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Salvation Army Responds To Ruston Tornado With Multiple Feeding Units

Ruston, LA (April 26, 2019) — The Salvation Army has deployed three mobile feeding units to Ruston after a tornado ripped through that community yesterday morning, resulting in a considerable amount of debris from damaged commercial buildings, residential homes, and downed powerlines and trees. The city is home to Louisiana Tech which has a student population of approximately 12,000. The school experienced damage to its field house and a significant amount of debris scattered around campus.

In the aftermath of the storm, debris removal teams are in force to help bring some normalcy back to the community. The three Salvation Army mobile feeding units from Alexandria, Monroe and Shreveport will also be out in force today to provide meals, snacks and hydration to affected residents and debris removal teams. Captain Jerome “Jerry” Casey of the Monroe Corps is serving as Incident Commander and has been on the scene with the Monroe unit since early yesterday. He stated, “We’re meeting a lot of grateful people and they’re glad that we’re here. Some of them don’t understand why this happened. So we’re doing some spiritual nourishing as well as physical.” said Captain Casey. “There’s a community that’s hit, there’s a school that’s hit, there’s businesses that’s hit. So, we’re serving a lot of people in different situations,” he said.

Yesterday, The Salvation Army provided 160 meals, 160 drinks, and 250 snacks to tornado survivors in Ruston. The Salvation Army’s service to the Ruston community continues today.

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 

Disaster Strikes Ruston, Lincoln Parish, Louisiana

In the early morning hours of April 25, 2019, a tornado struck the city of Ruston, Louisiana leaving an extensive amount of debris from damaged buildings, fallen trees and downed power lines. With a population of approximately 22,000, the area is serviced by The Salvation Army Monroe Louisiana Corps. The city is also the home of Louisiana Tech which serves a student population of approximately 12,000.

In the wake of the storm, the Monroe Corps has deployed its mobile feeding unit to provide food, hydration and emotional and spiritual care to those affected by the storm. Incident Commander, Captain Jerome “Jerry” Casey stated, “As we deploy the mobile feeding unit to meet immediate needs, we will also be working with the local emergency management officials to assess the needs of the community in the days to come.”

Two additional mobile feeding units and disaster relief personnel from Alexandria and Shreveport are on standby to support the Monroe Corps team, as needed. 

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 moves the obstacles for a woman in Maryland

The Salvation Army moves the obstacles for a woman in Maryland

Lisa Turner previously lived in Arkansas and moved back to Havre de Grace, Maryland, last August to be closer to her family and friends. She paid a moving company $3,000 to pack and ship her belongings to Havre de Grace.

After a month without word of her belongings, Lisa realized something had gone seriously awry. Against Lisa’s request, the moving company had taken her belongings to Texas.

In addition to the $3,000 she had already paid, the company allegedly told her to pay an additional $2,000 to obtain her possessions – her furniture, belongings of her two young grandsons who she has custody of and her electric wheelchair.

In desperate need of reclaiming her things, Lisa got connected with an attorney from the Maryland Crime Victim Resource Center. That attorney, in turn, had a connection with The Salvation Army’s Southern Territorial Headquarters.

THQ referred the case to Lieutenants Bo and Wendy Parsons, corps officers of Havre de Grace Corps.

After endless phone calls, emails and paperwork, Lieutenants Bo and Wendy had PODS portable moving and storage units dropped at the storage facility in Texas; arranged to have Lisa’s possessions moved into the PODS; and then had the PODS transported to Maryland.

On March 12, the PODS were delivered to The Salvation Army Havre de Grace Corps. Lieutenant Bo, along with four residents from The Salvation Army’s Adult Rehabilitation Center in Baltimore, emptied the PODS into a 26-foot U-Haul truck and personally moved Lisa’s belongings into her new home in Havre de Grace.

In a thank-you letter to Lieutenant Wendy, Lisa wrote: “As I shut down the house for bed, there on the floor by the front door was a small silver cross, & it made me think of you. I once again realized how blessed we were throughout this whole event.
An angel on earth truly saved us with an army of warriors by her side!

“Words can’t express how you have touched our lives. The boys have lost everything in their lives over & over before I got them. I was the one sustainable constant & I let them down. You made me a hero again. This undertaking was huge figuratively & financially! I just hope I can convey somehow that in meeting you I feel forever changed … true blessings & humanity do exist alongside the ugly we sometimes encounter but come with a greater force of goodness.

“Sincerely…thank you & The Salvation Army for making us whole once again.”

Source: southernspiritonline.org

A young Girl Scout with a big heart offers a bit of joy to people in need

A young Girl Scout with a big heart offers a bit of joy to people in need

Six-year-old Lauren Lennon of Wake Forest, North Carolina, wanted to make a difference in her community. She wanted to donate Girl Scout cookies to the homeless, and her mother, Bridget Wall-Lennon, decided The Salvation Army of Wake County would be the ideal place.

When word got out of what Lauren wanted to do, local television stations came out to cover the story. When Lauren and her mother pulled into the parking lot of The Salvation Army of Wake County, Lauren was crying. “I don’t want to be on television,” she said.

It truly shows the heart and mission of what Lauren was trying to do. She didn’t care about the fame or the public knowing what she was doing. She just wanted to do something in her community for those who are less fortunate and to at least, for a moment, put a smile on someone’s face.

After her mother and the cameramen and Salvation Army staff talked with Lauren and calmed her down, she warmed up to the idea of being recognized for what she was doing.

Lauren saw her mother, a board commissioner for the Town of Wake Forest, donate Girl Scout cookies to the homeless in 2018. Upon losing her first front tooth, Lauren asked Wall-Lennon if the Tooth Fairy would bring her $100 for her tooth. Wall-Lennon seemed puzzled by the question. During Wall-Lennon’s time growing up, the fairy would possibly bring 50 cents. Lauren explained that she wanted to buy Girl Scout cookies to give to the homeless.

Lauren wrote her letter to the Tooth Fairy. Well, the Tooth Fairy gave her $50 that evening. Wall-Lennon also posted about what Lauren was trying to do on social media and she received about $200 more in donations. She bought 81 boxes of cookies and gave them out at The Salvation Army of Wake County Center of Hope Women’s and Children’s Shelter.

“We chose The Salvation Army because we know it’s a Christian-based organization, that it extends itself to helping individuals who may be in transition and have fallen on hard times,” said Wall-Lennon. “In this day’s society, so many of us are just around the corner from that.”

This is Lauren’s second year as a Daisy. Wall-Lennon said that Lauren is extremely shy and bashful. When Lauren first started with the Girl Scouts, she had a rough go of it, trying to fit in. But as time has gone on, she has gotten more acclimated and has begun to come out of her shell. The one thing about Lauren is that she is very competitive.

“She wants to be the top cookie seller,” said Wall-Lennon. “She takes pride in putting her orders together and knows how to pull her orders. I’m really proud of her.”

Last year, Lauren sold 560 boxes of Girl Scout cookies. She set a goal of selling 600 this year. She ended up selling 837 boxes of cookies. Her goal next year is to sell 1,000 boxes of cookies.

Source: southernspiritonline.org

Making music possible: Plastic horns offer affordable alternative

Making music possible: Plastic horns offer affordable alternative

By: David Ibata

Credit for suggesting an affordable way to let 40 children have their own musical instrument at The Salvation Army in Rome, Georgia, goes to Mia Means, a high school freshman and corps cadet who helps teach music to younger kids.

“Before, we were using regular cornets,” Mia said, “and I was talking to Captain (Jason) Smith about how the cornets were getting scratched and banged up. I was like, why don’t we get plastic trumpets, captain?”

Plastic? No, it’s not a toy. A “pTrumpet” is the real thing, with a brass-type cupped mouthpiece and the working valves and fingerings of a conventional B-flat brass instrument. Manufactured for school use by Warwick Music Ltd. of the United Kingdom, it’s lighter than a metal instrument and available in a wild variety of colors – red, blue, green, yellow and white.

“I had experience with them from school, from the sixth grade,” Mia said. “Captain Smith looked into it, and eventually we got them. They’re so much better because they’re cheaper than regular trumpets, and they play the exact same way and sound exactly the same. Sometimes, on Sunday mornings, I’ll play a plastic trumpet in church to show kids they can do this, too – it’s not hard.”

The Rome Corps Women’s Auxiliary provided a $3,000 grant, and a private donor, $1,000, to pay for the instruments, Captain Smith said. The corps bought 20 pTrumpets and 20 “pBuzz” horns – the latter, a simpler plastic instrument for prekindergarten children. Rather than valves, the pBuzz has a sliding bore like a trombone to change pitch.

“The Trade Department of the Eastern Territory sells them,” said Captain Smith, who with his wife Captain Melissa are corps officers in Rome. “Each horn is played by the principal trumpet player of the New York Staff Band to ensure its quality. Each trumpet comes with a note from the Staff Band saying it meets their standards.”

What are the advantages? “Of course, they’re cheaper – about $125 each as opposed to $500 to $600 for a (metal) cornet or trumpet,” Captain Jason said. “They’re low maintenance. They’re plastic, which means they can handle younger kids who sometimes drop them or ding them on a chair.

“And because of the cost, we can now ensure every one of our music participants has their own horn. Before, they had to share horns, and we had to sanitize the mouthpieces between groups. Now we’re able to issue each child their own instrument.”

Nicholas Simmons-Smith, territorial music secretary, said that his own corps is thinking of purchasing 15 of the instruments and has gotten samples to try out.

At his corps, Simmons-Smith said, “and I am sure for Rome, we have a lot of community kids in our program who need a horn that doesn’t cost a lot and can be dropped and not damaged. These are great horns for beginners, and in this financial climate, very suitable for corps programs.”

Children come to Rome Corps on Monday evenings during the school year for Moonbeams, Sunbeams, Girl Guards and Adventure Corps. They’re served dinner, have a character-building time, and then break up for music. Women’s Auxiliary President Laura Martin, a retired music teacher, takes the pre-K boys and girls, the Moonbeams, and Captain Jason and Mia work with the older kids.

The p-instruments arrived in February and were immediately put to use. The corps plans to start the youngest children on the pBuzz and, after kindergarten, move them on to music theory and pTrumpets and, ultimately, conventional brass instruments like cornets and baritones.

Captain Jason said, “Our hope is our children will be able to feed into the junior music conservatory program at Camp Grandview,” the Georgia Division overnight camp, “and help children in the city and county schools decide if they want to be in a school band program in the sixth grade.”

Captains Smith came to Rome about three years ago and have grown the Monday night children’s program from about eight youngsters initially to an average of 40 currently.

“We’re hoping to see the program grow,” Captain Jason said. “We’re kind of at capacity now with our building and transportation, but we’d love to see this grow into a really robust conservatory program that can be held throughout the year.”

Source: southernspiritonline.org

Tornado Causes Damage in Franklin County, Virginia, While Storms Continue to Threaten Region

Washington DC – The National Weather Service confirmed a tornado touched down Friday morning in Franklin County, Virginia. Several homes have been destroyed or damaged by the high winds, hail, and flying debris.

The Salvation Army of Martinsville and The Salvation Army of Roanoke responded. They are providing meals for first responders and volunteers at the Franklin County Emergency Management incident command post, offering spiritual care to families, and distributing clean up kits. As the area continues to be under a tornado watch through this evening, the Salvation Army team is prepared to shelter at Bethel Methodist Church. Additional clean up kits will be distributed tomorrow and the scope of further canteen operations will be determined.

The Salvation Army National Capital & Virginia Division is closely monitoring storms, as tornado warnings have also been posted across the region in Virginia and the Washington, D.C. metropolitan area.  To support The Salvation Army’s disaster relief efforts, visit helpsalvationarmy.org

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

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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

The Salvation Army Serving Hope in Storm Damaged Areas

Hamilton, MS (April 18, 2019)—After a tornado struck the area surrounding Hamilton, MS, it was The Salvation Army that came to help serve affected residents and to aid the first responders in the days that followed. A meal or a bottle of water can often provide a considerable amount of emotional and mental comfort to those who have encountered stressful situations such as natural disasters. And, offering emotional support or spiritual care can help people in hard-hit communities find stability in the wake of a storm.

Severe weather continues to threaten the area and The Salvation Army will be prepared to serve as needed after the storms pass. According to Lieutenant Christian Smith, Columbus Salvation Army Corps Officer, they were able to continue operations until noon on April 18th but had to secure their temporary distribution area as the new round of storms entered the area. “We then plan to resume operations tomorrow and through the weekend,” he says.

That service will continue to include meals, water, snacks, clean-up kits, and emotional and spiritual care. To date The Salvation Army has provided 240 meals, 320 snacks, 314 drinks, 86 clean-up kits, 86 hygiene kits, 25 tarps, 40 cases of water, 5 sets of infant supplies and 13 boxes of food. This is in addition to the 44 individuals who have received emotional and spiritual care. To donate to The Salvation Army’s disaster relief efforts, go to helpsalvationarmy.org.

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

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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

Do not be afraid: A message for Easter from General Brian Peddle

Do not be afraid: A message for Easter from General Brian Peddle

What causes you to be afraid? Is it the dark? Spiders? Illness, heights, confined spaces, money problems or the future? A myriad of things are understandable causes of fear, and often that fear is accompanied by anxiety. There is a recurring theme throughout Scripture where God tells us not to be afraid.

At Christmas we noted the words from the angel Gabriel to Mary as she was told she would be the mother of Jesus: “Do not be afraid” (Luke 1:30). Remember that according to the Bible, angels are not quite the same as the helpless, beatific, tinsel-adorned young girls and boys who portray them in nativity plays – Psalm 103:20 describes them as “mighty.” The shepherds were comforted by the same phrase with the appearance of an angelic host (Luke 2:10). In Matthew’s account of the Resurrection morning, the first words of the angel at the tomb are: “Do not be afraid” (28:5). Just a few verses later, the women meet Jesus and his first words are: “Do not be afraid” (v. 10).

The Old Testament addresses the same issue as Joshua is about to succeed Moses. We read Moses’ encouraging words in Deuteronomy 31:8: The Lord himself goes before you and will be with you; he will never leave you nor forsake you. Do not be afraid; do not be discouraged. There is also the promise from God in Isaiah 43:1: Do not fear, for I have redeemed you; I have summoned you by name; you are mine. And at the end of the New Testament, as John sees Jesus in his vision and falls at his feet, Jesus again says: “Do not be afraid” (Revelation 1:17).

So we see that throughout Scripture God says to us: “Do not be afraid.” In the life of Christ, even from the foretelling of his birth, to the announcement of the same, to that first Easter morning, we hear those same words: “Do not be afraid.” It seems clear to me that God is inviting us to move from a place of fear to a position where we implicitly trust this “immeasurably more” God who never fails.

These words from God are not just trite advice. For those who know God and share life with him, there is no need to be afraid because God has overcome the world (John 16:33), defeated sin on the Cross and conquered death – as revealed by the empty tomb! We need to remember this when fear takes hold of us.

God is not a distant, powerful deity; he is an ever-present God who seeks to live with and in his people. We need to couple the instruction of “Do not be afraid” with the recurring promise we read before: “I will never leave you nor forsake you.” When fear takes hold, we should remember not only the omnipotence – all-powerfulness – of God; we should remember that he is right with us, beside us and in us. God’s perfect love drives out fear (1 John 4:18).

What is happening in your world and in your life this Easter?

Anyone who is struggling with sin and recurring cycles of behavior that they feel unable to break can choose not to be afraid, but to trust in the God who broke the power of sin on the Cross. Anyone who is facing significant challenges in life within the family, at work or with health, for example, can choose not to be afraid, but to trust in the God for whom nothing is impossible. Anyone who is experiencing grief and loss can choose not to be afraid, but to trust in the God who conquered death and promises eternal life.

So, this Eastertide, do not be afraid. Remember – God is with you. Do not be afraid. Remember – God is bigger than the situation you are facing. Do not be afraid. Our God is victorious, and he invites us to share in his victory!

Scripture quotations from the New International Version

Source: southernspiritonline.org

Salvation Army Columbus Corps Continues to Serve Tornado Survivors

After the tornado that struck Hamilton, MS on Saturday, April 13th first responders entered the area to provide aid to those affected by the storm. The Salvation Army was there as well to assist in recovery efforts. In the days that have followed, The Salvation Army has served this hard-hit community with material aid and spiritual comfort.

According to Lieutenant Christian Smith, Columbus Salvation Army Corps Officer, they are keeping an eye on forecasts of more severe weather coming through the area on Thursday, which may require a temporary hold on service delivery. However, The Salvation Army plans to continue serving the affected community before and after any new storms that may come through. “We’re going to get as much aid out there as possible before the storms hit,” said Lt. Smith. 

The Salvation Army will continue to serve the area as the need continues. A multi-agency distribution site was set up at the Hamilton Baptist Church. This distribution site will remain open through the weekend, to ensure they can meet the needs of the community.

To date, The Salvation Army has provided 240 meals, 306 snacks, 294 drinks, 73 clean-up kits, 73 hygiene kits, 13 food boxes, 30 tarps, 8 infant supplies, and 101 cases of water to tornado survivors and first responders in Mississippi and Alabama in response to the tornadoes that struck over the weekend of April 13-14, 2019. To donate to The Salvation Army’s disaster relief efforts, go to helpsalvationarmy.org.

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

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Source: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org 

Greenville Kroc Center land swap paves way for tennis expansion

Greenville Kroc Center land swap paves way for tennis expansion

By: David Ibata

The Salvation Army in Greenville, South Carolina, has reached an agreement with the city to exchange land, opening the way to an expansion of the local Kroc Center’s renowned tennis center.

“Downtown Greenville is growing tremendously, and it’s very difficult to find available property in the city,” said Steve Cook, director of The Salvation Army Ray and Joan Kroc Corps Community Center in Greenville. “For us to identify and acquire property next to the Kroc Center is a tremendous benefit to The Salvation Army. It allows us to grow our program and impact more individuals in the community.”

The Kroc Center, operator of the tennis facility, opened in 2011 on the former site of a Baptist church. The church had swapped its land for the former Salvation Army Boys & Girls Club about a half-mile away. The club moved into the Kroc Center, and the church moved into the former club building. The Army retained two land parcels totaling 20 acres next to the church.

Fast-forward to 2019: The city of Greenville needs about four acres of The Salvation Army’s land holdings next to the Baptist church for its new Unity Park. It has offered to exchange 1.3 acres of city-owned property next to the tennis center.

That, and a quarter-acre tract recently acquired by the Army in a separate transaction, will make possible six new tennis courts in addition to the 16 courts plus stadium court already in play. The tennis center has more than 700 members, serves 600 school children ages 5 to 18 each year, and operates the largest United States Tennis Association adult league program in the state.

Major Pete Costas, Greenville area commander, said the tennis expansion land is under contract, and it will be about two years before The Salvation Army can take possession – until a sewer project that runs beneath the site is finished. That gives the Army time for a fundraising campaign that may launch early next year. The new courts are estimated to cost $700,000.

As for the parcel The Salvation Army is giving to the city, Major Costas said, “the land is vacant. In fact, it’s floodzone property, so it’s really limited what could be constructed on it, but it would meet city codes for a parking lot and sports fields.”

Greenville’s Unity Park is a $40 million project planned for 60 acres on the west side of Greenville.

Source: southernspiritonline.org