“By The Grace of God We Are Still Standing” North Texas Storms Continue


For Immediate Release

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

Christina Lopez and her family were at home on Tuesday evening, close to Bridgeport, Texas, when they received an emergency warning about a rapidly approaching tornado. The family left their mobile home and huddled together in a truck under a large tree as moments later the tornado tore through their small community.

“We were bouncing all over the place in the truck,” said Mrs. Lopez. “I was helpless as I watched the tornado rip my house apart. There was nothing I could do about it.” The Salvation Army mobile kitchen from Dallas Fort Worth Area Command provided lunch, snacks and drinks to Mrs. Lopez and her family on Thursday as they worked tirelessly to sort through the wreckage of five homes that were destroyed. When asked if the family would like some bibles in addition to the food she responded, “Absolutely! We’ll take them. It’s only by the grace of God that we are still standing.”

Dangerous storms continue to move through the North Texas area and are forecast to remain through the weekend. Flooding is a major concern throughout the state and all Salvation Army Disaster Response Units are on standby preparing to assist local areas, and beyond if necessary.

Wichita Falls and Gainsville are major areas of concern this evening with record flooding expected. A mandatory evacuation was put in place for approximately 150 homes in Wichita Falls as area power was switched off on Thursday morning. The Salvation Army has been activated as an emergency shelter and will also be feeding those affected in the community at the Point of Distribution Center with the assistance of the mobile kitchen from San Angelo. The Salvation Army of Sherman is on standby for deployment to Gainsville.

Wednesday and Thursday also saw continued Salvation Army meal service in Van, Mineral Wells, Bridgeport, Runaway Bay, and Corpus Christi.

To make a financial donation to support The Salvation Army flood and tornado relief efforts please go to http://tsatx.org/floodandtornadorelief

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.



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.

February 5, 2010


books a million

The Salvation Army Salutes Books-A-Million!

Books a Million has partnered with The Salvation Army for several years by hosting a holiday fundraising campaign in their stores each year.  Their holiday campaign raised $10,308 for Texas.  Funds raised will provide social services in the following cities: Abilene, Beaumont, Greater Dallas/Fort Worth, greater Houston, Laredo, Longview, San Antonio, Sherman, Texarkana and Wichita Falls.

Kroger community rewards program

Shop at Kroger to Support Salvation Army!

Kroger has created the Community Rewards program to help nonprofit groups and faith-based organizations that focus on hunger relief, education, diversity and health and wellness.  Salvation Army units across Texas are already enrolled in the program.

Here’s how you can help your local Salvation Army:

  • Apply for a Kroger Plus card, if you don’t already have one at a local Kroger store.  Visit https://www.kroger.com/communityrewards for more details.
  • Link your Kroger Plus card to a Salvation Army participant number of your choice.
  • Each time you shop at Kroger’s, a portion of your store purchase benefits your selected Salvation Army.

Here’s a list of enrolled Salvation Army units and their participant number:

  • The Salvation Army of Texas City 80406
  • The Salvation Army of Brownwood 80827
  • The Salvation Army of Galveston 80905
  • The Salvation Army of Nacogdoches 82560
  • The Salvation Army of Freeport 82992
  • The Salvation Army of Longview 91341
  • The Salvation Army of Cleburne 91899
  • The Salvation Army of Houston 92012
  • The Salvation Army of Sherman 92926
  • The Salvation Army of Bryan 92980
  • The Salvation Army of Marshall 93594
  • The Salvation Army of Paris 93701
  • The Salvation Army of Granbury 94103
  • The Salvation Army of Palestine 94165
  • The Salvation Army of Huntsville 94707

Major Don Wildish Recounts Ministering In Unusual Places

Major Don Wildish

Moore, OK (June 15, 2013)—“We’ve had some very unusual ministries and frankly, we’re just looking for the ministries wherever we travel,” says Major Don Wildish, an officer with The Salvation Army in Sherman, Texas.

Wildish’s 2-week deployment to Oklahoma has been anything but usual, if there is such a thing.

He arrived on May 31, 2013, with an assignment to offer Emotional and Spiritual Care to those affected by the tornado that touched down in Moore 11 days earlier. The first night in town he and a few others headed out for dinner, but shortly after arriving the tornado sirens began to blare.

“The restaurant invited us to take shelter, but there was no way I was going to take shelter in a place where there was big hot stoves and sharp knives,” Wildish recalls.

So without knowing his way around town, Wildish drove toward the one thing he could see – bright blue skies above the airport.

“But then the skies turned dark and we had to go a different way. We ran from one tornado only to run into another one,” he says.

With the skies turning overhead, Wildish and his group took cover at the next place they saw, a hotel outside of the airport. The staff inside was in the process of asking guests to come down from their rooms and occupy the first floor.

“We gathered into the bathroom and stuffed as many people into the men’s restroom as we could – both women and men. I had an opportunity to have a word of prayer with them and let them know the Lord was with us.”

The storm brewing outside left her mark; the National Weather Service has since marked it as the ‘widest known tornado in U.S. history,’ stretching 2.6 miles at its widest point. With two massive storms less than two weeks apart, Wildish certainly had his work as an Emotional and Spiritual Care volunteer cut out for him.

A few days later he decided to go into Moore.

“I wanted to see if there was any movement. I wanted to see if there was anyone I could serve. When I got into the middle of destruction, a place where there was nothing left at all, I found a woman, an older woman, working outside to trim her hedges. I asked her if she needed help, and she said, ‘Well, there’s a few spots up there that are too high for me to reach’.”

Wildish took the clippers from her and began to trim her hedges. As he finished the area she asked if he could help with a few other spots on the other side.

“Once I finished the second area she told me that we needed to move the clippings to the curb,” he recounts.

“Well we have to take it to the curb,” she explained, “That’s where the collectors come to pick up the trash.”

Wildish looked at the devastation around, but recognized what it meant for this woman to be able to take care of the one thing left standing among all of her belongings.

“…so we climbed over a few piles of debris, in order to place the hedge clippings in a spot where the collector would find them.”

When Major Wildish finished the task he asked the woman if she needed additional help.

“No, I’m just gonna go back and sweep my porch; it needs sweeping,” she answered.

“You’re right,” he said back to her. “It does need sweeping.”

Major Wildish asked the woman if he could pray with her and then was on his way.

Throughout the rest of the day he had other chances to serve.

“My ministry has taken me to places where I don’t even know where I’m at. In Union City, going towards El Reno, we would stop and I would just give a drink and some snacks to the men working on the electrical lines and the other crews that were just working to free up traffic.

Later I found a family who needed help loading a box spring and a mattress into their new home.

Another time we found a house where power lines were down. I could not get to the house. We stood out in front and I yelled, ‘If there’s anyone inside, please step out,’ and a moment later a couple came to the door. I couldn’t get to them, and they couldn’t get to me, because the power lines were down in between us. But we were able to toss them a dozen drinks over the power line into their yard. We got them a large plastic bag of snacks and threw it over the power line too.”

Major Wildish says his assignment is simple, and he’s honored by the chance he has to serve.

“We’ve been in some real peculiar situations out there, but it’s my roll just to bring some comfort, bring some strength to those in need.”

USA National Commander Visits Minamisannriku

Japan Tsunami Recovery Continues With Help from Salvation Army

Courtesy of www.theaustralian.com.au

Contributed by Brian Swarts, Assistant Program Director – Strategic Planning for The Salvation Army World Service Office (SAWSO).

Two years ago today, a magnitude 9.0 earthquake struck off the coast of Japan creating a tsunami large and powerful enough to rush several miles inland and cover the rooftops of five-story buildings. Nearly 19,000 were left dead or missing and over 300,000 were displaced. In Japan this day is remembered as 3.11.

On that day, thousands were forced out of their homes into temporary shelters. Most of these people lost not only their homes, but also their livelihoods and their friends. Yet, in the midst of this tragedy, The Salvation Army was ready with open arms and helping hands from the very beginning, and we continue today walking alongside communities as they strive to rebuild their lives.

Immediately after the disaster hit, Salvation Army corps opened up their doors to provide food and shelter to victims and our canteen (mobile kitchen) vehicles traveled from shelter to shelter to share hot meals and words of comfort with those who were suffering. The Salvation Army also provided heaters and other essential items to help elderly citizens and families prepare for a harsh winter in their temporary homes.

Since 3.11.11, we have been working hand-in-hand with several hard-hit fishing villages on the northeast coast, offering hope and vital resources for their recovery. In the town of Onagawa, The Salvation Army has worked with city officials, the chamber of commerce and a local company, Trident Seafoods, to build a temporary shopping center so business owners could get back to work and locals would have a place to meet their basic needs. We have also supported the local fisherman’s union, the life blood of this small community, to replace lost boats and equipment so they would not miss the fishing season. Similar efforts have been undertaken in other towns, such as Ofunato and Mininamisanriku, which even has a campaign to promote tourism by building a tsunami remembrance hall and inviting outside visitors to celebrate important Japanese festivals in solidarity with their town. It is the temporary shopping center, supported by The Salvation Army, which is at the heart of all of these efforts.

The Salvation Army donated forklifts and other essential equipment to devastated villages.

Donations allowed The Salvation Army to provide fishing boats to hard-hit villages.

Yet, the most memorable gestures of support are smaller ones. They are the stories of Salvation Army officers celebrating Christmas with elderly citizens isolated in temporary housing shelters or the support that The Salvation Army has given to a woman helping youth with developmental disabilities – she is the only source of comfort and support in her small town for many who are dealing with the tragedy.

Visiting with displaced senior citizens residing at temporary shelters.

Commissioner William A. Roberts, National Commander of The Salvation Army USA visits the town of Minamisannriku, where The Salvation Army continues to serve and provide recovery services.

Doing The Most Good we can for those in greatest need is central to the mission of The Salvation Army and we have a vision to continue doing this in Japan as communities recover. After two years most victims, many of them elderly and alone, are still displaced from their homes and hometowns. The Salvation Army has been requested by the local government to visit and provide counseling to these residents to ensure they know that they have not been forgotten and they do not lose hope for the future.

If you would like to support The Salvation Army’s continued recovery efforts in Japan and around the world, please donate to The Salvation Army’s World Service Office at: https://donate.salvationarmyusa.org/SAWSO.

Reposted from the The Salvation Army USA’s Blog.

The Salvation Army Providing 24/7 Support at Central Texas Wildfire

Dallas, TX (9/5/11) — Four Salvation Army mobile feeding units are providing 24/7 assistance to firefighters battling wildfires that are estimated to have torched more than 25,000 acres in Bastrop County, about 30 miles east of Austin. Since Sunday, 476 homes have been destroyed by the raging wildfires and 5,000 area residents evacuated, as conditions continue to worsen.

Salvation Army staff and disaster volunteers from Temple, Kerrville, and Austin have been supporting firefighters as they struggle to contain the wildfires. More Salvation Army units are expected to be called to Bastrop County in the coming days to assist in the growing response.

Another wildfire, in and around Possom Kingdom, only 90 miles West of Fort Worth, is now under control. Salvation Army units from Sherman, Fort Worth, Dallas and McKinney returned home on Sunday, having served since Friday.

Since the start of the wildfire season, Texas fire crews have responded to a record 20,900 fires that have destroyed more than 1,000 homes and burned 3.6 million acres. The Salvation Army is committed to providing refreshment, relief and counseling both to responders, and those directly affected by the devastating wildfires.

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.

A Gift of Hope

Chilean fishermen with boats provided thanks to Dr. Lewin's efforts

Imagine the scene: Waking in panic as the entire house shakes and perhaps starts to crumble before your weary eyes, the shouts and screams of family members and neighbors searching in the darkness for relief as the ground shifts all about you. To you and me the scene is reminiscent of something from a Hollywood movie rather than real life. However, for the people of Caleta Tumbes, a small coastal community in Southern Chile, this was very much a reality as they were awakened in the early hours of Saturday, February 27, 2010, by a devastating 8.8-magnitude earthquake.

In the days following the initial earthquake and resulting tsunami, people flocked to the streets as numerous aftershocks continued to pummel the country, severely damaging many of the older and poorly constructed buildings and homes. It was estimated that almost 2 million people were affected by the tragedy. Salvation Army staff and volunteers were quickly mobilized, providing food, water, blankets, first aid kits, candles, and other emergency supplies.  Among the many things destroyed by the tsunami were the communities’ fishing fleets. One fisherman described how he and his family fled for their lives to the hills and did not think about their boats. He had just paid for a new boat and had no way to find the money for another. This sad story was repeated by countless people in the region who rely on fishing for their livelihood.

Travel now to Waco, Texas, where Dr. Marcial G. Lewin, originally from Chile, was so touched by the disaster in his homeland that he committed to make a difference in the lives of those who had lost so much. Understanding the long-term economic effects of this disaster, Dr. Lewin decided to focus his efforts on purchasing boats and motors for fisherman who lost everything. In addition to a personal gift, he coordinated efforts among his peers and contacts and raised more than $50,000 for Chile.

Thanks to Dr. Lewin’s efforts The Salvation Army was able to provide a gift of hope to the community of Caleta Tumbes in the form of six boats, four motors, two pair of oars, and a large storage container that will be used to house equipment and supplies. This equipment will enable more than 70 families to sustain themselves. Speaking at a ceremony dedicating the new boats and honoring the fisherman, the secretary of the fishing cooperative said, “We bless God for the witness and work of The Salvation Army and Dr. Lewin. Thankfully, many families will be blessed by this source of income.”

The Salvation Army is at work today in 123 countries around the world and in more than 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.

New Chilean Fishing Boats

The Salvation Army Food Pantry Providing Record Numbers of Meals, Supplies Running Low

Over the last three months, The Salvation Army Food Pantry has provided 711 bags of nonperishable food items and baked goods to feed 1,600 Grayson County residents in need.

The Salvation Army Food Pantry, which is located at 5700 Texoma Parkway in Sherman, operates Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m., year-round and relies heavily on donated food items to meet the community’s increasing need for basic groceries.

Captain Don New, the administrator of The Salvation Army in Grayson County, reports that the majority of the 700-plus cases served in the last 90 days were first-time clients. “We are seeing an increase in requests for assistance across the board,” he explains, “not just in our Food Pantry. But we feel this lack of basic necessities is especially troubling; too many of our Grayson County children, seniors, and families are going hungry because there’s just not enough money to cover all of their needs.”

Captain New explains that individuals and families in need of grocery assistance can visit the Salvation Army Food Pantry once every 90 days. “Individuals and families with two to four members receive one bag of nonperishable food items and baked goods, such as pasta, soup, canned meats and vegetables, cereal, and dried milk and juices, and, when we have them, donated baked goods,” Captain New says. “Families with more than five members receive two bags of food.”

To stock the Food Pantry, The Salvation Army accepts donations of funds as well as nonperishable food items (pasta, cereal, soups, canned meats and vegetables), breads and baked goods, and baby and hygiene items such as diapers, formula, and wipes. “We are reaching out to the Grayson community for donations to restock Food Pantry at this time,” says Captain New, “because we have seen time and time again that Grayson County cares for its own. We know that when we share the need, the good people of Grayson County respond. This community has an incredible heart, demonstrating true compassion and generosity toward our neighbors in need.”

If you would like to support The Salvation Army Food Pantry, monetary donations can be mailed to The Salvation Army Food Pantry, 5700 Texoma Parkway, Sherman, Texas 75090. Monetary support and food and baby items may also be dropped off at The Salvation Army at 5700 Texoma Parkway during office hours.

If you are in need of basic food items from The Salvation Army Food Pantry, please call 903-868-9602 to make an appointment.

Salvation Army Food Pantry Location: 5700 Texoma Parkway, Sherman, Texas 75090
Phone: 903-868-9602
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.

Salvation Army Provides Relief During Texas Wildfires

First responders cool off at canteen

Salvation Army response was deemed necessary during the Easter holiday weekend, and disaster workers quickly moved to action taking mobile feeding units full of food and water to serve victims and first responders. Canteens deployed came from Ft. Worth, McKinney and Sherman, Texas.

To date it has been reported that the fires have damaged over 192,000 acres of land across North Texas. The majority of people served through The Salvation Army efforts have been first responders and over 500 people have received emergency services through the canteens.

“Most of the people we have been serving are first responders, firefighters and forestry workers. Hundreds of victims were able to find refuge with their families and friends. We prepared for the worst case scenario and will remain until we are no longer needed,” said Major James Taylor, Divisional Secretary for The Salvation Army of Texas.

The Salvation Army began preparing as early as Thursday afternoon last week, to respond to the Wildfires which sprung up across North Texas that same day. Salvation Army officers, staff and volunteers from across the state were put on standby and ordered to stock, fuel and prepare the fleet of mobile feeding units for deployment to areas most damaged by the fires.