Leesburg Florida Salvation Army Responds to Propane Plant Explosion
At approximately 11:30pm on Monday, July 29, a massive explosion occurred at the Blue Rhino Propane Plant in Tavares, Florida about 20 minutes northeast of Leesburg Florida. Twenty-four employees were working at the plant when the blast occurred. Eight individuals were injured during the blast and transported to local hospitals in the area for treatment.
The Salvation Army, Leesburg Corps, responded to the scene that evening with an Emergency Disaster Services truck loaded with drinks, snacks and whatever else they could think to bring stated Lt. Matt Hedgren, recently appointed corps officer for Leesburg, Florida.
“I heard what appeared to sound like thunder or even music from my living room last night, but knew it was something bad when I stepped into the street and saw the orange glow”. Lt Hedgren said he jumped in his car and drove to a nearby lake and said he could see the fire from there, which was about twenty minutes away.
As a result of the explosion, 150 people were evacuated to a local emergency shelter at the First United Methodist Church in Tavares. Lt. Hedgren met with families of the plant workers and provided Emotional and Spiritual Care. In coordination with the American Red Cross, The Salvation Army, Leesburg Corps served 300 drinks and snacks.
The Salvation Army Leesburg Emergency Disaster Services team will continue to monitor the situation and provide services where necessary.
For the latest emergency disaster services news follow EDS team on Twitter @SalArmyEDS.
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. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.
Oklahoma City, Oklahoma (August 4 – 9:45 PM)—The Salvation Army continues to respond to multiple wildfire locations. Wildfires have burned over 52,000 acres across Oklahoma and many continue to burn and are not contained. The Salvation Army is serving food, hydration and emotional and spiritual care. Canteens across Oklahoma remain on stand-by for their services as needed in other areas.
Cleveland County—The fire near Noble continues to burn. The Central Oklahoma Area Command served over 650 meals as well as hydration to first responders at the Incident Command. The Salvation Army will be assisted by the Southern Baptist Disaster Relief Team beginning with lunch on Sunday morning, August 5. The Salvation Army will be serving breakfast.
Oklahoma County—A fire in Luther, located east of Oklahoma City, continues to burn. The Central Oklahoma Area Command’s canteen provided breakfast to approximately 200 responders this morning. Additionally, The Salvation Army will be part of a Disaster Assistance Center at the Luther High School Auditorium tomorrow, located at 178th & Luther Road, from 1:00 PM until 5:00 PM.
Payne County—The Salvation Army of Enid will be reporting to the Glencoe High School on Sunday morning where they will coordinate services with Payne County Emergency Management.
Pittsburg County—The Salvation Army of McAlester is reporting to the Incident Command located at McAlester Lake Road and Cross Timbers to serve snacks and hydration to first responders.
Pottawatomie County—The Salvation Army of Shawnee took their catering truck to serve those affected by the wildfire as well as first responders. They provided over 250 drinks and over 100 snacks including granola bars, crackers, gum, fruit bars and oranges. Additionally, they assisted the Central Oklahoma Area Command in Cleveland County.
Additional fires throughout Oklahoma continue to be reported in Lincoln and Logan counties as well as a very large fire that began in Creek County.
The Salvation Army is also working closely with VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster). The Salvation Army will be accepting donations of water and Gatorade to distribute to those organizations active in response. The Salvation Army will open their warehouse, located at 924 S. Hudson in the morning at 9:00 AM. It will remain open until 3:00 PM. The Salvation Army will gather, sort, palletize, and then distribute donated items as needed to other organizations responding in the state. This is being requested by Oklahoma Emergency Management.
Financial donations are needed to support disaster relief efforts. The Salvation Army asks those who want to help to visit disaster.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY and designate Oklahoma wildfires. Monetary donations will ensure The Salvation Army can meet the most immediate needs of those impacted by disaster. Donations can also be mailed to: The Salvation Army, PO Box 12600, Oklahoma City, OK 73157.
The Salvation Army will stay involved for as long as they are needed. Additional information will be provided as it is available.
Special Message from Tulsa Language and Cultural Bank:
Local Wildfires in our area may be encroaching on many rural families including the deaf and hard of hearing, immigrants and other people who may be vulnerable in the best of times. These fires threaten everyone so please share this information with your families, friends, congregations, co-workers and neighbors ASAP. Let’s encourage all of them to carefully inform people who can’t get life-saving information from mainstream media – spouses, elderly and new arrivals.
Joplin, Missouri — On Sunday, May 22nd the deadliest single tornado in the US since the 1950’s struck the
town of Joplin, Missouri. The Salvation Army responded immediately with familiar disaster canteens, meeting
the needs of survivors by providing food, beverages, emotional/spiritual care and other necessities.
Since the 22nd, The Salvation Army has helped thousands in the Joplin area. The Salvation Army has also
helped those in the tornado-stricken towns of Reading, Kansas and Joplin, Missouri.
The scope of the disaster is truly incomprehensible—it requires an equally intense response. While The
Salvation Army certainly cannot meet every need of the survivors, we were among the first to respond, and will
be working in emergency-response-mode in the disaster areas until a sense of normalcy returns, and as long as
the support of our generous donors permit.
Massive work touching individual lives:
With so much help needed, it’s sometimes hard to remember that each number represents a real person
whose life has been turned upside down. The following information represents the combined efforts of
Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services teams responding from five US States in Joplin, as of 5:00 PM
Monday, May 30.
• The Salvation Army has served 23,723 hot meals and 7,288 snacks and 22,401 drinks.
• The Salvation Army is one of the organizations participating in the M.A.R.C. (Multi-Agency Resource
Center). After two days we have assisted 107 families with $9,671 in vouchers.
• The Salvation Army has provided emotional and spiritual care for 557 individuals.
• The Salvation Army has provided 9 Mobile Feeding Units (Canteens), including units from Springfield,
Kirksville, and Sedalia, Missouri, Pittsburg and Lawrence, Kansas and Tulsa, Oklahoma, Grand Rapids,
Michigan and Chicago, Illinois.
• Ten Salvation Army officers (pastors), 25 employees and 146 volunteers have served of 4558.5 hours.
Command, Resource and Distribution Center Locations:
• A mobile command center has been in operation since May 22nd.
• Permanent Salvation Army Facilities are located at 320 E. 8th Street and 2502 S. Main St., Joplin,
• A goods distribution center is in operation at 2502 S. Main St., Joplin, Missouri.
• The Salvation Army is taking part in the M.A.R.C. located at “The Bridge,” on 3405 S. Hammonds
Blvd, Joplin, Missouri 64804.
• A Satellite Communications truck from The Salvation Army’s USA Southern territory is in place and
handling phone, computer and internet communications.
Locations of feeding stations
Feeding operations are taking place at the following locations:
• The Salvation Army Joplin Corps Community Center located at 320 E. 8th Street.
• One canteen is located at the Joplin High School on 20th & Indiana.
• One canteen is also located at the “Oasis Tent” intended to serve as a location for community members
to come together in a sheltered location and receive “One stop service” with food, hydration, spiritual
and emotional care and other basic services. The location is the site of the Joplin thrift store at 2502 S.
Mobile Feeding Sites:
Mobile kitchens from the following locations are roving throughout the disaster area, providing—as much
as possible—regularly scheduled routes to offer food and hydration to responders and survivors. The canteen
vehicles providing this service represent nine cities in five states:
• Springfield, Kirksville, and Sedalia, Missouri
• Pittsburg and Lawrence, Kansas
• Tulsa, Oklahoma
• Grand Rapids, Michigan
• Chicago, Illinois
Other Emergency Disaster Services Ongoing in Joplin:
• An Emergency Disaster Services ‘Store’ is now located at the old Joplin thrift store on 7th Street and
opened Thursday morning at 9 a.m. After receiving vouchers from on-site social workers, survivors may
“shop” for items such as clothing, diapers, toiletries, etc.
• The Salvation Army is partnering with HOPE Station to provide hope to the Joplin community. This
will be a 5 week event which will include music, art, food, worship and opportunities for people to share
their stories of hope.
The campaign is set to launch on Friday, and will be held at the Salvation Army’s Oasis off 26th and
Main. Included is a nightly dinner, live music, a kids station with donated toys, guest speakers, and
more. This event will take place nightly until the 4th of July.
Stephanie Tillman, the founder of the Hope Station says this is meant to give relief workers and those
affected by the tornado a place to unwind. “If we push ourselves too hard we’re not going to be of use to anybody. So the biggest gift anybody could give is a place to just exhale and be okay saying I’m alright
pausing for a second, because I know if I just sit still for a minute, I’m going to be ten times better when
I’m done.” Tillman also says feedback from the community is key to making this event a success.
Donations and expenses in the Midland Division:
Joplin, Missouri is located in The Salvation Army’s Midland Division, headquartered, in St. Louis,
Missouri. The Midland Division comprises most of Missouri and Southern Illinois. The Divisional Community
Relations and Development staff for Midland Division reports the following separate fundraising information:
Corporate Donations in Kind
• Wal-Mart has donated 36,000 bottles of water for Joplin relief efforts.
• Sprint donated 1,500 prepaid cell phones which were distributed to survivors.
• The Charlie Daniels Band is scheduled to play a concert at Lake of the Ozarks in Missouri on Saturday
with $5.00 of each ticket sold going to The Salvation Army.
• A Kansas City Advisory Board member secured several generous donations from Sam’s Club including
approximately 8 pallets of Gatorade, plus gloves and shopping carts that will be used at the EDS store.
• Sam’s Club also donated one freezer truck and one 45 foot refrigerator truck.
• The Kansas City Chiefs football team held a “Water bottle drive” to collect water for Joplin. They
have collected nearly 200,000 bottles of water to be delivered to Joplin. They will also be sending 100-
120 volunteers on June 24 to assist The Salvation Army with multiple volunteer projects.
• Folsom Distributing of Wood River, Illinois will be donating 100+ cases of Gatorade, apple juice,
orange juice and water.
• The Loading Dock, a restaurant in Grafton, Illinois, is collecting cases of water in exchange for their
handmade salsa. Part of the donation includes 42 cases from an anonymous Lowe’s employee. Con-way
Freight will pick up the cases of water and deliver to The Salvation Army in Joplin.
Corporate Cash Donations Reported by Midland Division:
Wal-Mart has donated $150,000 in cash for Joplin relief efforts.
Other Major Gifts reported by the Midland Division:
|• The Salvation Army in Joplin from local donors Debra and David Humphreys*||$500,000.00|
|• Other Major Gifts Committed (Includes Wal-Mart gift):||$165,500.00|
|Major Gifts Pledged:||$12,500.00|
|• Missouri Foundation for Health||$50,000.00|
|• Mail gifts and credit cards||$45,655.00|
|*no other gifts collected directly in Joplin are considered in this report||Total:||$778,165.00|
Preliminary Types of Aid Reported by the Midland Division for Joplin, Missouri
The Salvation Army is designed to “meet need at the point of need.” We realize that one solution does not
fit every situation. As new needs arise, unique to Joplin, The Salvation Army plans to rise to the challenge of
meeting those needs, as enabled by its generous donors.
Following is a very limited survey of just some of the types of assistance offered by The Salvation Army
during the first few days after the Joplin, Missouri Tornado. Citizens of Joplin can expect more and varied types
of help in the coming weeks and months.
|Instances of Financial Assistance Given|
|Cleanup / Reconstruction||76|
|Gift Cards / Debit Cards||0|
|Housing (Rent / Mortgage)||0|
|Medical / Funeral||13|
|Transient Lodging (Hotel)||0|
|Other (specify) __utility_||27|
Donations from the Kansas and Western Missouri Division
The Kansas and Western Missouri Division (MoKan), headquartered in Kansas City, Missouri, has played a
large role in the relief efforts for Joplin (as well as tornado relief in Reading, Kansas and Sedalia, Missouri.)
Amanda Waters, The Divisional Director of Community Relations for the MoKan Division reports the
following service and fundraising information separate from the MoKan Division:
MoKan Division EDS Service for Sedalia, Missouri Tornado.
On Wednesday, May 25, a tornado hit Sedalia, Missouri. The Sedalia, Missouri EDS Canteen was already
deployed to Joplin, Missouri. So Kansas City responded to Sedalia. While in Sedalia (for 3 days) the canteen
served a total of 1,451 people.
|Scripps Foundation, owners of the local NBC station:||$10,000.00|
Donations from General Public
|NBC Action News Telethon* (for Joplin, Reading and Sedalia):||$223,510.00|
|Credit Card donations:||$6,625.00|
|($5,760.00 for Joplin, $865.00 for “general tornado relief.”)|
|Text to Donate (90999 number—Was only publicized one day):||$4,440.00|
|Direct Mail as of 5/27/2011*:|
|– For Reading, Kansas||$1,260.00|
|– For Joplin, Missouri||$25,111.00|
|– For Reading, Kansas and Joplin, Missouri||$12,705.00|
|– For Sedalia, Missouri||$100.00|
|*Several donations still to be processed.||Total: $703,354.22|
How to Help:
The best way to help Joplin now is to call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or go to www.salvationarmyusa.org to
make a donation by credit card. Checks may be mailed to The Salvation Army, PO Box 21787, St. Louis,
Missouri 63109-0787. Please designate the gift “Joplin Tornado.” Cell phone users may also text the word
JOPLIN to 80888 to make a $10 donation charged to their cell phone bill (text and/or messaging charges may
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.
Christchurch, New Zealand — The Salvation Army in New Zealand is taking the next steps in its reaction to the Christchurch earthquake, having concluded the concentrated visitation program that formed a major part of its initial response. The focus now is on helping people become more independent, meeting medium and long-term needs in the city.
Unemployment in the city is rising and likely to increase once government support for local businesses ends at the end of May. The Salvation Army recognizes that its recovery work needs to be long-term and sustainable.
Southern Division Commander Major Clive Nicolson says that, while residents needing material and emotional support will continue to receive help from The Salvation Army, those who are able will be encouraged to take responsibility for their own day-to-day needs.
Major Daryl Crowden is an Australian International Emergency Services officer working alongside Major Nicolson. He says a significant number of residents are still “hunkered down,” rarely leaving their homes. He points out that apart from making people more self-reliant, encouraging them to take greater responsibility for themselves is beneficial to their mental health. “We’re trying to get them to see beyond their four walls and put their situation in context,” says Major Crowden.
Some residents are exhibiting significant degrees of frustration and anger as they await answers about the future of their properties. Major Crowden says that while these emotions are an expected part of the recovery process, Salvation Army workers are often the ones faced with the difficult task of providing emotional support and helping people put their bureaucratic problems into context.
As from this week, the number of psychosocial workers providing emotional and practical support to quake-affected residents in the city has reduced from around 100 to 25.
For the first time The Salvation Army has permission to send a team of eight psychosocial workers into the orange zone of the central business district (CBD) to check on residents allowed to move back into their homes. The orange zone has been off limits since the quake and it will be the first time that many of these residents have received comprehensive support.
Demand on Salvation Army Community Ministries is gradually diminishing, with food parcel distribution down to around 200 a day, compared to 800 in the days following the quake. Salvation Army Emergency Services were serving up to 970 meals a day until the end of last week but are now only feeding those engaged in The Salvation Army’s earthquake response. Most of the content of food parcels is provided directly by corporate donations.
Salvation Army Public Relations Secretary Major Robbie Ross says companies looking to support the Army’s work in Christchurch continue to make contact. Some are also showing interest in supporting The Salvation Army’s wider community work.
The New Zealand Food and Grocery Council has canvassed its members on behalf of The Salvation Army with astounding results, says Major Ross. Kellogg’s, for instance, has been providing weekly shipments of breakfast cereals since the February earthquake. In addition, NZ$160,000-worth of grocery vouchers has been purchased from Progressive Enterprises at discount. The company is also providing expertise in organizing The Salvation Army’s recently acquired storage facility.
Where possible The Salvation Army is providing vouchers rather than food parcels or other items. This is to stimulate the fragile local economy. Companies such as Chevron and Mitre 10 have donated funds for vouchers. Some other assistance is coming through partnership projects, such as clothing vouchers with Postie Plus and NZ$500 Care Cards developed in conjunction with Westpac Bank.
The Salvation Amy has distributed more than 1,250 Care Cards and provided around 300 Care Breaks to individuals and families to help them get respite away from Christchurch.
The Army is currently having three purpose-built shower units manufactured in China. The showers will be capable of providing up to 400 people with showers each day. With colder weather and continuing problems with water and waste-water infrastructure in Christchurch, the arrival of the shower units is expected to be welcomed by residents.
A community care van donated by Westpac Bank and fitted out as a mobile office is being used in areas where there is no Salvation Army presence. The van goes to neighborhoods or other locations where residents congregate so that Salvation Army personnel can provide advice and material or psychosocial support. This service is followed up with more intensive help if needed. Two four-wheel-drive vehicles donated by Isuzu New Zealand are being used to ferry food and other items to residents in areas where the roads are still severely damaged.
The Salvation Army is pleased with the response to its Earthquake Appeal and is working with other major appeals to ensure that donated monies are targeted to the areas of greatest need.
Major Nicolson says the morale of Salvation Army officers, staff and volunteers remains high – even among locals who have damaged or destroyed properties. “In these difficult times,” he says, “I feel very privileged to be part of an organization that cares for people and endeavors to make a difference.”
For photographs of relief efforts, please click the following link: http://bit.ly/f9U6jX
Report by Jon Hoyle
New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Territory