Salvation Army Establishes Supply Line to Haiti

Medical Teams, Relief Workers and Materials Support 700 Local Salvation Army Officer and Staff

More than 700 Salvation Army workers permanently stationed in Haiti are being supported in their Earthquake disaster response efforts by US and International Salvation Army teams. Since the 7.0 Earthquake struck the island five days ago, The Salvation Army has set up a staging area in south Florida and arranged logistics on the ground in Port Au Prince. The supply line has already helped deliver skilled disaster relief workers, medical teams and supplies to those who have been affected. In the U.S., The Salvation Army is working with corporate partners and vendors to send bulk food, water, and other basic supplies to its teams in Haiti.

“This is a race against time to get people the food, water and shelter they need to just to survive,” said Lt. Col. Dan Starrett, Executive Director of The Salvation Army’s World Services office, based in Alexandria, VA. “Once we can get the situation stabilized, our local teams will be able to take on the long task of recovery and rebuilding lives.”

An initial Salvation Army assessment team arrived in Haiti on Friday, January 15, and has worked with the Haitian government and the U.S. military to gain clearance for relief flights to the airport in Port Au Prince. In addition, the team is working with the military and the United Nations for transportation, security and delivery of supplies. Package delivery company DHL has agreed to provide fuel for aircraft to make return flights from Port Au Prince.

On Sunday, January 17, a 14-person Salvation Army medical team, including eight doctors, arrived in Port Au Prince, with medical supplies. As soon as today, The Salvation Army is planning to send to Haiti several other skilled disaster response teams from across the United States and Canada. In addition, The Salvation Army is working with corporate partners and vendors to send bulk quantities of pre-packaged meals, bottled water, tents, lanterns and other supplies, along with several 15,000-gallon water purification units and multiple mobile hospitals.

This past weekend, more than 5,000 volunteers in El Dorado, Kansas helped pack one million meals for delivery to Haiti, courtesy of Numana Inc. (http://www.numanainc.com/). By next week, The Salvation Army expects to have a total of two million meals packed and delivered to Haiti. Dozens of local Salvation Army units already held benefits or are planning fundraisers for the relief effort. To date, more than $3.5 million has been raised.

“The American public has stepped up in a big way to support the people of Haiti and we want to thank everyone for their generosity,” said Lt. Col Starrett. “We have been awed by the number of people calling and reaching out to us wanting to help and we are praying for all those who are suffering.”

The Salvation Army set up a Haiti relief fund and is accepting monetary donations. Donors may contribute $10 via their phone bill by text messaging the word “HAITI” to 52000, and confirming the donation with the word, “Yes.”  Donors can also give via www.salvationarmyusa.org, 1-800-SAL-ARMY and through the mail at: The Salvation Army World Service Office, International Disaster Relief Fund, P.O. Box 630728, Baltimore, MD 21263-0728 with designation “Haiti Earthquake.”

In Haiti, The Salvation Army operates schools, clinics, a hospital, feeding programs, children’s homes and church-related activities through some 60 Corps community centers across the country.  One Salvation Army facility, or compound, includes a home for more than 50 children; a school with a daily attendance of 1,500 children; a medical clinic caring for 150-200 people daily; and a church that on any typical Sunday welcomes nearly 1,000 people. The facility is less than 10 minutes from the National Palace and is in an area known as St. Martin that is home to predominantly poor living in the nation’s capital.

According to reports from Salvation Army staff in Port au Prince, no one in the compound was injured during the earthquake, but the children’s home, the clinic and church suffered major damage. Several smaller buildings, including residences, have collapsed completely. The second compound that houses Salvation Army administrative offices is being used as an emergency operations center; damage was slight to this compound, according to Salvation Army reports from Haiti. The Bethel Clinic, The Salvation Army’s hospital in Fond-des-Negres (75 miles west of Port-au-Prince) reports some minor damage, but no injuries.

For continued updates, please visit www.blog.salvationarmyusa.org.

Assessment Teams Arrive in Haiti

Mobilization Continues for The Salvation Army’s Earthquake Response at Home and Abroad

An initial Salvation Army assessment team is on the ground in Haiti and en route to the capital city of Port Au Prince. Once there, the team will liaison with Salvation Army personnel already on site in Haiti, where the Army has ministered since 1950. As with all such relief efforts, The Salvation Army’s initial focus will be to assess the immediate needs of the people affected by the earthquake, then utilize its resources to mobilize and ship food, water and other critical necessities to where they are most needed.

The Salvation Army has 44,000 lbs of emergency rations packaged and ready to ship to Haiti. These supplies include 285,120 meals consisting of rice, soy and vitamins, plastic wrapped for disaster. One million similar meals, donated by Numana Inc., will be prepared and packed this weekend by volunteers at the El Dorado Convention Center in El Dorado, Kansas to support Salvation Army relief efforts in Haiti. Locally, four tractor trailer loads of water, totaling almost 80,000 one liter bottles were dispatched from the Texas Salvation Army Disaster Warehouse today. The water will be transported to Lake Charles, LA, and then be loaded on to a ship headed for Haiti.

“We saw a devastating earthquake strike Haiti this week,” said Lt. Col. Dan Starrett, Executive Director of The Salvation Army World Services Office. “Now, donor generosity is striking back.”

The Salvation Army is encouraging people to donate in a new way by texting “HAITI” to 52000 on their mobile phones. The text message will automatically provide a $10 donation to disaster relief efforts in Haiti. Donors can also give via www.salvationarmyusa.org, 1-800-SAL-ARMY and the mail at: The Salvation Army World Service Office, International Disaster Relief Fund, P.O. Box 630728, Baltimore, MD 21263-0728 with designation “Haiti Earthquake.” To date, The Salvation Army has raised $1.8 million to support ongoing disaster relief. The Salvation Army has committed more than $850,000 to support relief efforts in Haiti. The most pressing need right now is for monetary donations.

The Salvation Army operates schools, clinics, a hospital, feeding programs, children’s homes and church-related activities through some 60 church/community centers across the country.

One Salvation Army facility, or compound, includes a home for more than 50 children; a school with a daily attendance of 1,500 children; a medical clinic caring for 150-200 people daily; and a church that on any typical Sunday welcomes nearly 1,000 people. The facility is less than 10 minutes from the National Palace and is in an area known as St. Martin that is home to predominantly poor living in the nation’s capital.

According to reports from Salvation Army staff in Port au Prince, no one in the compound was injured during the earthquake, but the children’s home, the clinic and church suffered major damage. Several smaller buildings, including residences, have collapsed completely.

The second compound that houses Salvation Army administrative offices is being used as an emergency operations center; damage was slight to this compound, according to Salvation Army reports from Haiti. The Bethel Clinic, The Salvation Army’s hospital in Fond-des-Negres (75 miles west of Port-au-Prince) reports some minor damage, but no injuries.

For your Haiti Disaster Relief donation of $10 text HAITI to 52000. Thank you.

 

 

Haiti Earthquake: Mobilization of Personnel and Resources to Aid Relief

The Salvation Army is mobilizing resources and personnel to assist with the international relief effort in Haiti following a severe earthquake Tuesday that damaged much of the country’s infrastructure, housing and commercial buildings.

The Salvation Army has had a presence in Haiti since 1950 and currently operates schools, clinics, a hospital, feeding programs, children’s homes and church-related activities spread across two major facilities in Port au Prince, close to the epicenter of the earthquake and at other locations in the country.

One of the facilities, or compounds as it is referred to, includes a home for more than 50 children; a school with a daily attendance of 1,500 children; a medical clinic caring for 150-200 people daily; and a church that on any typical Sunday welcomes nearly 1,000 people. The facility is less than 10 minutes from the National Palace and is in an area known as St. Martin that’s home to predominantly poor living in the nation’s capital.

According to reports from Salvation Army staff in Port au Prince, no one in the compound was injured during the earthquake, but the children’s home, the clinic and church suffered major damage. Several smaller buildings, including residences, have collapsed completely. People were sleeping in the parking lot overnight, while severe aftershocks continued to affect the country.

The second compound that houses Salvation Army administrative offices is being used as an emergency operations center; damage was slight to this compound, according to Salvation Army reports from Haiti.

The Salvation Army hospital in Fond-des-Negres (75 miles west of Port-au-Prince) reports some minor damage, but no injuries.

Major Robert Poff is the Director of Disaster Services for The Salvation Army in Haiti. Below is his moving account of the situation in Haiti immediately following the earthquake:

Words cannot begin to describe the devastation that has taken place in Port au Prince, Haiti. The Salvation Army’s World Services Office, based in Alexandria, VA, has committed $50,000 to the relief effort and the organization is prepared to commit more financial resources, as well as food, water and other emergency supplies, to assist in the recovery. I am the Director of Disaster Services for The Salvation Army in Haiti, and I am from the United States. My wife and I have been in PAP since April, and have fallen deeply in love with the country and it’s people.

When the earthquake struck, I was driving down the mountain from Petionville. Our truck was being tossed to and fro like a toy, and when it stopped, I looked out the windows to see buildings “pancaking” down, like I have never witnessed before. Traffic, of course, came to a stand-still, while thousands of people poured out into the streets, crying, carrying bloody bodies, looking for anyone who could help them. We piled as many bodies into the back of our truck, and took them down the hill with us, hoping to find medical attention. All of them were older, scared, bleeding, and terrified. It took about 2 hours to go less than 1 mile. Traffic was horrible, devastation was everywhere, and suffering humanity was front and center.

When we could drive no further, we left the truck parked on the side of the street, and walked the remaining 2 miles to get back to the Army compound. What I found was very sad! All of the security walls were down. The Children’s Home itself seems pretty intact, but our quarters, which is attached, are destroyed. Unlivable. The walls and ceiling are still standing – but so badly compromised that I wouldn’t even think of trying to stay there. All of the children, and hundreds of neighbors, are sleeping in our playground area tonight. Occasionally, there is another tremor – another reminder that we are not yet finished with this calamity. And when it comes, all of the people cry out and the children are terrified.

As I am sitting outside now, with most people trying to get a little sleep, I can hear the moans and cry’s of the neighbors. One of our staff went to a home in the neighborhood, to try to be of assistance to the woman who lived there. But she was too late.

The scene will be repeated over and over again. Tomorrow, we will begin the process of assessing damage, learning about casualties, and preparing for the future.

God bless Haiti.                                                                                          
Robert Poff, January 13, 2010

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Bob Poff, PR and EDS Director for the Haiti Division has witnessed the devastation for himself, and is desperately trying to meet the immediate needs of the community that surrounds the DHQ and Corps/school compound in Port-au-Prince.

MSNBC Interview: Bob Poff, Haiti

The organization is preparing to send more than 44,000 lbs of pre-packaged emergency rations to the country, along with emergency disaster teams. The Salvation Army is working with other agencies to identify appropriate transportation for the food. As with all such relief efforts, The Salvation Army will be a part of the initial emergency response while assessing longer term needs of the residents.

“Our thoughts and prayers are with the people of Haiti at this time and especially our Salvation Army officers and employees throughout the country,” said Lt. Col. Dan Starrett, who directs the Salvation Army World Services Office.

 

 

 

 

 

Salvation Army Opens Doors Amid Freezing Temps

As Texas braces itself for the coldest weather to hit the State in twenty years The Salvation Army is ready to provide assistance and shelter.

Salvation Army shelters will remain open 24 hours a day and are ready with extra cots, air mattresses and blankets to accommodate extra demand for beds. In addition to the shelters, Salvation Army church buildings are also being used as “warming centers” and overflow housing for the homeless and stranded travelers. It is anticipated that The Salvation Army in Texas will provide shelter to more than 2,000 individuals nightly as the temperatures are expected to drop well below 32 degrees on Thursday and Friday evening this week. No-one will be turned away from Salvation Army facilities as long as the temperature remains below freezing.

The Salvation Army have over forty Mobile Feeding Units across the State ready to be deployed specifically targeting areas known for homelessness, fully stocked with hot food and drinks. In some cases these units will also have blankets, socks, hats and gloves available for those in need.

Donations of blankets, coats and heaters are needed and local Salvation Army units will be prepared to accept such items.

Winter Storm Relief

North and East Texas was hit by winter storms and tornados on Wednesday evening, December 23. In Lufkin, TX, The Salvation Army supplied meals on Christmas Eve to 60 individuals and made plans to provide gifts on Christmas Day to children housed in the Southside Baptist shelter. 258 homes were damaged and 58 homes destroyed when a tornado struck the city. About 3,500 homes and businesses were without power after 30 utility poles toppled in the storm.

Salvation Army mobile feeding kitchens from Tyler and Longview were deployed on Wednesday evening. Longview reported tornado damage to 4 homes and many more commercial buildings. 

The small city of Burkburnett, near Wichita Falls, unexpectedly received 8 inches of snow in a matter of hours. Local residents were cut off by the snow and The Salvation Army responded by arranging a charge account for meals with a local grocery store.

The Salvation Army continues to work closely with DPS authorities across the Panhandle as they assist with stranded drivers in the winter weather.