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Tornado Relief: Months Later

August 11, 2012 by · Leave a Comment 

From Salvation Army Indiana’s upcoming newsletter:

On March 2, a storm front quickly approached southern Indiana.

“We were pretty well aware there was going to be some kind of major weather event,” said Major Stephen Kiger of The Salvation Army New Albany. “So we were prepared. We put people in place.”

The Salvation Army was on the scene in Borden and Clark counties by 6 p.m. assisting first responders. It soon became clear that the devastation covered a much broader area.

“We established a site at the fire station there,” Kiger said. “Then we moved a canteen to the other side of the county. The canteen was there all though the night. As information came in, we realized there was a lot of destruction.”

Multiple sites were set up to assist volunteers and victims.

“There was a lot of confusion. It’s just hard to imagine what happened,” Kiger said. “People were just wandering around trying to find their family. Cell towers were down so there was no communication.”

During the disaster, the Salvation Army met physical needs as well as physical and emotional needs in southern Indiana.

“People were very upset. I can’t say just how important emotional and spiritual support is,” he said. “We were a lifeline and had an impact on people.”

Kiger recalled one of those emotional moments: “A volunteer was taking drinks down the street and passed a funeral home where there was one of the first services for a victim. The brother of the victim walked out and wrapped his arms around the volunteer and thanked her for all her help and support.”

In the aftermath of cleaning up, plans were made to rebuild.

“There has been a classic outpouring from all over our country,” Kiger said. “There was no place to even put the stuff. Some of it wasn’t what we needed at the time and was stored.”
Monetary donations were the biggest help in the early days of recovery. And now, months later, there is still so much to do.

“A good gathering of faith-based groups came together to create Volunteers Rebuilding Our Community,” Kiger said. “They are addressing the need to rebuild and repair. Right now 80 homes need to be rebuilt, and this group will build about 20 of them.”

Did you know?
In addition to meeting the needs of hundreds of tornado survivors and first responders, The Salvation Army also provided $532,215 in long-term assistance to 1,680 individuals in southern Indiana. Thanks to donors like you, they are now rebuilding their lives.

Haitian Students Return To Reconstructed Schools: Good News About The Salvation Army’s Continued Work In Haiti

November 5, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Nearly 700 students started the school year in newly repaired Salvation Army school buildings. The Haiti Recovery and Development School Renovation and Construction team worked hard during the summer months to start, and finish, repairs on four of six priority schools scheduled for improvements in 2011.

Not only were project manager David White and assistant project manager Raymond Cédoine working hard to ensure schools were ready for the start of classes, but they were building local capacity by training a maintenance team in repair and upkeep of the buildings. The work included masonry and carpentry work, roofing, latrine and electrical repair and installation of water catchment systems.

Heavy rains contributing to impassable road conditions have slowed progress on schools in Bellegarde and Campeche, but work should be completed by Christmas. ‘We have met many challenges and overcome them with everyday problem solving and great determination,’ said David.

By the end of 2014, almost 20 schools affected by the earthquake will have been repaired and reconstructed. There are seven schools slated for 2012, including two new constructions.

David said, ‘We are excited about the wonderful repaired and constructed schools The Salvation Army in Haiti is receiving.’

 

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 129 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing 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. 82 cents of every dollar spent is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.

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Haitian Students Return To Reconstructed Schools: Good News About The Salvation Army’s Continued Work In Haiti

November 4, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Nearly 700 students started the school year in newly repaired Salvation Army school buildings. The Haiti Recovery and Development School Renovation and Construction team worked hard during the summer months to start, and finish, repairs on four of six priority schools scheduled for improvements in 2011.

Not only were project manager David White and assistant project manager Raymond Cédoine working hard to ensure schools were ready for the start of classes, but they were building local capacity by training a maintenance team in repair and upkeep of the buildings. The work included masonry and carpentry work, roofing, latrine and electrical repair and installation of water catchment systems.

Heavy rains contributing to impassable road conditions have slowed progress on schools in Bellegarde and Campeche, but work should be completed by Christmas. ‘We have met many challenges and overcome them with everyday problem solving and great determination,’ said David.

By the end of 2014, almost 20 schools affected by the earthquake will have been repaired and reconstructed. There are seven schools slated for 2012, including two new constructions.

David said, ‘We are excited about the wonderful repaired and constructed schools The Salvation Army in Haiti is receiving.’

 

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 129 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing 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. 82 cents of every dollar spent is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.

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Need Christmas Assistance?

October 6, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

We know it’s only October, but Christmas seems to come quicker every year. That can be a little unsettling considering the state of the economy and the recent reports on the poverty rates in Indiana – 16.3% -  the highest in 30 years. Let’s face it, families are struggling to make ends meet. Many folks in Indiana are beginning to inquire about Christmas assistance.  It’s overwhelming when you can hardly come up with the basics – like rent, utilities, gas, etc. Who can bear to think about making sure their children have a few gifts under the Christmas tree while worrying about putting food on the table night after night?

That’s where The Salvation Army comes in. We’re here not only here to assist people with those everyday necessities, but also to bring a little joy to children & their families at Christmastime. With that spirit of giving, we invite you to contact your local community’s Salvation Army Corps at the beginning of November to begin the application for Christmas assistance. You can locate the phone number and email for the officer in charge, in the “Contact Us” section of this website. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and direct you to the date, time, and place for applying to get help for Christmas 2011.

Need Christmas Assistance?

October 6, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

We know it’s only October, but Christmas seems to come quicker every year. That can be a little unsettling considering the state of the economy and the recent reports on the poverty rates in Indiana – 16.3% -  the highest in 30 years. Let’s face it, families are struggling to make ends meet. Many folks in Indiana are beginning to inquire about Christmas assistance.  It’s overwhelming when you can hardly come up with the basics – like rent, utilities, gas, etc. Who can bear to think about making sure their children have a few gifts under the Christmas tree while worrying about putting food on the table night after night?

That’s where The Salvation Army comes in. We’re here not only here to assist people with those everyday necessities, but also to bring a little joy to children & their families at Christmastime. With that spirit of giving, we invite you to contact your local community’s Salvation Army Corps at the beginning of November to begin the application for Christmas assistance. You can locate the phone number and email for the officer in charge, in the “Contact Us” section of this website. We’ll be happy to answer your questions and direct you to the date, time, and place for applying to get help for Christmas 2011.

Salvation Army Teams Serve Irene First Responders

August 28, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

As Hurricane Irene heads for the eastern seaboard, The Salvation Army is moving personnel and vehicles into strategic staging locations in North Carolina and Pennsylvania. From these locations The Salvation Army will dispatch mobile feeding units to provide food, drinks and spiritual and emotional care to emergency responders and those affected by the storm. Disaster response teams are already on the ground from Florida to Maine, serving first responders, assisting the evacuation of low lying areas, feeding at shelters and providing a broad range of support before Hurricane Irene makes landfall.

“We are taking this hurricane extremely seriously and are working closely with partner agencies to ensure we can provide a strong response to any impacts of the storm,” said Major George Hood, National Community Relations Secretary for The Salvation Army in the U.S. “Our personnel will be working overnight and throughout the weekend to guarantee we can meet the needs.”

In total, The Salvation Army has 370 canteens and five mobile feeding kitchens throughout the region. Collectively, these stations can provide several hundred thousand meals per day when operating at full capacity.  Also, The Salvation Army is standing up a broad range of services, in coordination with local, state and federal governments, including supporting shelter operations and evacuations.

The Salvation Army has already begun to serve those impacted by Hurricane Irene in Puerto Rico by providing support to the homeless, sick and disabled. Several hundred thousand residents of Puerto Rico are currently without power and Salvation Army shelters continue to be available in Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and St. Croix . In the Bahamas, an emergency operations center has been established in Kingston. The Salvation Army has begun initial distribution of food and water supplies. There is also a plan in place to ship Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) and bottled water to the Turks and Caicos later this week. In addition, representatives of The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Service Team have been asked to partner with the Bahamas National Emergency Management Agency (NEMA) to survey and assess the damage on the islands of Acklins and Mayaguana.

Yesterday, Commissioner William Roberts, the National Commander of The Salvation Army, declared Hurricane Irene a national disaster, which puts all units on alert status throughout the United States.  All divisions of The Salvation Army stand ready to assist by preparing staff, equipment and supplies to support impacted areas along the East Coast. The Salvation Army is asking residents of the entire East Coast, from the Carolinas to New England, to be prepared with an emergency disaster plan and heed all evacuation orders from public officials. Critical decisions need to be made ahead of time, before the storm makes landfall.

For more information on The Salvation Army’s response to Hurricane Irene, please visit http://blog.salvationarmyusa.org/, www.facebook.com/salvationarmyindiana or www.twitter.com/SAIndiana.

Monetary donations:
The best way to help now is to call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769) or go to donate.salvationarmyusa.org/Irene to make a donation by credit card. Checks may be mailed to The Salvation Army Disaster Gift Processing Center, P.O. Box 1959, Atlanta, GA 30301. Donations should be designated: “2011 Hurricane Season” Cell phone users may also text the word STORM to 80888. A one-time donation of $10 will be billed to your mobile phone bill**.
**Messaging and date rates may apply. Donations are collected for The Salvation Army by mobilecause.com. Reply STOP to 80888 to stop. Reply HELP to 80888 for help. For terms, see www.igfn.org/t.
Donations of used Household Goods and Clothing:
Due to the high expense and time demands associated with delivering your gently-used household goods and clothing (gifts-in-kind), The Salvation cannot guarantee that any individual gifts-in-kind donated now will be sent to the disaster area. In time of disaster, our stores fill these needs from existing, pre-sorted stock. By continuing to donate gently-used household goods to your local Salvation Army store, you not only help your community, you help us prepare for future disaster relief needs. To find your nearest drop-off location, please go to www.satruck.org.

About The Salvation Army:
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing 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. 82 cents of every dollar spent is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.

The Salvation Army Prepares For National Emergency: National Commander Declares Hurricane Irene a National Disaster

August 27, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Alexandria, Virginia (August 26, 2011) – In advance of Hurricane Irene, Commissioner William Roberts, the National Commander of The Salvation Army, today declared a national disaster, which puts all units on alert status throughout the United States.  All divisions of The Salvation Army stand ready to assist by preparing staff, equipment and supplies to support impacted areas along the East Coast. The Salvation Army will provide food, drinks and spiritual and emotional care to emergency responders and survivors in impacted areas between the Carolinas and New England. “While it is customary to declare such an event a ‘national’ disaster after the hurricane has reached land, I am taking the step to make that declaration today in consideration of various logistical decisions that must be made,” said Commissioner Roberts. “As The Salvation Army now moves into strategic positions that will put us directly at the point of need, we are praying for God’s mercy upon all of those who will be caught in the direct path of this very large storm.”
The Salvation Army has already begun to serve those affected by Hurricane Irene in Puerto Rico by providing support to the homeless, sick and disabled. Nearly 800,000 residents of Puerto Rico are without power and Salvation Army shelters continue to be available in Puerto Rico, St. Thomas and St. Croix . In the Bahamas, an emergency operations center has been established in Kingston. The Salvation Army has begun initial distribution of food and water supplies. There is also a plan in place to ship Meals Ready to Eat (MREs) and bottled water to the Turks and Caicos later this week.
Salvation Army locations across the United States have mobile feeding units on standby – these units are able to provide hundreds of thousands of meals per day if needed. In the Carolinas specifically, the Army has 30 mobile canteens able to provide in excess of 45,000 meals when operating at full capacity. An Incident Command Team has been established in Charlotte, NC and will deploy to the Carolina coast once the storm passes.
The Salvation Army is asking residents of the entire East Coast, from the Carolinas to New England, to be prepared with an emergency disaster plan and heed all evacuation orders from public officials. Critical decisions need to be made ahead of time, before the storm makes landfall.
For more information on The Salvation Army’s preparation and response to Hurricane Irene, please visit http://blog.salvationarmyusa.org/, www.facebook.com/salvationarmyindiana or www.twitter.com/SAIndiana.

Monetary donations:
The best way to help now is to call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769) or go to donate.salvationarmyusa.org/Irene to make a donation by credit card. Checks may be mailed to The Salvation Army Disaster Gift Processing Center, P.O. Box 1959, Atlanta, GA 30301. Donations should be designated: “2011 Hurricane Season” Cell phone users may also text the word STORM to 80888. A one-time donation of $10 will be billed to your mobile phone bill**.
**Messaging and date rates may apply. Donations are collected for The Salvation Army by mobilecause.com. Reply STOP to 80888 to stop. Reply HELP to 80888 for help. For terms, see www.igfn.org/t.
Donations of used Household Goods and Clothing:
Due to the high expense and time demands associated with delivering your gently-used household goods and clothing (gifts-in-kind), The Salvation cannot guarantee that any individual gifts-in-kind donated now will be sent to the disaster area. In time of disaster, our stores fill these needs from existing, pre-sorted stock. By continuing to donate gently-used household goods to your local Salvation Army store, you not only help your community, you help us prepare for future disaster relief needs. To find your nearest drop-off location, please go to www.satruck.org.

About The Salvation Army:
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing 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. 82 cents of every dollar spent is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.

Worldwide Support Helps Salvation Army Emergency Response in Japan

March 17, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Japan Relief: Facts and Figures from The Salvation Army’s USA National Headquarters
March 16, 2011

The Salvation Army has resources on the ground working to support survivors of the devastating 9.0 earthquake in northeastern Japan.
·    The Salvation Army in Japan has three emergency service relief teams operating in impacted areas; the teams have been recognized by the Japanese government and given access to access roads and areas currently closed off to the general public.
·    A disaster team in Sendai handed out 1,000 hot meals as well as hot drinks and handi-towels to survivors.
·    Another team in the Mito area unloaded bottles of water, biscuits, blankets, diapers and tissue boxes for distribution to evacuees.
·    The third team headed to assist evacuees from near the Fukushima Daiichi nuclear power station, but snow and fuel shortages diverted the team to other areas to support evacuees.
The Salvation Army has had a presence in Japan since 1895 and is also mobilizing a significant international response to manage both immediate and long-term needs.
·    Two experienced International Emergency Services workers have flown to Tokyo from International Headquarters in London to assist their Japanese colleagues.
·    The Salvation Army’s Korea Territory has arranged for the K-Water Corporation to provide 100,000 bottles of water to be sent to Japan – 30,000 bottles by the end of the week, followed by the rest within a short time; the Korea Disaster Relief Association will also be sending 5,000 first-aid kits.
·    In a touching show of solidarity 1,500 young Salvationists in Haiti – who themselves were recently impacted by a devastating earthquake – held a rally in Fond-des-Nègres to pray for victims and survivors in Japan.
The Salvation Army is calling on everyone to pray for the survivors and victims of the Japan earthquake.
·    Monetary donations are the most critical need as supplies and personnel are mobilized.
·    These funds offer the greatest flexibility and enable local disaster responders to purchase exactly what is needed as close to the disaster zone as possible.
·    There are four ways people can contribute money to The Salvation Army’s disaster relief efforts in Japan:
o    Text the words JAPAN or QUAKE to 80888 to make a $10 donation.
o    By phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY
o    On-line at:  https://salvationarmyindiana.org
o    By mail: Send your check, marked “Japan earthquake relief” to
The Salvation Army Indiana Divisional Headquarters
3100 North Meridian Street
Indianapolis, IN  46208
·    At this time, The Salvation Army is not accepting donations of goods or household items (gifts-in-kind) from the general public for disaster relief operations in Japan.
·    The Salvation Army is extremely grateful for the generosity that has already poured in to help us meet both immediate and long-term needs.
·    Here are there updated donation totals as of this afternoon, March 16.
Online:     $1,940,380.00
Text to give:     $111,590.00
1800-sal-army    $59,000.00
Mail    $1,200.00
Lockbox    $5,651.00
Total        $2,117,821.00

The Salvation Army In Japan Begins Response

March 11, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Commuters stuck in Tokyo are given food and drinks in the hall at The Salvation Army's Japan Territorial Headquarters.

The Salvation Army in Japan is responding to the earthquake and tsunami that brought devastation to the north of the country. Communication and travel have been badly hit by the disaster, and at the moment the true cost in human life and property can only be guessed.

The most damaged city is Sendai, about 400 kilometers away from Tokyo. Commissioner Makoto Yoshida, leader of The Salvation Army’s Japan Territory, was at territorial headquarters in Tokyo and reports: ‘Our building swayed tremendously. It was hard for us to keep standing and many of us were really frightened.’ He adds: ‘We are sending a team to Sendai tonight [11 March] and tomorrow we will start providing the basic necessities as well as assessing the level of damage so we can decide what else we can do.’

Public transport in Tokyo stopped because of the earthquake, leaving many commuters unable to leave work. Commissioner Yoshida says: ‘We opened our hall on the ground floor of territorial headquarters to those who could not go home. We served them with hot drinks and packed meals.’ General Shaw Clifton, the international leader of The Salvation Army, has already been in touch with the commissioner to assure him of the prayers and support of Salvationists around the world.

Currently, those interested in aiding the relief effort are encouraged to give monetary donations. Monetary funds offer great flexibility and enable local disaster responders to purchase exactly what is needed as close to the disaster zone as possible.

There are four ways people can contribute money to The Salvation Army’s disaster relief efforts in Japan:

  • Text the words “Japan” or “Quake” to 80888 to make a $10 donation.
  • By phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY
  • On-line at: www.salvationarmyindiana.org
  • By mail: Send your check, marked “Japan earthquake relief” to

The Salvation Army Indiana Division

3100 North Meridian St.

Indianapolis, IN  46208

At this time, The Salvation Army is not accepting in-kind donations from the general public for disaster relief operations in Japan. Bear in mind, it will be extremely difficult and expensive to ship in-kind donations overseas from the United States to Japan. It is more efficient for disaster relief agencies to purchase needed resources locally and for immediate distribution with the disaster area. The best way for U.S. donors to help Japanese disaster survivors is to make a cash donation. Please note that your local The Salvation Army continues to accept donations of used clothing, furniture and other items to support local programming. Please consider donating your used items to your local Salvation Army Thrift Store.

Since 1895, The Salvation Army has provided emotional, spiritual and physical care to individuals and families in need throughout Japan. Currently, 81 active officers and 1,068 employees operate 57 church and community centers (Corps), 12 small social service stations (outposts), 2 hospitals and more than 20 institutions serving children, seniors, the addicted and other at-risk populations. Due to the Army’s extensive presence, it is unlikely that volunteers from the United States will be needed for initial recovery operations.

NOTE: Terms for “Text to Give” – A one-time donation of $10.00 will be added to your mobile phone bill or deducted from your prepaid balance. Please be sure to respond with the word YES to the Thank You! message you will receive All charges are billed by and payable to your mobile service provider. Service is available on most carriers. Visit mobilecause.com for terms and conditions  or text HELP. Text STOP to cancel. Message & Data Rates May Apply

Indiana EDS Director Returns To Haiti

February 10, 2011 by · Leave a Comment 

Jerry Larsen, EDS Director for Indiana, in Haiti Jan. 2010.

It will soon be one year since Jerry Larsen, Salvation Army Indiana Disaster Services Director  returned home to Indiana after serving post-earthquake in Haiti. The Disaster Response team left Indpls. International Airport PAP bound only one week after the earthquake,  with the assignment of serving a 2 week rotation in Port au Prince.  They returned to their spouses, children and grandchildren on Valentine’s Day. I remember the emotions they brought back with them, both evident in their words and on their faces. It was a time of living and working closely with the desperate, hungry, injured and dead. And it was the team member’s urgently needed skills that kept them amongst the Haitian people for nearly 4 weeks.

Once again those skills are being summoned to assist with The Salvation Army’s ongoing efforts in Haiti which have progressed into the next phase deemed “reconstruction and rebuilding.” Jerry will drive to Chicago Monday morning to meet with territorial leaders before flying out for Haiti on the 8th of February.

Since the earthquake last January, The Salvation Army has  continued serving thousands of Haitians, in many different ways. One way that this new phase seeks to make an ongoing difference is to provide housing. Jerry will be leading a team to construct several small houses for families near Jacmel. “The houses we build are meant to be permanent, but TSA has been building temporary housing in several areas over the last several months. I believe there are about 7 to 800 of those completed now and the goal is 3,000 over the next couple of years.”

When I asked Jerry if there was anything he was looking forward to, upon returning to Haiti, he answered, “I am looking forward to the possibility of seeing some of the people I met while I was there last year. Maybe even seeing the little one that is in the photo on my Facebook page.  Needless to say, I am looking forward to a successful mission by completing the work we plan to do there. I try to have a positive outlook on all of this, and know that there is only so much we can do. I think of one person or family at a time that we are able to help.”

As a team, they are taking along some items to give the Haitian people, such as school supplies, toys and some clothing. Summing up his mission, Jerry added this, “As I have said so many times, it is not about me or the team…it is about helping those in need.”

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