DALTON, GA â€“ The Salvation Army deployed a mobile feeding unit to the Dalton Convention Center to provide hydration and emotional and spiritual aid to first responders, students and family members affected after a high school teacher barricaded himself in a classroom and fired a shot through a window earlier this week.
The students were evacuated to the Dalton Convention Center as part of the high schoolâ€™s active shooter emergency plan.
â€œImmediately after we heard about the event, we grabbed all the water stored in the food center, loaded into the canteen, and drove to the Trade Center to serve,â€� said Major Douglas McClure, the presiding officer at The Salvation Army of the Greater Dalton Area.
According to Major McClure, during their three and a half hours of service, over 400 bottles of water were distributed and 19 individuals received emotional and spiritual care. â€œEveryone from responding organizations to the school students, faculty and parents were grateful for our presence,â€� said Major McClure.
The Salvation Army was allowed into the sequestered gym area of the Convention Center by the high school staff and board of education to serve the students. They served bottled water and prayed with students, family, school staff, firefighters, police and EMS units until the high school students were all reunited with their parents.
â€œSome people think The Salvation Army emergency disaster responses are only for hurricanes and floods. The reality is that The Salvation Army stands ready to serve when any kind of disaster strikes,â€� said Major McClure. â€œThe impact of this event will be with this community for a long time. And whenever and wherever, we will always be there for them in their time of need with aid, support and comfort.â€�
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.