Kiwanis International is teaming with The Salvation Army to feed those in need in Oklahoma City. It’s a relationship that started as an idea after 9/11.
“A Salvation Army officer mentioned the need for reliable volunteers, so we decided to make this a major thing,” says Jane Crump, a San Antonio resident and member of the Bexar Kiwanis Club.
Three hundred and fifty Kiwanis members from the Texas-Oklahoma District took training courses; The Salvation Army taught them how to run canteens (mobile kitchens). Kiwanians first volunteered for The Salvation Army when Space Shuttle Columbia disintegrated over Texas and Louisiana in 2003. They also assisted with Emergency Disaster Services in Pensacola, Florida (Hurricane Ivan), New Orleans, Louisiana (Hurricane Katrina), and Beaumont, Texas (Hurricane Rita). The Kiwanians fundraised in between, raising a total of $90,000.
What began as a vision in 2001 became reality in 2007 when the Kiwanians partnered with The Salvation Army to purchase a $132,000 canteen. The truck was first used in Beaumont, Texas, when Hurricane Gustav made landfall.
In Oklahoma, volunteers have brought in 22 canteens from Arkansas, Oklahoma, Texas, Kentucky and Tennessee. They have worked around the clock to serve tornado victims since twisters first swept through the area on May 19th. Kiwanis Club members are honored to be among those called to serve.
“The Salvation Army takes care of their volunteers. We feel confident that when Kiwanians volunteer for The Salvation Army they will be taken care of,” Crump says.
Jane Crump deployed for a 2-week appointment on the canteen on May 29. She is serving with Henry and Patsy Pederson from the Northwest Casady Kiwanis Club in Oklahoma City. During this appointment the three have served thousands of meals, snacks and drinks from their canteen.
As for Crump, the opportunity to volunteer for The Salvation Army is second nature.
“There’s a lot of good organizations out there, but we really love The Salvation Army.”