National Salvation Army Week, May 10-16, 2021
Dallas, Texas (May 10, 2021) – A disaster can change someone’s life in a matter of seconds. When tornadoes, floods and other disasters strike, The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) provides critical services to make sure survivors have the support needed to rebuild their lives.
The Salvation Army in Texas is excited to celebrate National Salvation Army Week, May 10-16, 2021. Since 1889, The Salvation Army has faithfully and consistently worked to help those in need from our community 365 days a year, providing assistance to individuals and families who find themselves in crisis (such as disasters), shelter to those experiencing homelessness, food and meals to the hungry, and much more.
“Our trained Emergency Disaster Services staff and volunteers are known for being the first to arrive and the last to leave a disaster site. We are committed to helping those affected,” said Alvin Migues, Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army in Texas. “We respond to local disaster events as well as large-scale hurricanes and storms that impact millions of people. Once the dust settles, our EDS staff and volunteers stay for days, weeks, and sometimes months, until we’ve done all we can to help.”
On September 8, 1900, a hurricane devastated Galveston, leaving more than 5,000 people dead. The city, sustaining extensive property damage, was virtually destroyed. While survivors were still reeling from this onslaught of nature, Frederick Booth-Tucker, National Commander, ordered Salvation Army officers from across America to proceed to the disaster site to provide spiritual assistance. The Salvation Army’s first national disaster appeal for funds was generously supported by caring Americans. From these beginnings, The Salvation Army has developed local, regional and national disaster services programs.
The Salvation Army in Texas operates a fleet of 32 mobile kitchens, each with the capacity to provide 2,500 meals per day. They can be stocked and ready for deployment at a moment’s notice in times of disaster and travel the streets to provide hot meals to survivors and relief workers. Five Rapid Response Units, modified pickup trucks that can deliver snacks, drinks and food into affected areas, are also strategically assigned to locations in Texas. Rounding out the fleet, the organization has two large Field Kitchens, each with the capacity to produce between 15,000-20,000 meals a day, two mobile shower units, a laundry unit, and a mobile command post.
“Partnerships are key to any successful disaster response and The Salvation Army works closely with other disaster relief organizations and government agencies to maximize our impact and avoid duplicating services,” said Migues. “In addition to utilizing the army of trained Salvation Army disaster volunteers, these partnerships make it possible to provide food, water, shelter, clean up kits and other essential services to communities impacted by a disaster.”
One area in which The Salvation Army is different from many other relief organizations is the provision of emotional and spiritual care. “When you feel hurt, upset or overwhelmed, our Salvation Army staff and trained volunteers are there to provide support,” said Migues. “In addition to handing a hot meal or bottle of water to a survivor, our staff will listen and pray with a person in his or her time of need. This spiritual support is an integral part of The Salvation Army disaster response.”
“Each disaster is unique,” said Migues. “We determine what the biggest needs are and seek individuals and organizations who can provide these items to survivors. However, monetary donations are often the most effective and quickest way to support the emergency relief work and ensure that The Salvation Army is there, with the supplies and resources needed to make a difference in the midst of crisis.”
For more information about The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services, or to make a donation, go to www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.
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