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The Salvation Army Is Sending Children Who Are Experiencing Homelessness or Poverty to Summer Camp

Individuals, Companies and Organizations are asked to Donate Supplies

AUSTIN, TX (May 27, 2014) – More than 100 children who are experiencing homelessness or poverty from The Austin Salvation Army Shelters and Service Centers, from ages 5 through 16, will attend summer camp starting June 16. Camp is important for every child, and it is especially important for these children in our community who are facing great challenges. We need the help of individuals, companies, churches and organizations to give these children the gift of summer camp.

“As you can imagine, going to camp is big deal to local kids who are living in shelters or in poverty,” says Stacy Schwarz, Assistant Social Services Director. “It’s one gift The Austin Salvation Army can offer them while their parents are busy each day working, studying or training to improve their employment.”

Summer camp provides stability and structure in the midst of chaotic times for these children. Activities include team building, swimming and swimming lessons, exploring the great outdoors, playing sports and games, studying nature and wildlife, talent shows and lots more! The camping experience lasts for 10 weeks.

There are two ways the community can help: 1) Purchase items (from the list below) and drop them off to us. You can do this as an individual, or you can organize a drive through your company, church or organization. 2) Donate online and we will purchase the items for the children. We are in need of the following for boys and girls from 5 to 16 years of age (all sizes):

Beach towels and wash cloths
Refillable water bottles
Swimsuits (one piece only)*
Caps and hats*
Athletic Shoes*
Backpacks
Beach bags
Water shoes and flip flops*
Insect repellent
Shorts*
Travel size toothpaste, toothbrushes
Travel size deodorant and soap
Travel size hand cleanser
Sheets, light sleeping bags, light blankets*
Pillows and pillow cases
Modest t-shirts*
Underwear*
Pajamas*
Socks*
Sunscreen (SPF 30)
Flashlights with new batteries
Floaties
Travel size packaged snacks

*We have the biggest need for children ages 10 – 12.

Drop Off Locations

Donations may be dropped off beginning May 29, Monday thru Friday 9 am to 4 pm at 10711 Burnet Road, Suite 231, Austin, 78758, or in Georgetown at 307 Shannon Lane.

Contact Us

Please contact Donna Clendennen at 512-634-5921 or infoaustin@uss.salvationarmy.org to organize a large drop-off or collection drive with your church, company or organization. The deadline for donations is June 11. Should you wish to donate by mail, please mark your check “camp supplies” and send it to: The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 1000, Austin, TX, 78767. For on-line giving: SalvationArmyAUSTIN.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 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 carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide.

 

Flooding in Elk County - image via wajctv.com

Severe Flooding in Elk County, Pennsylvania

Flooding in Elk County - image via wajctv.com

Image via wajctv.com


The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) is on scene in Ridgeway, PA (Elk County) responding to severe overnight flooding. The area has been hit hard with nearly half a foot of water, destroying over eight homes and several apartment buildings. Numerous families are displaced and have lost everything.

The Salvation Army EDS Punxsutawney team arrived on scene at 4:30 a.m. and the Pittsburgh team is en route as of 1:00 p.m. to provide additional food, hydration, and clean-up kits. Lt. Ester from The Salvation Army Ridgeway Unit is on-site providing emotional and spiritual care.

Our canteens were used to provide nearly 75 victims and first responders with breakfast. In addition, we fed over 300 people lunch and expect around 300 for dinner as well.

Teams on-site report that the water is starting to recede and the clean-up process is underway. The National Weather Service predicts scattered and isolated thunderstorms throughout the area until Saturday with a 20% chance of rain.

Other agencies on site include The American Red Cross, which set up a shelter, UMCOR (United Methodist Committee on Relief), and Ridgeway Fire Department. We will continue to follow the status of the disaster and keep everyone informed as more information comes to light.

Slide Fire in Arizona -Night

Salvation Army Responds To Slide Fire In Arizona

Slide Fire in Arizona -Night

Image via inhabitat.com dark-grey-new-window-icon-1


Phoenix, AZ (May 22, 2014) – The Salvation Army is planning to increase their disaster services as the Slide Fire has burned 4500 acres. Thousands of people are on stand- by to be potentially evacuated.

The Salvation Army is providing meals and clothing for evacuees located at Sinagua middle school located at 3950 E. Butler Ave. in Flagstaff, AZ. The Salvation Army has also provided water and Gatorade to fire crews.

“The Salvation Army has been told by community leaders that the fire could spread to densely populated areas,” said Lt. Ryan Miller, Flagstaff Corps Officer for The Salvation Army. “If needed, an additional Salvation Army disaster team is on alert that can provide added resources including a mobile kitchen.”

The Salvation Army uses 100 percent of your disaster donations in support of local disaster relief operations. Monetary donations help us meet the immediate needs of first responders and evacuees. To give call 1-800-SAL-ARMY ( 1-800-725-2769 ) and designate “AZ Slide Fire.” You can also send donations to: Salvation Army, P.O. Box 2488, Flagstaff AZ, 86003.

Media Contact:
Melany Stroupe
Director of Public Relations
The Salvation Army
602.267.4199
Melany.Stroupe@usw.salvationarmy.org dark-grey-new-window-icon-1

1 Year Anniversary of Oklahoma Tornadoes

Salvation Army Marks One-Year Anniversary of 2013 Oklahoma Tornadoes

1 Year Anniversary of Oklahoma Tornadoes

Long-term recovery to continue for years to come in affected communities.

Oklahoma City, OK (May 2, 2014) – The Salvation Army continues to provide long-term recovery services to residents whose lives were forever changed following a series of deadly tornadoes in May 2013 that ravaged Central Oklahoma. The first storm hit on May 19, with an EF3 and an EF4 tornado that struck communities in Cleveland, Lincoln, Oklahoma and Pottawatomie counties. They were followed the next day by an EF5 tornado that struck Cleveland, Grady, McClain and Oklahoma counties. The third storm happened on May 31, when the widest tornado in recorded history hit Canadian county. In total, these storms were responsible for 49 fatalities and more than $2 billion in property damage.

Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) teams immediately responded to the storms and provided food, hydration, and emotional and spiritual care to survivors and first responders. Thanks to generous support from the American public, corporate donors, and philanthropic organizations, The Salvation Army raised $18.2 million for response and recovery efforts. The long-term recovery of storm survivors, with their many and varying needs, is an ongoing focus for the Army, and is where the bulk of donated funding is committed.

“The storms that devastated Central Oklahoma have impacted the lives of residents forever,” said Major Steve Morris, Divisional Commander of the Arkansas-Oklahoma Division of The Salvation Army. “The debris may be gone, but the recovery is going to take a long time.”

Initial Response

Of the total donated, The Salvation Army has spent $2.4 million (more than 13%) on response operations, including the deployment of 28 mobile kitchens and the opening of a 100,000 sq. ft. distribution center. During response operations, The Salvation Army provided:

  • 389,037 meals, drinks and snacks
  • 28,891 hours of employee and volunteer service
  • Emotional and spiritual care to 14,728 individuals
  • Emergency financial aid to 3,681 families (31,208 individuals), with assistance such as gift cards, vouchers to Family Thrift Stores, and referrals for a variety of services

All the while, The Salvation Army continued to operate its regular programs and services, providing meals, emergency shelter, clothing and energy assistance to residents in need who were not affected by the disasters.

“The fact that The Salvation Army was able to maintain its ongoing services even as we stepped in to provide emergency disaster services when the storms came through, is a testament to the dedication and the unique scope of the Army,” said Major Morris. “The Salvation Army works to repair the heart, not just the home, and we will continue to serve our neighbors whenever and wherever there is need.”

Long-term Recovery

As the disaster response has transitioned from immediate to long-term recovery services, The Salvation Army continues to support families affected by the storms and to help rebuild communities. The Salvation Army has committed the balance of the total donated (nearly 87%) to long-term recovery, including the following:

  • $10.5 million to support long-term recovery case management and direct aid for disaster survivors
  • $3 million for construction of residential storm shelters
  • $1.7 million for community preparedness and mitigation projects, including the distribution of weather radios and emergency “go” bags, senior programming and preparedness, and other outreach programs to help make communities more disaster-resilient in the event of future storms
  • $650,000 for a furniture program to help disaster survivors replace furnishings and general household goods

The Salvation Army is a founding member and participating agency of the Oklahoma Disaster Recovery Project (ODRP), a multi-agency case management partnership. The case management process will involve working with affected individuals and families to help identify their needs, develop their long-term recovery plans, connect them with available community resources, and help meet their long-term recovery goals, one step at a time. To date, ODRP has 1,107 open cases and has closed 1,589 cases.

“It will take a long time for this region’s residents to fully recover from a disaster of this severity,” said Captain Carlyle Gargis, Area Commander of The Salvation Army’s Central Oklahoma Area Command. “We are one of the primary social service providers in this region, and we also have long-standing partnerships that allow us to help our clients meet a very broad range of needs.”

To commemorate the anniversary of each storm, The Salvation Army will release special videos sharing real stories about tornado survivors. To view, please visit The Salvation Army’s YouTube channel on May 19, May 20, and May 31.

The Salvation Army Responds To Texas Panhandle Fires

The Salvation Army Responds to Texas Panhandle Fires


The Salvation Army Responds To Texas Panhandle Fires

Dallas, TX (May 12, 2014) – “Emergency rescue personnel cannot leave the scene, and that’s where The Salvation Army comes in to give them relief with water, food and a place of rest,” said Major Harvey Johnson of the Amarillo Corps.

In response to an overnight grass fire that rapidly spread in the Texas Panhandle, burning over 2,000 acres, The Salvation Army of Pampa and Amarillo have mobilized their Disaster Canteens (mobile kitchens) and are providing support to emergency responders and those displaced by the blaze. It has been confirmed that more than 100 houses have been destroyed and upwards of 350 people displaced. The Salvation Army Borger Service Center has also been assisting families affected by the fire, now 75% contained, providing short term shelter at a local hotel.

Breakfast was served this morning to 400 people in Fritch and the mobile kitchens are fully stocked with food and water and will continue to provide assistance throughout the day. Disaster response staff in Plainview are on a call should additional support be necessary.

Major Harvey Johnson added, “We are a mobile emergency unit created to respond to disasters in our local area. The families in the Panhandle are very important to us, our prayers go out to them, and we are here to help!”

Monetary donations to support The Salvation Army Disaster Services can be made by:
• MAIL – please send checks to The Salvation Army, PO Box 36607, Dallas, TX 75235
• PHONE at 1-800-SAL-ARMY
• ONLINE at www.salvationarmytexas.org
For more information about The Salvation Army’s disaster response effort, please go to www.Facebook.com/SalvationArmyTexas, www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org, or www.salvationarmytexas.org.

Bedtime Story Brigade

Volunteer of the Month – May 2014

St. David's Episcopal Church Bedtime Story Brigade

St. David’s Episcopal Church Bedtime Story Brigade at The Salvation Army Social Services Center.

The Volunteer of the Month is the St. David’s Episcopal Church Bedtime Story Brigade.

Watch the video interview with Diana Dawson and Betsy Crosby.

Watch the video interview with Diana Dawson and Betsy Crosby.

This group of lovely volunteers are our next door neighbors from St. David’s Episcopal Church. They walk over to visit us at the downtown shelter, our Social Services Center, once a month and read two to three books to the children after dinner. The volunteers are so much fun as they interact with the children, animate different parts of the story, sing songs, and engage with craft activities for everyone to enjoy. The best part is after storytime when the children are served a special treat of fresh homemade cookies with milk before bedtime.

Thank you for Entercom and Majic 95.5 for treating these faithful volunteers to a visit with Joey of the Broadway production, War Horse, playing at Bass Concert Hall. Joey is a LIFE SIZE horse puppet that stars in this show. Click here to visit our Facebook album to see photos of the volunteers with Joey the war horse.

On the left, Diana Dawson, Director of Community of Engagement with Bedtime Story Brigade

On the left, Diana Dawson, Director of Community of Engagement with Bedtime Story Brigade.

Diana Dawson is the Director of Community Engagement at St. David’s Episcopal Church and organizes Bedtime Story Brigade that includes six to eight members from the church each month. St. David’s has also organized an Easter Egg Hunt at the Texas Capitol for the children in our shelter. Thank you for this wonderful partnership and this activity for the children who are experiencing homelessness.

Thanks for the fabulous opportunity to honor our May Volunteers of the Month, St. David’s Episcopal Church Story Time Brigade!

Travis County Commissioners Court presents "National Salvation Army Week" Proclamation to Lt. Cols. Henry and Dorris Gonzalez, Area Commander and Associate Area Commander for The Salvation Army Austin Area. L to R: Ron Davis, Bruce Todd, Margaret Gomez, Judge Samuel Biscoe, Lt. Cols. Henry and Dorris Gonzalez, Gerald Daugherty.

Now Therefore Be It Resolved….

Yesterday was a great day today at the Travis County Commissioner’s Court. The Honorable Judge Biscoe and the Travis County Commissioners Court passed a resolution declaring May 12-16, 2014 as National Salvation Army Week in Travis County. Lt. Cols. Henry and Dorris Gonzalez, Area Commander and Associate Area Commander for The Salvation Army Austin received the proclamation from the Court.

County Judge Samuel T. Biscoe greets Lt. Cols. Henry and Dorris Gonzalez following the proclamation.

County Judge Samuel T. Biscoe greets Lt. Cols. Henry and Dorris Gonzalez following the proclamation.

Travis County Commissioners Court presents "National Salvation Army Week" Proclamation to Lt. Cols. Henry and Dorris Gonzalez, Area Commander and Associate Area Commander for The Salvation Army Austin Area. L to R: Ron Davis, Bruce Todd, Margaret Gomez, Judge Samuel Biscoe, Lt. Cols. Henry and Dorris Gonzalez, Gerald Daugherty.

Travis County Commissioners Court presents “National Salvation Army Week” Proclamation to Lt. Cols. Henry and Dorris Gonzalez, Area Commander and Associate Area Commander for The Salvation Army Austin Area. L to R: Ron Davis, Bruce Todd, Margaret Gomez, Judge Samuel Biscoe, Lt. Cols. Henry and Dorris Gonzalez, Gerald Daugherty.

Travis County Commissioners Proclamation

The Resolution!

Travis County Commissioners Proclamation

The Resolution, page 2

 

The Salvation Army Williamson County Service Center Ribbon Cutting

New Williamson County Service Center Ribbon Cutting

The Salvation Army Announces Ribbon Cutting and Open House during National Salvation Army Week

The Salvation Army Williamson County Service Center Ribbon Cutting

Lt. Colonels Henry and Dorris Gonzalez cut the ribbon with the help of the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce and staff from The Salvation Army Austin Area Command on May 13, 2014

AUSTIN, TX (May 6, 2014) –The Salvation Army Williamson County Service Center will celebrate its opening on May 13, 2014 with an Open House and Ribbon Cutting at 307 Shannon Lane in Georgetown as part of National Salvation Army Week and the 125th Anniversary of The Salvation Army in Texas. The afternoon will kick off with an Open House for the community from 3:00 to 5:30 p.m. Joined by the Georgetown Chamber of Commerce, other community leaders, volunteers, donors and supporters, The Salvation Army will cut the ribbon at 5:15 p.m.

The Williamson County Service Center opened its doors to begin serving clients on February 3, 2014, and this will be the first time the public has the opportunity to tour the center and get an inside glimpse of the facility and its mission. The service center is working closely with area nonprofits including The Caring Place, The Round Rock Serving Center, Georgetown ISD and St.Vincent DePaul, to meet the needs of the most economically vulnerable populations in Williamson County. Services provided include a clothing closet, food pantry, rent and utilities assistance and occasional emergency lodging.

“We are proud of the heritage and 125 year history of The Salvation Army in Texas,” said Lt. Colonel Henry Gonzalez, The Salvation Army Austin Area Commander. “The opening of the Williamson County Service Center reminds us that our mission remains the same as it has always been: to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name, without discrimination. We are honored to be doing that now in a more focused way in Williamson County.”

The Salvation Army has been serving in Williamson County since the 1950’s. This includes the active volunteer-led Emergency Disaster Services canteen out of Liberty Hill which responds to disasters large and small in Williamson County and all over the state of Texas. Now, with the opening of the new Service Center, The Salvation Army has its first physical location in the county. As Williamson County continues to grow rapidly, the need for services to those in greatest need is also growing. The Williamson County Service Center is the twelfth location of The Salvation Army Austin Area Command in Travis and Williamson Counties.

The public is invited to the ribbon cutting and open house and is asked to bring nonperishable food items from this list to stock the food pantry: canned chicken or tuna, peanut butter, pasta, pasta sauce, dry beans, rice, dry cereal or canned beans or vegetables.

You can support the work of The Salvation Army in Williamson County by making a financial donation or by volunteering. To donate please visit SalvationArmyAUSTIN.org, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY, mail your donation to PO Box 1000, Austin, Texas 78767. We invite you to connect with us on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube.

About The Salvation Army The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London 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 The Salvation Army Austin spends is used to support those services in Travis and Williamson Counties. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyAUSTIN.org.