The Salvation Army Continues Long-Term Recovery in Georgia

The Salvation Army Rebuilding Homes and Lives Throughout Impacted Area

TSA continues South Georgia reliefALBANY, GA (June 19, 2017) – The Salvation Army continues to provide long-term emergency relief services to residents whose lives were forever changed in January 2017 following a series of deadly tornadoes that ravaged parts of South Georgia.

Within minutes of the first tornadoes touching down, The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Response (EDS) teams deployed multiple mobile feeding units throughout affected areas. Over 19,500 meals, snacks, and drinks were provided, as well as emotional and spiritual care, to thousands of survivors throughout impacted areas.

According to the National Weather Service, the tornado outbreak in South Georgia was one of the largest on record. Twenty tornadoes hit Georgia within a three-day period between January 21 and 23, tearing a 70-mile path through five Georgia counties. Over 15,000 families were affected by the storms, with over 500 homes destroyed and another 1,700 reporting damage.

“From day one, The Salvation Army has been helping individuals and families who suffered due to the tornadoes” said Lanita Lloyd, Director of Emergency Disaster Services for The Salvation Army of Georgia. “These events have affected our communities – where we live and serve every day – our neighbors. We are committed to supporting long-term recovery efforts throughout Georgia.”

The Albany and Dougherty County areas were hit hardest by the tornadoes. As the disaster operation eventually transitioned from immediate response to long-term recovery, The Albany Salvation Army joined with local churches, businesses, and other organizations to establish a Long-Term Recovery Group to support relief efforts as a team. In those affected areas where a long-term recovery group does not exist, The Salvation Army will continue to assess and help fulfill the needs of impacted families.

It is anticipated that the long-term recovery will last through the summer, or until available funds run out. To date, The Salvation Army has raised over $300,000 for immediate and long-term recovery efforts. According to Major Kelley English, The Salvation Army officer for Albany, GA, the need still outweighs the resources available and any continued support would greatly help affected South Georgia communities in their quest to return to normal.

“Some people have exhausted their FEMA and insurance money to help get them back to normal, or had no money at all,” said Major English. “It’s great to be able to help people in their time of need in a real, tangible, and significant way.”

The Salvation Army’s focus is to help with unmet needs, which are those not obtained through FEMA, insurance, and other similar sources. Qualified households are able to obtain up to $3,000 as reimbursement for expenses like home repair, appliance replacement, medicine, temporary housing, and other disaster-related expenses.

“Long-term recovery is a difficult path. The process of rebuilding homes and lives takes time and patience,” said Major English. “The Salvation Army will work with local governments, organizations and community members to make sure every individual and family affected by these tornadoes is helped.”

Those seeking assistance for tornado-related expenses are asked to contact The Salvation Army of Albany, GA at 229-435-1428.

How to Help

The best way to help people before, during, and through the long-term recovery efforts of a disaster is to make a financial donation. Financial donations enable disaster responders and aid providers to meet the specific needs of disaster survivors when and where they are needed most.

Financial donations go directly toward long-term relief efforts for those affected by the 2017 South Georgia tornadoes and can be made;

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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. Eighty-two 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.

Salvation Army recognizes Lem Griffin

Lem-Griffin-AlbanyMarch 20, 2017 (ALBANY, GA) – All members of the Advisory Board of the Albany Corps of the Salvation Army work as one to serve the community. On Monday, however, it was time to recognize one board member — Lemuel Griffin — for his extraordinary work spanning more than two decades.

Griffin was presented with a Certificate of Life Membership at the unit’s board meeting.

Griffin was a leader in the refrigerated warehouse industry for 52 years, including 20 years as CEO and co-owner of Flint River Services. He is well-known for serving in leadership roles through the community. In addition to the Salvation Army, Griffin has given his time to the Boy Scouts of America and Albany Technical College. Currently, Griffin is chairman of the Phoebe Health System board. He and his wife, both cancer survivors, were honorees at last month’s Night for Hope event, a fundraiser for the ongoing battle against cancer in South Georgia.

While waiting to receive the highest honor for a Salvation Army board member, Griffin quietly listened as commanding officer Major Kelly English extolled Griffin’s many contributions of time, talent and treasure, not only to the Salvation Army, but to all of the Albany community.

English read scripture from the 25th chapter of Matthew in describing Griffin’s dedication to helping others.

“For I was hungry and you gave me something to eat, I was thirsty and you gave me something to drink, I was a stranger and you invited me in, I needed clothes and you clothed me, …” English read.

Speaking directly to Griffin, the Salvation Army commanding officer said, “Not only have you made this a better board, but a better community. It comes from the gold within your heart.”

Griffin, upon accepting the honor of life membership to the Advisory Board, said, “I feel so honored to have done whatever I could in the community. I hope to see more young folks come on board to carry on the work.”

Organized in 1878 by William Booth, the Salvation Army provides services to more than 30 million people each year, relying primarily upon the work of more than 3.5 million volunteers.

Article from Albany Herald

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Salvation Army takes ‘canteens’ to the streets to serve meals

Tornado-Serving-Albany-WALBFebruary 2, 2017 (ALBANY, GA) — It’s always said breakfast is the most important meal of the day.

That’s why every morning for the past week and a half, volunteers at the Salvation Army have started their day in the kitchen.

On the menu for breakfast this week are sausage biscuits, fresh from the oven, individually wrapped and loaded up into emergency disaster vehicles known as “canteens.” The food is then delivered to storm victims across Dougherty County and Southwest Georgia.

The canteens started rolling out the day after the devastating January 22nd storm.

“We found people that nobody had been by there house in two or three days. And they didn’t have any electricity and they were cold. So we gave them a blanket,” said Salvation Army’s Harold Boling.

And for Boling and other Salvation Army volunteers that’s what it’s all about: Serving others and accepting nothing in return but plenty of thank you’s and hugs from grateful residents.

“We had no power for about six days over here, and just to get a meal it meant so much to us over here,” said resident Deborah Jordan.

But most times it’s more than just a meal that they serve.

“For us it’s not just about going out and feeding which is important, but its also as well, to be able to let someone tell their story,” said Salvation Army’s Ruth Kenyon.

The Salvation Army will continue serving meals from the emergency disaster vehicles until the end of the week. After that, they’ll focus on the next phase of recovery and helping storm victims one-on-one.

Article and video from WALB

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The Good Work in South Georgia Continues

Phillip-Phillips-Wife-Hannah-AlbanyJanuary 26, 2017 – (ALBANY, GA) – Three days after tornadoes ripped through South Georgia, the whirl and buzz of chainsaws continue to mix with the smell of freshly cut pine trees in the hardest hit areas of Albany, GA.  Residents in affected areas are still coming to grips with the devastation as they work to restore their homes and neighborhoods. Those who can, are now reaching out to help their neighbors as local and state emergency crews race to remove trees and restore power to the remaining estimated 1,200 families without power.

The Salvation Army continues to probe and serve affected areas with three roaming mobile feeding units (canteens) from Albany, Bainbridge, and Columbus, GA. In addition, a canteen from Elberton, GA continues to be stationed at the Civic Center where the number of people sheltered there is anticipated to rise as temperatures fall to 32 degrees this weekend. To date The Salvation Army has served 2,573 meals, 2,003 snacks and 3,361 drinks. However, it is anticipated the need for relief services will continue for a while.

Georgia Governor Nathan Deal visited the area to survey the storm’s severity and cautioned that much of the damage was “long term.”

Albany, GA corps officer, Major Kelley English, continues to work with first responders, the American Red Cross, and other non-profits to coordinate and maximize relief efforts.  “We’ve always been there for the people of Albany when they needed us,” said Major Kelley, “and this is a time like they’ve never needed us before.”

Major Kelley and his crew of volunteers were joined Wednesday by Albany native recording artist and American Idol Season 11 winner, Phillip Phillips and his wife Hannah, as they distributed food from the Albany canteen in the most severely impacted neighborhoods. “We are trying to do what we can to help,” Phillips said, “whatever the city needs.”

“It is heart-wrenching because we are seeing people with no home,” said the talented singer,

In neighborhoods where homes were spaced farther apart, Phillips and his wife ventured from the canteen to knock on doors to distribute food and give an encouraging word. “This is my home, these are all my people (and I want to do) all I can,” he said.

Mr. Phillips will be joined by Luke Bryan, another Albany-born music star, for a benefit concert this weekend to help Southwest Georgians impacted by the recent storms that devastated the region.

“You are never promised anything,” Phillips said. “You don’t want to take anything for granted. Until you get out in it, you don’t really know how bad it is.”

How to Help

The best way to help after a disaster is to make a financial donation. Monetary contributions also support local economies and ensure that businesses can operate when relief supplies diminish.

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Salvation Army’s Albany disaster relief outreach gets helping hand from Phillip Phillips

Albany-Phillip-PhillipsJanuary 25, 2017 (ALBANY, GA) — The tornado that struck southeast Albany on Sunday afternoon has brought in an outpouring of support from all walks of life, from the everyday citizen to well-known city leaders and even an American Idol.

The Salvation Army’s disaster relief vehicle, joined by “American Idol” winner and chart-topping recording artist Phillip Phillips, continued its relief efforts Wednesday, venturing into an environment where there are building checks, tarps on roofs, scattered debris and trees as far as the eye can see.

 And on the third day after the series of weekend storms that included a deadly tornado, the shock had began to wear off. Some of the victims’ deeper emotions were beginning to surface as they came to terms with what they had lost.
Salvation Army conducts disaster relief outreach following tornado
Individuals in the east Albany area taking part in tornado relief efforts are treated to some nourishment by volunteers with the Salvation Army. (Staff Photo: Jennifer Parks)

In some cases, there were complete losses.

“A neighborhood looks one way and (in a moment), it looks nothing like the way it did before,” Albany Salvation Army Maj. Kelly English said.

Phillips, a Leesburg native and the “American Idol” Season 11 winner, was with this wife, Hannah, on the truck distributing food as well as goodwill.

He said a few hours after the tornado ravaged the area, he was out with his in-laws in the Radium Springs area, compelled to help.

“We are trying to do what we can to help,” he said, “whatever the city needs.”

Phillips’ connection to the Salvation Army is through his father-in-law, Board Member David Blackwell. When approached about the possibility of helping, the singer was open to the idea.

“It is heart-wrenching because we are seeing people with no home,” he said.

Salvation Army conducts disaster relief outreach following tornado
In the days since a tornado hit Albany on Sunday, Salvation Army has taken its disaster relief truck to the streets. (Staff Photo: Jennifer Parks)

The emotional stress brought on by the fatal storm has been heightened by other recent weather events. Many had still not come to terms with the impact sustained from a Jan. 2 storm that left thousands without power and downed thousands of trees.

English compared the dual disasters to a freight train that has been stopped, only to be started up again.

“There is a whole new group added to (the storm devastation),” he said. “It is a lot to take in. It is cool to watch people respond and think beyond themselves. They are reaching out without expecting anything in return.”

In the disaster truck Wednesday were hot dogs, Gatorade, water, chips and fruit. The service is being provided to the areas hardest hit, including Holly Drive and Hardup Road, to anybody who walked up to receive it — including small children looking for some juice.

Salvation Army conducts disaster relief outreach following tornado
Maj. Kelly English and Capt. Ruth Kenyon, both of the Salvation Army in Albany and Warner Robins, respectively, help to distribute drinks and food to tornado-impacted areas. (Staff Photo: Jennifer Parks)

“You are never promised anything,” Phillips said. “You don’t want to take anything for granted. Until you get out in it, you don’t really know how bad it is.

“This is my home, these are all my people (and I want to do) all I can.”

In many cases, the truck is going to people who can’t get out to get food otherwise, but as the Salvation Army has found, food is only one of the needs.

“In the places we’ve been, people need talking to as much as they need food,” said Harold Boling, another one of the volunteers.

The truck is expected to be out daily for as long as it is needed in the impacted areas.

Article and photos from Albany Herald

Serving South Georgia: Doing the Most Good Where It is Needed Most

Albany-Georgia-CanteenJanuary 24, 2017 – (ALBANY, GA) Never is the mission and purpose of The Salvation Army felt so strongly by those who serve and are served, then when they converge in the aftermath of personal and community tragedy.  As South Georgia is still in search and rescue mode after Sunday’s severe tornadoes, The Salvation Army of Georgia continues their good work of comfort and aid to those climbing out of the carnage left behind.

“Mass devastation” is how Albany Mayor Dorothy Hubbard described the storm aftermath.

As soon as weather conditions and officials permitted, five Salvation Army canteens from across South Georgia started scouring the most severely affected neighborhoods providing food, hydration, and spiritual comfort. Their journeys often meant carefully traversing around fallen trees and powerlines to reach those in need. One canteen was deployed to serve those being sheltered at the Albany Civic Center.

The clear blue skies and crisp, clean air that followed the storms were a stark contrast to the sights of toppled pine and live oak trees that splintered and sliced through homes, vehicles and the lives of South Georgia residents.  Major Kelly English, Corps officer for the Albany, GA Corps, was compelled by compassion for those in his community and undaunted by the devastation before him as he went door to door through affected neighborhoods with four dedicated volunteers seeking those in need.

“These are our friends and neighbors and we are here to help them. That’s what we do,” said Major English.

“You all were the first people to come to us” said one thankful resident, “The next check I write is going to be to The Salvation Army. You people are wonderful!”

As residents became aware of The Salvation Army’s presence in their neighborhoods, some started coming to the canteen for food and water. One family’s home and car were both completely destroyed by fallen trees. “Those things can be replaced,” said a man receiving some snacks and Gatorade, “I’m just so thankful my wife, daughter, and granddaughter and I all made it safely through the storm.”

On the next stop, Major English notices an elderly man in a wheelchair coasting down his driveway to meet the approaching canteen. He greets him at the end of his driveway with some food and drinks and a little extra time for some encouragement and a word of prayer.

To date, The Salvation Army has provided 1,640 meals, 2,066 drinks, and 520 snacks in relief of those affected by the South Georgia tornadoes, but there is still much good work to be done. The Salvation Army will continue to assess and re-deploy resources as needed.

How to Help

The best way to help after a disaster is to make a financial donation. Monetary contributions also support local economies and ensure that businesses can operate when relief supplies diminish.

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Devastating Storms Hit South Georgia

Tornado-Storm-EDSJanuary 23, 2017 (ALBANY, GA) – A weekend of devastating storms tore across the southeastern U.S. taking in its wake the lives of 15 Georgians. In response, The Salvation Army of Georgia deployed five of its mobile feeding units (canteens) to provide aid and support for first responders and those affected by the storms. Additional canteens are on stand-by across the state to further support the Georgia relief efforts, or to deploy to other impacted areas as needed. Canteens from Albany, Bainbridge, Elberton and Columbus, GA are currently serving in the Albany, GA area, and a canteen from Valdosta, GA is serving the Cook County area.

The state of Georgia averages 20 tornadoes a year. During the storms that passed through Georgia from early Saturday to Sunday night, 30 tornadoes were reported.

The storms led Governor Nathan Deal to declare a state of emergency in sixteen South Georgia counties. The Governor plans to visit affected areas on Wednesday. President Donald Trump called Governor Deal to offer condolences and pledge his support.

“To all in South Georgia impacted by this deadly storm, we are keeping each of you in our thoughts and prayers as we take action to move quickly and serve compassionately,” said Major Jack Butler, Emergency Disaster Director for The Salvation Army of Georgia.

The Salvation Army canteens deployed are tasked with providing hot meals, snacks and hydration to first responders and those affected by the storms.

How to Help

The best way to help after a disaster is to make a financial donation. Monetary contributions also support local economies and ensure that businesses can operate when relief supplies diminish.

Save

Salvation Army Red Kettle Campaign aims for donations

WALB.com, South Georgia News, Weather, Sports

albany-kettle-walbALBANY, GA (December 15, 2016) – South Georgians are displaying their Christmas spirit with generous donations at the Salvation Army’s red kettles.

Volunteer bell ringers are standing outside all of the major shopping spots in metro Albany raising money for the Salvation Army.

People of all ages are donating their spare change, and larger cash amounts, to help people in need in Southwest Georgia.

“I have to admit this year, we have done very well. I have been very pleased with how well the community has responded with seeing the red kettle out and around, and we have been really happy with the people who have come out and volunteered for us,” said Major Kelly English, Albany Salvation Army Commander.

One group raised $600 to put in the red kettle, but most of the donations have been coins and dollar bills. The goal is to raise $60,000.

Article and video from WALB

Albany fraternity works to keep children in need warm

WTOC-TV: Savannah, Beaufort, SC, News, Weather & Sports

albany-coat-driveALBANY, GA (December 14, 2016) – For the 11th year in a row, an Albany fraternity is making sure that children in need stay warm.

The men of Sigma Pi Phi Fraternity presented 50 new winter coats to the Albany Salvation Army on Wednesday.

Every year, the fraternity buys new coats to make sure kids have proper clothes for the cold days.

“Exactly. That is it.  And we also have scholarships that we give out also,” said Sigma Pi Phi President Dr. Freddie Green.

“To receive the generosity of the community. And know that it’s going to have a direct impact on young person’s lives,” explained Albany Salvation Army Commander Major English Kelly.

Major Kelly said that the need for warm clothes is always great this time of year and the fraternity’s coat donation makes a big difference.

Article and video from WTOC