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Holiday Beach Strong

Holiday Beach, Texas (October 10, 2017) – Amidst the street after street lined with debris and destruction in Holiday Beach, hangs emblems of comfort: spray painted signs reminiscent of the Bayfront community’s scenery, displaying the words, “Holiday Beach Strong”�.

“I wanted the signs to remind people that despite the devastation, the community will come together, remain hopeful, and rebuild,”� said Analisa Kennedy, potter and photographer. “We are static but we are still here.”�

Analisa and her husband celebrated their 44th wedding anniversary in their Holiday Beach house only a week before Hurricane Harvey devastated Texas. When Analisa returned to her neighborhood, after evacuating for several days, she found merely a skeleton of her home still standing. The storm had stripped away the roof and walls of the house and their belongings lay broken, soaked, and ruined on the ground. One item that remained intact in the rubble was the families leather bound bible.

The Salvation Army has been comforting Holiday Beach residents by providing prepared meals, hydration, and emotional and spiritual care each day.

“The Salvation Army has been a God send! In addition to bringing much needed food, they’ve been making us laugh and there’s not a lot of laughter around here anymore,”� said Analisa. “And you have to have humor because if you don’t, you’ll cry a lot.”�

As of October 10, The Salvation Army has served 905,946 meals, 965,060 snacks, and 978,858 drinks to those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

“I cannot tell you how much those meals meant to our community,”� said Analisa.

As a token of her appreciation for the assistance that she received following Hurricane Harvey, Analisa intends to volunteer her time as a bell ringer this holiday season. She is excited to support The Salvation Army’s initiatives to serve other people in need.

“Salvation Army workers from all over the country were there for us and we want to be there for them.”�

You can support The Salvation Army’s ongoing disaster relief work, by making a financial donation at www.helpsalvationarmy.org, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY, or 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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Shirts and Salvation for Holiday Beach Survivors

Holiday Beach, Texas (October 10, 2017) – “We thought there would be thousands of people helping in Texas and there really wasn’t, but The Salvation Army was there,”� said Thomas Billmeyer.

After Hurricane Harvey ravaged the small coastal community of Holiday Beach, Thomas and his two colleagues drove 18 hours to Texas, from Iowa, to help out. He and his friends worked for several days to rebuild a Holiday Beach resident’s roof that was destroyed in the storm.

During the five days that Thomas spent in Texas, he became acquainted with The Salvation Army’s disaster relief personnel that were providing hot meals, hydration, and hope to survivors in Holiday Beach.

Thomas donated 30 cases of water to The Salvation Army to be distributed as part of the relief efforts. He is also the founder and CEO of Polární­ clothing, a company which supports the relocation and rehabilitation of endangered animals. Thomas also donated 100 items of clothing from the brand.

“Supporting The Salvation Army was a touching, heart-warming, and eye-opening experience,”� said Thomas.

Like Thomas, The Salvation Army goes the extra mile for those affected by natural disasters like Hurricane Harvey. As of October 10, The Salvation Army has served 905,946 meals, 965,060 snacks, and 978,858 drinks to those affected by Hurricane Harvey.

You can support The Salvation Army’s ongoing disaster relief work, by making a financial donation at www.helpsalvationarmy.org, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY, or 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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Equipment Moved to Higher Ground, Sunday Services Cancelled Along the Gulf Coast

Jackson, MS – As Tropical Storm Nate moves into the Gulf of Mexico, The Salvation Army of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi is ready should their help be needed. Coastal locations in Mobile and Dothan, Alabama, Pascagoula and Biloxi, Mississippi, and in New Orleans have their equipment in safe locations, plus all have cancelled Sunday services for this weekend.

“Water and food is ready to go,” said Major Tom Richmond, Coastal Alabama Command located in Mobile. “So are our personnel if we are called to respond.”

Sunday school classes and services will not be held in order to keep everyone safe and off the roads with Nate predicted to make landfall early Sunday morning. The Mississippi Gulf Coast Command will close its Family Stores and the Ray and Joan Kroc Community Center this weekend in Biloxi.

“A lot of our employees and residents are more sensitive to these storms when they head our way having lived through the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, so we just think it’s better they stay home and prepare for Nate,” said Major Gary Sturdivant, Mississippi Gulf Coast Command.

The Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi has 25 mobile feeding vehicles ready to roll each with the capability to feed one thousand meals per day.

“All personnel and equipment have been recalled from Texas and Florida to make sure this three state Division is taken care of,” said Terry Lightheart, Emergency/Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. “We are tired from serving after Harvey and Irma, but we know the Lord gives us strength to meet need wherever it may be.”

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.

Salvation Army Provides Bilingual Assistance for Irma Survivors

Bonita Springs, FL – Salvation Army Officer, Major Doris Lawrence, is using her bilingual skills to assist families coming into The Salvation Army Bonita Springs Service Center. A lady with her children came in tears and said she had tried calling FEMA several times before coming to The Salvation Army.  She explained that her English was not good enough to communicate with the operator and she became frustrated with working long days cleaning her home with little to no help.   Major Lawrence, who provides emotional and spiritual care, called FEMA and within minutes – set up an appointment at their office to speak to a representative. 

“Bilingual volunteers are needed in this area,” said Major Lawrence.  “We are seeing several Irma survivors coming to the office in need of FEMA assistance and unable to communicate their needs.”  

Every day for a week, Major Lawrence assisted between five to ten Spanish speaking families with assistance.  She has coordinated FEMA to come meet with the families at The Salvation Army center, simply because the families cannot get to their homes due to the overwhelming amount of standing water still in their neighborhoods.  Major Lawrence sat and talked with families for hours about their ordeal and their loss.  She lifted an emotional barrier by providing sympathy and understanding in a desperate time of need.

Major Lawrence, expressed her concerns about the Spanish speaking victims and their long-term recovery service needs in their area.  She was thankful for the Spanish speaking staff and volunteers, who continue to work tirelessly in this community.  Thanks to the bilingual skills of one Salvation Army Officer, many are finding hope with love and compassion.

The Salvation Army in Ft. Myers has prepared and distributed 174,844 meals, drinks and snacks; provided 9,005 cleaning supplies; 5,378 hygiene kits; 6,450 food boxes; 157,756 infant supply boxes; 3,293 victims with emotional and spiritual care; and 1,930 volunteers gave 181,542 hours of service.

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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Two Girls and a Truck

Naples, Florida – Mostly every part of Collier County, which Florida’s largest county, is renowned for its beautiful staple communities. A combination of bustling streets and quiet and quaint roads.

All along these scenic roads are all too familiar sights as well – people in despair. Prior to Hurricane Irma, the county was already in a housing and hunger crisis; in the aftermath, it is a catastrophe.

In the far lanes of these roads you’ll hear beeping and lights flashing from a little red and white mobile canteen, also known as a mobile feeding unit.  In the truck are two of the most dedicated women on the front lines – Captain’s Linnea Forney and Bersabé Vera. The Captains who are also Corps officers, along with a handful of their colleagues, are from the Greater Chicagoland area which was deployed to The Salvation Army in Naples to assist with hurricane relief efforts.

From Naples to Immokalee and beyond, support from The Salvation Army in Collier County will remain steadfast and in the community long after the flood waters recede.  While the Captains won’t be the ones personally beeping away to locals, the mission and ministry of the Army will be hard at work.

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

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Salvation Army ALM units on standby with strengthening, predicted track of Nate

Jackson, MS – As tropical depression 16 strengthened into Tropical Storm Nate Thursday, The Salvation Army of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi is placing all units within the three-state division on standby. Officials have also recalled equipment and personnel from disaster assignments in other states as Nate is forecast to make landfall Sunday.

“Our officers, staff, volunteers, and equipment have served residents in other areas with live and kindness in their time of need,” said Terry Lightheart, Emergency/Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. “Now with Nate, we need them.

Nate is the third storm to impact the Southeast in the last two months following Harvey and Irma. Local Salvation Army Commands and Corps are prepping for response should the need arise by contacting local and county emergency officials and stocking mobile feeding units or canteens with meals, water, and snacks.

“We are ready for whatever Nate may bring,” said Major Gary Sturdivant, Mississippi Gulf Coast Command. “I spoke with local officials, and they know we are ready to serve food and drinks, plus provide emotional and spiritual care to those who may be affected.”

Even with several officers, staff and volunteers having previously served in Texas and Florida, teams and equipment are ready to move in once the storm moves through.

“As a precaution, we are moving our equipment to higher ground, so we are prepared if needed,” said Major Ernest Hull, New Orleans command. “The last few weeks were extremely busy, but our job is serve where we are needed the most. If there is damage or flooding, The Salvation Army will be there to help.”

How People Can Help

The best way to help after a disaster is to make a financial donation. Monetary contributions also support local economies and ensure that businesses can operate when relief supplies diminish.

Online: helpsalvationarmy.org 

Donate By Phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY 

Mail Checks to

The Salvation Army PO Box 1959 Atlanta, GA 30301   

 Please designate “Hurricane 2017” on all checks. 

Text to Give: 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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Hurricane Irma – Florida Disaster Response Update

Tampa, Florida (October 5, 2017) – The Salvation Army Florida Division continues to serve and support all Salvation Army units in Florida actively involved in the statewide relief effort.  The Salvation Army of Florida has 9 canteens (mobile feeding units) that are serving in two locations in the state of Florida. Other support vehicles including refrigerated vehicles.   

FT. MYERS

The Disaster Response Team worked out of 2 mobile feeding canteens handing out around 11,000 snacks, 595 prepared meals, 1,700 bottled waters, 90 tarps and a variety of baby supplies to people in the LaBelle and Bonita Springs area.    To date, over 170,000 meals have been prepared and served; 8,299 cleaning kits and 4,762 hygiene supplies have been given out; and 132,250 baby supply boxes were distributed in the Fort Myers area.

Majors Tim and Cheryl Gilliam, Area Commanders, are working to meet the recovery efforts of the community and continues to assist those effected through the five social service centers.  

NAPLES – COLLIER COUNTY

The Salvation Army in Collier County has transitioned into the Recovery Phase 1, while distributing food and water to Collier County residents.  In Collier County alone, there are 4 Mobile Canteen (mobile kitchen) Units in use; 2 Cargo Trucks; 4 Trailers; 14 Roving Support Vehicles; 4 UTV’s.

The Salvation Army is serving hot meals in fixed feeding at the following locations: Immokalee (617 W Main Street), Golden Gate (former K-Mart 4955 Golden Gate Pkwy).

Roving Vehicle Operations, providing hot/cold meals, hygiene technology, and baby kits throughout the following areas: Chokoloskee, Naples – Coconut Drive, 6L Farm Road, Hwy 41 & Autoranch, Lockhart & Lake Park, Maples Tree Drive, Charlee States, Hwy 40 & dude Road, Oaktree Drive.

The Salvation Army in Collier County has served over 80,000 hot meals, over 100,000 bottles of water and juice, and has additionally served over 5,000 hygiene and baby kits.

The Salvation Army has made 7,000 emotional and spiritual care contacts. 

Major Dan Proctor, The Salvation Army Naples Area Coordinator will be working with local officials and organizations to assess the needs of the community recovery efforts.

New Update:  The Salvation Army Florida Division has prepared and distributed 928,677 meals; made 15.631 emotional and spiritual care contacts with the support of 4,366 volunteers giving 336,615 service hours from officers, employees, and volunteers.  143,335 baby supply kits were given out and 19,986 cleaning and hygiene kits have been distributed.

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

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Salvation Army Naples Begins Operation: Lasting Hope

Naples, Florida – The Salvation Army, one of the largest providers of direct social services in Collier County, begins “Operation: Lasting Hope” – offering expanded comprehensive and holistic services for those most in need in the wake of Hurricane Irma.

With a presence in every zip code in the United States, The Salvation Army is uniquely positioned to support those affected by Hurricane Irma. As overall Florida disaster services begin to focus on the recovery phase, The Salvation Army in Naples has launched a comprehensive long-term recovery plan that will include roving and fixed feeding operations throughout the entire county; increased community social workers that can identify and assist individuals, families and seniors in need; after-school and youth programming at The Salvation Army Fran Cohen Youth Center; summer and residential camps; women’s ministries; spiritual care, and more.

As a part of “Operation: Lasting Hope”, our network of trained disaster staff and volunteers are now utilizing grass-root tactics such as door-to-door knocking  in order to inform local residents we are in the area – providing food, hydration, clean-up kits, hygiene supplies, and emotional and spiritual care to first responders and survivors.

Lasting Hope is greater than any single operation. For The Salvation Army, giving help and hope are one and the same every single day. It is the dedication to a singular vision of fulfilling a mission and ministry of giving everything from a helping hand, to everlasting hope.

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

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Salvation Army Spiritual Teams Touching Lives in Fort Myers

Fort Myers, FL – As standing contaminated water and undesirable smells still linger in hardest hit areas around Fort Myers, Salvation Army Officers and workers continue to tirelessly tread through waters to reach people (door to door) handing out food, water, and offering emotional and spiritual care to so many citizens overwhelmed about the amount of personal loss.

Salvation Army Officer, Major Amy Lee, serving on the Emotional and Spiritual Care team reported that since last Monday, neighborhoods across from the Home Depot in Bonita Springs couldn’t even drive down the street because it was flooded.  She said the teams went door to door, wearing hip waders to get up to most people’s front porch because there was still so much standing, contaminated water and that the folks they talked to there had mixed responses – almost everyone had to haul away all their belongings as well as rip out the sheet rock in their homes and drag it to the curb – this was hard work and heartbreaking.  Yet there were still those residents that spoke of hope that somehow, they would make it through although weather reports of rain did concern them and many were happy to receive extra tarps for their homes.

Another team went into the Imperial Springs mobile home park in Bonita Springs, going door to door offering tarps to the houses that had obvious roof damage and delivering water and snack packs to those in need.   The team encountered a 90-year-old woman who had her roof completely blown off and her grandchildren came to salvage what they could from inside, but they said the house will have to be torn down. They said it broke their hearts to have to tell their grandma on her 90th birthday that because of Irma, she would never move back into her home.

The teams value their one on one ministry as priceless to what they receive in return from the people they touch.  Salvation Army Officers are called to reach the people where they are and to provide a ministry of love to all.   Teams will continue to walk the neighborhoods of Bonita Springs for the next week assisting people with food, water, snacks, and spiritual care.  As of today, October 1, The Salvation Army in Ft. Myers have prepared and distributed 40,178 meals, given out 113,491 drinks and snacks, provided 6,321 cleaning kits, 1,564 food boxes, 120,266 infant supply boxes, and offered spiritual care to 1,990 people.

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

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"The Salvation Army Did More Than Serve Food – They Were Our Heroes"

Corpus Christi, Texas (October 2, 2017) – A letter from a resident of a Senior Apartment complex in Corpus Christi:

“I just wanted to thank The Salvation Army. I know you are very busy right now. I have lived in Corpus Christi since 2009. Before that I lived in Florida for 22 years and experienced many hurricanes, including eight in the space of only two years in 2004/2005. I am disabled and on low income now. We have 200 apartments in our community, all of which are low income. There are quite a few residents who don’t drive any more and many are over 70 years old, with some over 90. During Hurricane Harvey, only about 30 percent could evacuate and most people in the community stayed. No money to leave, no one to go to, and difficult for the elderly to go to shelters.

“We were six days without power and some of us were without hot water because the wind blew out our pilot light. We have two grills on the property and we cooked as much food as possible and gave it away before it went bad. We didn’t have too much damage, but other places like Rockport, Aransas Pass, Port Aransas and Houston area were not so lucky.

“I live on $755 a month. By the time I do grocery shopping, pay my car payment and insurance, rent, internet and phone, I only have around $35-$60 left to buy clothes and other needs. I lost close to $500 in the storm, which took me a while to save up. Many of us receive money for birthdays, Mother’s Day, Father’s Day and other times, and I save that up all year and use it for extra food and other necessities.

“I can’t begin to tell you how important it was when your much-welcomed truck pulled in to our community and served meals to us. After three days, everyone here was worn out and had very little food. We lost everything in our freezers and refrigerators. No local stores were open, many of us were charging our cell phones in our cars. Our apartments were very warm. I want to thank The Salvation Army for myself and the other residents for thinking of us and bringing us some much-needed food.

“The Salvation Army people who served us were great and listened to all our troubles. They did more than serve food – they were our heroes. Your organization brought a lot of hope to our community. Again, thank you and God bless.”

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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