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Williamson County Canteen

Austin Volunteers Take the Wheel for The Salvation Army

06/01/2015

For Immediate Release

  Contact: Philip Burn, Communications Director: (214) 956-6243


Dallas, Texas (June 1 , 2015) – The Salvation Army mobile kitchen from Williamson County (Austin Area Command) is currently serving in San Marcos, Texas, a community working to recover from the destruction caused by record flooding. This unit may look like any other Salvation Army canteen, however it is unique in the fact that it is operated year-round by a committed team of volunteers.

Randy O’Dell, a resident of Williamson County located just north of Austin, heads up the volunteer team and has been the driving force behind this partnership. “I had been giving to The Salvation Army for many years and decided to get involved about three years ago. I wanted to expand my service outside of my own church and look at the bigger picture,” explains Randy. “I like that they are a Christian organization and have always admired all the good that is done by The Salvation Army.”

The Williamson County volunteer team has been deployed several times in the last month both locally, in and around Austin, and further afield. On Monday, June 1, the team served meals, snacks and drinks in several areas of San Marcos bringing sustenance and relief to many people working on their homes.

The Multi-Agency Resource Center (MARC) in San Marcos was open on Monday and The Salvation Army from San Antonio provided food, drinks, and encouragement to those seeking assistance. Service at this location is expected to continue through Wednesday.

The Salvation Army laundry unit, located at 100 Carney Lane in Wimberley (78676), continues to provide the opportunity for people to wash their clothes and belongings. Additional emergency assistance has been provided to affected residents along with case management by The Salvation Army at the Wimberley MARC.

The statistics below present a snapshot of ongoing Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Service efforts in Texas:

 

  •    28,720 Meals
  •    44,119 Drinks
  •    15,380 Snacks
  •    11 Mobile Feeding Units (Canteens)
  •    102 Persons Sheltered
  •    Emotional & Spiritual Care to 716 individuals
  •    908 cleanup kits
  •    454 comfort kits
  •    4,339 hours of employee and volunteer service

Financial donations are the best way to support the ongoing relief operation. In-kind donations require sorting, boxing, palletizing, storage, and delivery to the disaster location. All of these activities can be costly and time consuming, and therefore may delay service delivery. Cash donations allow The Salvation Army to purchase product to quickly and efficiently meet the most urgent needs of disaster victims. Where possible, the purchases are made near the disaster site to stimulate the local economy and ensure quicker delivery.

Individuals can make a financial donation in support of The Salvation Army flood relief efforts:

Text HELP for help. Text STOP to unsubscribe.

  • By mail to The Salvation Army, PO Box 560001, Dallas, TX 75235

If you are interested in learning more about The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) in Texas, or to become a local disaster volunteer, please visit: www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.

For the most up-to-date emergency disaster services news from The Salvation Army in Texas, please visit: www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org and follow latest updates on Twitter @SalArmyTXEDS and Facebook at www.facebook.com/SalArmyTXEDS.

 

About The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services:

“The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.” While every disaster is unique and creates its own special needs, the core of The Salvation Army’s disaster program consists of several basic services. And while these services address many of the typical needs of a disaster survivor, Salvation Army disaster relief is also flexible. Our services are adapted to the specific needs of individuals and communities and scalable according to the magnitude of the disaster.

 

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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 a broad 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 spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org. 

 

Williamson County, Texas, Volunteers Take the Wheel for The Salvation Army

A group of highly motivated volunteers from Williamson County have stepped up to take responsibility for a Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Canteen (mobile kitchen). This is a unique situation and The Salvation Army is excited about this opportunity to better serve the community.

Randy O’Dell, a Realtor in Williamson County, located just north of Austin, has been appointed Volunteer Coordinator and has been the driving force behind this partnership. “I had been giving to The Salvation Army for many years and decided to get involved about a year ago. I wanted to expand my service outside of my own church and look at the bigger picture,” explains Randy. “I like that they are a Christian organization and have always admired all the good that is done by The Salvation Army.”

After several months of conversations and meetings with Salvation Army Officers in Killeen and Austin the idea of assigning a Salvation Army Disaster Canteen was suggested to Randy. “I met with the leaders of The Salvation Army in Austin to discuss how we could get a Salvation Army presence in Williamson County. I was thinking we could maybe open a Family Store or establish some kind of partnership with a local organization,” said Randy. “When they suggested the Disaster Canteen I loved the idea! This is just the kind of project I was looking for.”

The Salvation Army canteen is a full service “kitchen-on-wheels” that can prepare and serve approximately 1,500 meals per day. The canteen has been placed in Williamson County on school board property, along with school transportation vehicles, in which The Salvation Army will have access 24/7.

So far, Randy has recruited 45 volunteers who have committed to being part of the project which includes attending Salvation Army Disaster Training sessions. “We had 32 volunteers attend the first ‘Introduction to The Salvation Army’ session and have scheduled our next class, ‘Food Services’ training, for July. The volunteers are excited about the project and we received a lot of good feedback about the training,” said Randy.

Major John Carter, Area Commander for The Salvation Army in Austin, commented, “This is a great opportunity for The Salvation Army to expand our volunteer base for Disaster work and at the same time provide a Salvation Army presence in Williamson County. I believe this project may be the first of its kind; a Salvation Army Disaster Canteen being turned over to a group of volunteers outside of any local Salvation Army church affiliation. I am delighted about this partnership and thoroughly expect that the volunteers will be responsive, not only to the needs of the local communities, but will be deployable to other regions as well.”

Randy and The Salvation have an exciting vision for the future of this partnership. “I expect this will turn into much more than simply a kitchen-on-wheels,” concluded Randy. “I can imagine running lunch programs for the needy, breakfast for school children during the summer, and so much more. I believe this is a start to a great future for The Salvation Army in Williamson County.”

For more information or to get involved with The Salvation Army in the Austin area please contact (512) 476-111. For current information about The Salvation Army in Texas please visit www.salvationarmytexas.org and for Emergency Disaster Services information go to www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.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. 83 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.