latest emergency disaster services news, please visit www.disaster.salvationarmymusa.org and follow the disaster services team on Twitter @SalArmyEDS.

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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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

Central FL Residents Grateful to See Salvation Army, Thankful for Food, Drinks

Avon Park, FL  – In Avon Park and much of Highlands County power has been out since Hurricane Irma blew through taking many power lines and poles with her. Residents spend their days outside their houses simply because it gets too hot. Ice is over an hour away, and many don’t have money to spend on gas to drive back and forth. So, they wait.

“Right now, everything is happening in other places,” said Stacy Teague, Avon Park resident. “We don’t have gas, ice, a lot of things we need.”

Friday, The Salvation Army mobile feeding truck showed up with hot meals and drinks.

“You guys are a blessing, coming to Avon Park,” said Teague.

Those needing food quickly stepped in line thankful for the meal. Maria Jimenez lives just across the street from where The Salvation Army set up and brought her grand-daughters.

“It’s a joy,” said Jimenez. “It’s a blessing The Salvation Army can help those who can’t get a meal at home.”

Luckily, Jimenez has a gas stove at home and can boil water. Many residents like the Riveria’s need electricity for everything in their home. The Riveria’s were happy to see The Salvation Army truck pull up.

“It feels good,” said Iodalis Riveria, helping translate for her grandmother, Naomi Riveria. “Our food has spoiled. Basically, we come out every day looking for food.”

Out of the Sebring, Florida Corps, The Salvation Army is serving food, drinks, and providing emotional and spiritual care in Avon Park, Lake Placid, and in Sebring.

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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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

Golden Triangle Community Grateful for Salvation Army Support

Beaumont, Texas (September 15, 2017) – Something as simple as a clean shirt can mean so much in a time of crisis. The Salvation Army staff and volunteers have worked tirelessly in the Golden Triangle area of southeast Texas where need has been great following extensive flooding. Responders continue to touch lives every day through the delivery of hot meals, emotional and spiritual care, and the provision of essentials to people facing all kinds of challenges.

“We had a man stop by the warehouse who had been badly burned. His home had flooded and after the water receded, they tried to install a new hot water tank,” said Lisa Borders from Seattle, Corporate Engagement Director for The Salvation Army NW Division, currently deployed to Beaumont, Texas. “However, things went tragically wrong and a fire broke out burning his face, head, right arm and hand.”

The man pulled up in a pick-up truck, wearing a dirty, white t-shirt, grey sweatpants and slippers.  “He simply asked if we had a clean shirt that we could give him,” said Lisa. One of the staff ran back into the warehouse and grabbed five, white, cotton t-shirts and handed them to the gentleman. “His eyes lit up and a big smile spread across his face. He immediately put on one of the clean shirts and explained that he had been wearing that same shirt for an entire week.” The Salvation Army also loaded up the truck with a food box, water and Gatorade and gave him information about FEMA registration.

Echo, is from Minnesota where she regularly volunteers with The Salvation Army. Since coming to Beaumont, she has been a great source of comfort to thousands of area residents while serving meals from one of the mobile feeding units. Echo’s service goes far beyond handing out a hot meal as she is eager to listen, provide a much-needed hug and spend time praying with those in need of spiritual care. 

One survivor who stopped by the mobile kitchen each day during Echo’s two-week deployment, delivered a lovely hand-written thank you card on her last day of service. It read: “Thank you so very much for all you have done. Your smile and laughter, it meant so much to me. You will never be forgotten and always loved.” Kathy (Vidor, TX, Harvey)

The Salvation Army has provided 76,454 meals from the 12 mobile feeding units deployed in the area, 107,301 snacks and 63,926 drinks to first responders and survivors.

You can support the ongoing relief work of The Salvation Army by making a financial donation at to www.helpsalvationarmy.org, call 1-800- SAL-ARMY, text STORM to 51555.

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 access photo and video resources related to The Salvation Army Hurricane Harvey relief efforts please go to www.salvationarmysouth.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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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

Boys Home Reaches Out to Salvation Army for Help in Northeast Florida

Jacksonville, FL (September 15, 2017) – When Hurricane Irma blew through Jacksonville, Safe Harbor Academy lost power. Four days later, they were still without power and running low on food they could prepare for the 20 boys who call Safe Harbor home. The school reached out to The Salvation Army for help.

Safe Harbor is a Christian boarding school for at-risk boys ages 14-17 years old. Each boy in the program lives on his own donated boat in the harbor. Preparing the boys for life is a priority throughout the program. Geometry is learned through the sails of the boat. Life lessons are taught through boat life: lessons such as how boat repair can be like repairing your life and how the effort you put into it determines your results. The boys are also taught woodworking, welding, and other practical skills that are needed to maintain a boat.

When Hurricane Irma approached some boys felt anxious. Some had never experienced an evacuation before. Some were just settling in with their new boats, and then they worried about what would happen to the boats. But Safe Harbor staff used the hurricane as a spiritual and life lesson.

 “We used Hurricane Irma as a lesson to teach the boys spiritual lessons that could be intertwined with the practical,” said Robbie Smith, founder of Safe Harbor. “The evacuation was a lesson in how to prepare and think through details.”

Some of the boy’s boats did get damaged. One sank. 

When The Salvation Army employees from The Salvation Army Jacksonville Area Command received the call, they began to plan their service. The Jacksonville Salvation Army has a special connection to Safe Harbor— the head chef for The Salvation Army’s Towers Center of Hope is a graduate of the program. With special care, he planned a meal of sloppy joes, cole slaw, and potato salad, with plenty for second helpings. The team was greeted with hugs and a few tears, as they had been beginning to worry about what they would do to feed the boys. 

“The kids really needed a hot meal – they have been working hard cleaning their homes (boats) and pitching in to help the other boys,” added Robbie. “Thank you for being here for us.”
 

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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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org