As Waters Recede, Hope Remains

Brunswick, GA (September 15, 2017) – On Monday, a man, wife, and their four children watched from their front porch as the ocean swell rose up and flooded the wetland before them. They rushed out of their home, through the torrential rain as the water flooded their home, destroying their furniture and two cars, and shifting their historic home six feet off of the foundation. The family lost everything but their lives. This family sought and found help at The Salvation Army.

Another local survivor was already living on the edge of poverty. She stepped up to raise her four grandchildren and regularly worked with The Salvation Army to make sure those children woke up on Christmas to find presents under their tree. When the hurricane dropped a tree on her power line she lost power, and the ability to cook for her grandchildren.

She found a Salvation Army canteen serving hot meals on Norwich St. She said, “This hurricane can teach us to be grateful for what we have and to care about our neighbors. I think God is telling us to follow him and care for the people around us.”

Hurricane Irma has moved on, leaving millions of people across Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina without power. Survivors returning home may find little remaining, but they will find The Salvation Army providing more than 100,000 meals, clean water, and emotional care and support.

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

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 

Salvation Army teams serve the ''least, last, lost'' in Migrant Community

(Immokalee, Fla.) Sept. 14, 2017 –  The Southwest Florida heat is oppressive, 95 degrees in the shade, coupled with the humidity, is enough to overwhelm even a seasoned farm worker.

Biany was doing everything she could to stay cool: She had a makeshift cardboard fan in her hand, trying her best to cool herself even as beads of sweat dripped from her forehead. She was one of the hundreds of people who waited in line for lunch from a Salvation Army mobile kitchen – the first hot meal she’s had in almost a week.

Biany is used to heat – she’s a migrant farm worker – her job is to pick tomatoes, zucchinis, oranges.

“Whatever is in season,” she said.

Biany and her family live in Farmworker Village, a subsidized housing community just outside of Immokalee – about an hour’s drive from Naples.

Biany hasn’t worked in more than three weeks – not because she doesn’t want to, but because she hasn’t been able to.

“A few weeks ago, it was rainy,” she said. “Now, we have the hurricane. I feel sad. The money is gone and I’m behind on my bills.”

The Salvation Army served more than 1,000 meals at Farmworker Village on Thursday. For Biany’s daughter, Chrystal, the hot meal was a welcomed relief.

“I’ve been eating Doritos and snacks since before the storm,” she said.

Another resident, Roberta, cradled her four-month-old granddaughter in her arms as she waited for lunch.

“We are usually forgotten,” Roberta said, “and the last to be served.”

Salvation Army founder William Booth said the Army’s mission is to find the “least, last and lost.”

At the migrant camp on Thursday, the least were served first.

“You all have been like angels coming to rescue us with water and food,” Biany said. “Thank you.”

Teams are now transitioning into response, establishing staging areas across the state, which include Naples, Fort Myers, Key West and Keystone Heights. 

All 47 Salvation Army units – from Pensacola to south Florida – are assisting and serving residents in need.

The Salvation Army has more than 3,000 trained volunteers and staff in Florida, ready to offer a warm meal, bottled water, coffee and offer emotional and spiritual care.

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 as the need continues to be assessed. 

The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those directly affected by the storm to visit helpsalvationarmy.org, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or text “Storm” to 51555.

At this point, in-kind donations are not being accepted.  Used clothing and used furniture are seldom required during an incident.  However, these gifts are vitally important in supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army. Please consider giving these items to your local Salvation Army Family Store or dial 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825).

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 

"No Power Means No Food -Thank you for Coming to Florida"

Jacksonville, FL (September 14, 2017)—Power has been out in areas of northeast Florida since Hurricane Irma ripped through the state earlier in the week. Refrigerated food has gone bad and has to be thrown out; in outlying areas where water comes from wells, water is scarce.

Immediately after the storm, two canteens from Jacksonville, Florida began serving people in communities impacted by the storm. This morning a caravan of mobile feeding kitchens (canteens) and crews of food service workers and emotional and spiritual care workers from North and South Carolina joined their efforts, equipped with food, water, and the love of Jesus Christ. The mission of each canteen crew is to fill the bellies of disaster survivors with the nourishment to help them rebuild their communities and their hearts with words of hope and encouragement.

One Salvation Army canteen was stationed in the fire station parking lot in Crescent City, a very small town located in Putnam County. Shortly after the canteen rolled up cars began to fill the parking lot. Within minutes, more than 40 people were in line to receive food and water.

“We are so grateful for you guys being here,” said Bobby Highfill, a community volunteer serving at the fire station. “We are a small town so sometimes we are forgotten. No power means no food. Thank you to The Salvation Army for being here.”

Storm surge caused flooding in northeast Florida and there is ongoing concern about additional river flooding. The Salvation Army, through close coordination with emergency management officials, will remain, continuing its work to meet the immediate needs to people impacted by Hurricane Irma.

“Our immediate focus is giving people food, water, and hope,” said Major Rob Vincent, area commander of The Salvation Army of Northeast Florida. “In the days, weeks, and months ahead, the immediate needs of the community may be different, but The Salvation Army will still be here giving help and hope.”

Currently The Salvation Army has 56 canteens serving throughout the state of Florida. Each canteen has the capacity to serve 1,500 meals a day.

Jacksonville, FL (September 14, 2017)—Power has been out in large areas of northeast Florida since Hurricane Irma ripped through the state earlier in the week. Refrigerated food has gone bad and has to be thrown out; in outlying areas where water comes from wells, water is scarce.

Immediately after the storm, two canteens from Jacksonville, Florida began serving people in communities impacted by the storm. This morning a caravan of mobile feeding kitchens (canteens) and crews of food service workers and emotional and spiritual care workers from North and South Carolina joined their efforts, equipped with food, water, and the love of Jesus Christ. The mission of each canteen crew is to fill the bellies of disaster survivors with the nourishment to help them rebuild their communities and their hearts with words of hope and encouragement.

One Salvation Army canteen was stationed in the fire station parking lot in Crescent City, a very small town located in Putnam County. Shortly after the canteen rolled up cars began to fill the parking lot. Within minutes, more than 40 people were in line to receive food and water.

“We are so grateful for you guys being here,” said Bobby Highfill, a community volunteer serving at the fire station. “We are a small town so sometimes we are forgotten. No power means no food. Thank you to The Salvation Army for being here.”

Storm surge caused flooding in northeast Florida and there is ongoing concern about additional river flooding. The Salvation Army, through close coordination with emergency management officials, will remain, continuing its work to meet the immediate needs to people impacted by Hurricane Irma.

“Our immediate focus is giving people food, water, and hope,” said Major Rob Vincent, area commander of The Salvation Army of Northeast Florida. “In the days, weeks, and months ahead, the immediate needs of the community may be different, but The Salvation Army will still be here giving help and hope.”

Currently The Salvation Army has 56 canteens serving throughout the state of Florida. Each canteen has the capacity to serve 1,500 meals a day.

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 

More Than Half a Million Meals Served in Texas Since Harvey Made Landfall

Dallas, Texas (September 14, 2017) – As Texas braced itself for Hurricane Harvey making landfall on the night of August 25, The Salvation Army’s statewide preparation for the anticipated massive response effort was well underway. Now 19 days after the storm made landfall, The Salvation Army has served more than 500,000 meals to first responders and survivors of the storm in Texas.

At the peak of response, 96 Salvation Army mobile feeding units were deployed throughout southeast Texas, each with an average capacity to serve 1,000 meals per day. Today, more than 70 units and relief teams remain hard at work preparing and delivering hot meals, snacks and drinks to communities in need.

Each mobile feeding unit requires a trained Salvation Army crew to operate and deliver service. Employees and volunteers have given more than 65,000 hours of selfless service as part of the relief effort so far. A standard Salvation Army disaster deployment is 14 days and relief crews were on the ground within hours of the storm’s landfall, ready to provide assistance as first responders and law enforcement began assessing damage and offering emergency assistance.

A hot meal served with a smile from a Salvation Army volunteer, and a word of encouragement or a prayer from an emotional and spiritual care officer can mean so much. The value of a hot meal was summed up in a response received from one member of the Texas Military Forces who was working long hours in Victoria, Texas. “We had been eating very badly, sometimes not having a meal at all as we worked to help our fellow Texans. The meals we received from The Salvation Army were outstanding and we would like to honor that crew. They saved our backsides!”

As of Sept. 13, The Salvation Army has served 508,607 meals, 468,712 snacks, and 570,307 drinks statewide in response to Hurricane Harvey. Emotional Spiritual Care Officers have spoken with 27,167 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 

Red Shield Services Provide Shelter from the Storm, Solace for the Soul

Atlanta, Georgia, (September 14, 2017) – On Monday, the winds blew, the rain roared, and one by one, people needing shelter from Tropical Storm Irma trickled into Atlanta’s Red Shield Services. The shelter, which provides transitional housing to homeless men, women, families, the elderly, and the disabled, had received a request from the City of Atlanta to house some of the overflow population from other Metro Atlanta shelters during Monday’s storm.

It wasn’t an unusual request. In fact, Red Shield runs an Inclement Weather Program, which provides overnight shelter to those who have nowhere else to go when the temperature is below 40 degrees, and to those who wouldn’t normally seek shelter—no matter how bad the weather.

So, on Monday, as the remnants of Irma blew through Atlanta, the staff at Red Shield hunkered down to do what they do best—provide calm and stability through the various storms of life, in all their manifestations. “When it gets crazy out there, we’re ramping up in here,” said Kristie Wood, administrative assistant at Red Shield.

By Monday night, 35 additional people had sought shelter at Red Shield. Staff and volunteers provided makeshift bedding in the facility’s overflow shelter—it’s cafeteria—which can accommodate 40 people. “It’s a mat on the floor, but it’s better than being on the street,” Woods says.

Though others were seeking refuge from the elements, Woods is used to braving this kind of storm, both as a staff member and a former client of Red Shield. “I slept in bed 469. I had a light over my head that stayed on all night and a speaker at my feet that blared the intercom system,” she says.

For Woods, that temporary discomfort spurred a spiritual wake-up call. “I realized I had built my life around things that God didn’t want for me,” Woods remembers. “I applied for 700 jobs and wasn’t hired for a single one. I kept asking God to give me a job where I could use all my gifts, and He led me here.” Woods was hired full time in February 2014.

Today, she coordinates care and shelter for those in need. Woods says during Tropical Storm Irma, Red Shield staff fed the overflow individuals dinner and breakfast before releasing them from the shelter around noon on Wednesday. During the storm, Red Shield staff and volunteers also served breakfast to 100 elderly and disabled residents of The Salvation Army’s William Booth Towers, which had lost power. And, they also provided meals to about 200 people at Atlanta’s Peachtree-Pine Shelter.

Feeding bodies is necessary, but Woods knows feeding souls is really the mission of The Salvation Army does, and one she not only contributes to but benefits from, daily. “I know that what we do here works. I was able to get back on my feet and get my apartment. It wasn’t the most pleasant experience, but it’s much better than being out there, for sure.”

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 

Partnership helps The Salvation Army deploy needed resources to Florida

JACKSON, MS – When helping thousands in need following two major hurricanes, it is vital to have the support of community organizations and local businesses inside and outside the impacted area.

“Even as large as The Salvation Army is with its many officers, staff and volunteers, no one organization can do the job alone,” said Terry Lightheart, Director of Emergency Disaster Services for the Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi Division

The Florida Division of The Salvation Army made a request to the ALM Division for a 53′ field kitchen which can provide up to 10,000 meals during disaster relief operations. With so many Salvation Army assets deployed in Texas and Florida, the ALM Division found itself short on drivers and trucks to haul the needed resource. After a few phone calls, a local trucking company, Total Transportation, willingly filled the need.

“The Salvation Army has been blessed with so many partnerships before and during Harvey and Irma,” said Lightheart. “This company really stepped up when we needed them so we want to make sure we highlight their efforts.”

Total Transportation provided the driver and truck to haul the trailer.

“Total Transportation of MS, LLC is privileged to serve alongside the Salvation Army during a time of need after Hurricane Irma,” said John D. Stomps, President and CEO of Total Transportation of MS. “With 1300 employees representing our organization, over 125 of Total’s office staff and drivers live in the state of Florida.”

Stomps says The Salvation Army and Total Transportation play an important role in helping Florida’s recovery after Irma.

“During times of disaster, the Salvation Army is a guiding light to many people’s lives and Total Transportation of MS along with the trucking industry will be there to ensure those needs are met,” said Stomps.

Total’s driver delivering the field kitchen is Thomas Crysler who is a Florida native.

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 establishing feeding in Highlands County, Florida after Irma

Sebring, FL – With Hurricane Irma damage still obvious all across the area, The Salvation Army is working in Highlands County, Florida to meet the immediate needs of residents still without power days after the storm. Water, ice, and a hot meal are all priorities.

“We do have some challenges right now, but we have three feeding trucks at our disposal and those will be out in the county beginning Wednesday,” said Major Ernest Hull, Incident Commander.

Sebring Corps Officer, Major Tim Roberts has seen the damage and is helping identify the subdivisions who need a meal, a bottle of water, or just someone who can help.

“We know folks are hurting that’s why we have these crews in town,” said Major Roberts. “The Salvation Army will be here as long as it takes to get things back to normal.

Emotional and Spiritual Care officers will be accompanying mobile feeding trucks to offer encouragement, a pat on the back or a hug.

“We want to minister to the physical needs, but also the spiritual ones, because living without power after you’ve lost so much can be difficult,” said Major Hull. “We want them to know they are not alone in their 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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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

The Salvation Army on the Move in Georgia

ATLANTA, GA (September 14, 2017) – The Salvation Army of Georgia is on the move to confront the panorama of destruction across the Peach State after remnants of Irma swept through earlier Monday and Tuesday. As citizens across the state begin to return and rebuild, The Salvation Army’s Incident Management Team (IMT) moved their location from Atlanta to Savannah, and closer to the most heavily impacted areas in the state. 

The damage from Irma’s raging winds and punishing rains initially appeared significant and widespread, but short of catastrophic. “This is a story that is yet unfolding,” said Major Douglas McClure, Georgia Incident Management Commander. “We are here to help people impacted by the storm and will continually assess the best deployment of our resources to do so.”

Additional Salvation Army reinforcements, deployed from the National Capital/Virginia Division, arrives today with eight canteens to help with relief efforts in Georgia. Across the state in fixed and mobile locations, Salvation Army units continue to provide food services and emotional and spiritual care.

Coastal and Southern Georgia area service highlights:

  • Savannah Corps – provided feeding for Savannah Civic Center, Hunter Air Field and Southside Fire Department and Chatham County EOC. Distributed 975 meals and 1,675 drinks and snacks.
  • Brunswick – Glenn and McIntosh counties evacuated. No services provided on Monday due to the storm.
  • Albany – Provided food services to Albany Civic Center; served 1,350meals and 1,700 drinks and snacks.
  • Waycross – Provided food support to Ware County High School. Distributed 1,200 meals.
  • Valdosta – Currently providing meals, drinks, and snacks at Mathis Auditorium Distributed 30 meals and 225 drinks and snacks, and spiritual and emotional care for 11 people.
  • Thomasville – Provided food support at two locations; Distributed 75 meals, 100 drinks, and spiritual and emotional care for 34 people.
  • Tifton – Provided food services at the ABAC-Gressett Gym. Distributed 450 meals and 1,350 drinks and snacks
  • Americus – Provided food assistance, including EOC. Distributed 40 meals and 225 drinks and snacks.

Metro Atlanta, central and north Georgia:

  • Metro Atlanta Area Command – Provided accommodations and food support for additional people. Distributed 250 meals and drinks, provided emotional and spiritual care for 15 people, distributed 45 comfort kits, and provided shelter for 50 people.
  • Central GA Command (Macon) – Provided food support to Brooks East Macon Center, North Park Community Center, Frank Johnson Community Center, and Memorial Park. Distributed 1,700 meals and 1,950 drinks and snacks.
  • Columbus – Shelter in operation at the Civic Center. Looking to establish food services shortly.
  • Augusta – Family store and Kroc Center both sustained damage. Provided food service to Trinity on the Hill, Brigham Community Center, Patriots Park, Warrant Community Center, Pinehill Middle School, and the EOC. Distributed 1,950 meals and spiritual and emotional care for 50 people.

As of Wednesday evening, September 13, 33,273 meals, 50,562 drinks and 20,509 snacks and 8,319 emotional and spiritual care contacts were provided for those in Georgia impacted by Hurricane Irma.

How to help those impacted by Hurricane Harvey and Irma

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 as the need continues to be assessed. The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those directly affected by the storm to visit helpsalvationarmy.org, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or 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 

Hurricane Irma | Florida Disaster Response Daily Update

Tampa,  Florida (September 16, 2017) In what is the largest response in the history of the Florida Division, The Salvation Army continues to respond in the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. All Salvation Army units in Florida are actively involved in the statewide relief effort that includes the support of trained disaster workers and volunteers from around the United States and Canada.

The Salvation Army of Florida has 62 canteens (mobile feeding units) and 4 field kitchens that are serving in locations throughout the state of Florida. Other support vehicles including sleeping units, refrigerated vehicles, and generators have been dispatched to some of the hardest hit areas in southwest Florida.

FLORIDA KEYS

The first mass hot meals since Hurricane Irma hit the Florida Keys on Sunday are being served from The Salvation Army’s field kitchen in Marathon today. Most people in the keys, both survivors and first responders, have been eating shelf-stable meals and MREs for 5 days, making a hot cooked meal a welcome sight. The tractor trailer field kitchen has the capacity to provide more than 10,000 meals a day, and will serve breakfast, lunch, and dinner to those in need.

Additional supplies are being flown in to the Florida Keys by AERObridge. With this partnership, The Salvation Army has been able to bring two tractor trailers-worth of supplies, namely shelf stable meals and water to families in need in the Florida Keys.

MIAMI

In response to communitiy needs, on Friday eight mobile canteens provided more than 5,000 meals and 5,000 bottles of cold water to neighborhoods battling the heat without power. With support from a Salvation Army Canadian team, three additional canteens join the fleet today to provide food and spiritual care throughout the Miami area including the town of Homestead that was destroyed by Hurricane Andrew twenty five years ago. 

FORT MYERS

In addition to seven canteens serving Lee, Hendry and Glades counties, the Ft. Myers Salvation Army is partnering with the Southern Bapatist Convention Disaster Relief  to serve meals to families at Lehigh Senior High. “The Salvation Army is great.” said Principal Jackie Corey. “It has been an awesome opportunity for the community to come together and do soemthing together.”

NORTHEAST FLORIDA

Twelve mobile feeding kitchens from Jacksonville Area Command and North and South Carolina have fanned out through a six-county area in northeast Florida, providing food, hydration, and emotional and spiritual care to people impacted by flooding from storm surge from Hurricane Irma and flooding from local rivers and tributaries. In Clay County, the rivers and tributaries flooded past the flood gauges. In some places residents were expecting three feet of water and planned accordingly raising furniture on blocks and storing cars on higher ground; they received eight to ten feet of water. Emotional and spiritual care workers are vital to this operation – power is still out after five days and survivors are stressed and need a listening ear and guidance to available resources. Because the power is still out, feeding is vital to the impacted communities. Several people who have come to The Salvation Army for help have not eaten for a couple of days. Water is a precious commodity in many of the rural areas where residents use well water. Without electricity, wells cannot pump the water. In the northeast Florida area, The Salvation Army is providing more than 2,000 meals per day.

NAPLES

Responding to hardest hit areas The Salvation Army has deployed nine canteens to the area with more supplies arriving daily. Partnering with the Southern Baptist Convention Disaster Relief the Army is able to get more meals to the most in need. On Friday six-year-old Carmen found herself translating for her anxious mother at a Salvation Army canteen while her 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.

Sebring

On Friday, additional food and water supplies arrived. Cooking from two canteens and a catering truck. Meals are being served in Avon Park, Sebring, and Lake Placid. Power is still out in a large portion of Highlands County.

The Salvation Army continues to provide services in:

Port Charlotte & Desoto County, Lake & Sumter County, Pasco County, Sebring, Vero Beach, Ocala, Orlando, Gainesville, Citrus County, Polk County, Pinellas County and Suwannee County.

As of Saturday morning, September, 16, The Salvation Army Florida Division has prepared and distributed 362,860 meals, drinks, and snacks, and have made 3,800 emotional and spiritual comfort contacts with the support of 6,900 volunteer hours.

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 

Welcoming Those Returning Home with a Hot Meal and a Smile

(Marco Island, Fla.) Sept. 13, 2017 –  The tiny community of Marco Island looks like a ghost town. Homes are boarded, hurricane shutters are drawn, big trees uprooted from the earth and the palm trees that once danced in the wind have fallen onto the street.

In the wee hours of Sunday morning, Hurricane Irma made itslandfall onto this 24-square mile island and then roared up the west coast.

“My sister’s name is Irma,” said Nestor Cifuentes, who was picking up a meal from The Salvation Army’s mobile kitchen stationed in a Publix parking lot on Barfield Drive. “I always knew she was a hurricane.”

Cifuentes compared Hurricane Wilma in when it hit nearby Palm Beach to Irma.

“But that was nothing compared to the sound Irma made,” he added.

Leslie Sanford was hunkered down at the Marco Island Emergency Operations Center when Irma hit.

“I was in a little closet,” she said. “We don’t have power or water at our home, so I’m grateful for you all.”
 
Sanford took few bottles or water and a plate of spaghetti for dinner.

“A lot of people evacuated,” she said. “People are just now coming home. They will find their homes without power and water. It’s a blessing you all are able to provide.”

There was a steady stream of vehicles by the canteen on Wednesday evening as cheery volunteers greeted them.  

“Would you like a hot meal,” said Mandy Fulton, the development director for The Salvation Army of Lakeland. “Please take some for your family, too.”

Fulton has been with The Salvation Army since January. She said it was important for her to see first-hand The Salvation Army’s work in the community.

“I felt called to be here,” she said as she greeted people near the canteen. “There’s no place I’d rather be.”

Wednesday’s dinner – spaghetti, mixed vegetables and an array of snacks – hit the spot for John and Gloria Liimatta, who just returned to their home from evacuating.

“This is our first hot meal since Friday,” Gloria said. “I’m sure it will be the best spaghetti I’ve ever had – and I’m Italian.”

All 47 Salvation Army units – from Pensacola to south Florida – are assisting and serving residents in need. The Salvation Army has prepared and distributed more than 330,000 meals statewide since September 8, when it began its relief and recovery efforts. The teams are now transitioning into response, establishing staging areas across the state, which include Naples, Fort Myers, Key West and Keystone Heights. The Salvation Army has more than 3,000 trained volunteers and staff in Florida, ready to offer a warm meal, bottled water, coffee or offer emotional and spiritual care.

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 as the need continues to be assessed. The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those directly affected by the storm to visit helpsalvationarmy.org, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or text “Storm” to 51555.

At this point, in-kind donations are not being accepted.  Used clothing and used furniture are seldom required during an incident.  However, these gifts are vitally important in supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army. Please consider giving these items to your local Salvation Army Family Store or dial 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825).

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