‘I’d Rather Not Leave’ – Savannah Salvation Army Resident Helps in Relief Effort

Savannah, GA (September 5, 2019) – For 119 years, the red shield of The Salvation Army has been a symbol of hope and help to the people of Savannah, Georgia. Through the good times and bad, The Salvation Army in Savannah has been a steady and consistent fortress of refuge for those experiencing personal and natural disasters in life.

Savannah is located on the upper Georgia coast, nestled comfortably just before the South Carolina state line. It has endured its share of hurricanes over the years, but when Hurricane Dorian mushroomed into the second most powerful Atlantic hurricane on record and set it course toward Georgia’s largest coastal city, The Salvation Army put their emergency disaster services in high gear.

“Hurricanes are unpredictable, so it’s best to be prepared if one is headed your way,” says Major Paul Egan, The Salvation Army Savannah Corps Officer, “Dorian was a powerful storm and we help during these times by providing feeding, hydration and emotional and spiritual care to Emergency Operations Centers, disaster responders, and evacuees.”

Ahead of Hurricane Dorian, Georgia Governor Brian Kemp extended a state of emergency to 21 counties in South Georgia and declared a mandatory evacuation for individuals living east of I-95 in Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Glynn, Liberty, and McIntosh Counties. Among the evacuees were sixty Savannah Salvation Army rehabilitation center shelter residents who were evacuated to The Salvation Army’s shelter in Augusta…except for Bobby Harding. Bobby did not want to leave – he wanted to help.

Bobby is a barber by trade from Vidalia, Georgia, but at age 50, years of substance abuse had taken their toll and he found himself looking at a parole situation when he was given an opportunity to be part of The Salvation Army’s Corps Salvage and Rehabilitation Center in Savannah, Georgia. The CSRC is a Salvation Army ministry that helps those facing the challenges of drug and alcohol abuse rise above their circumstances.

“The Salvation Army has been such a blessing to me,” says Bobby, “When the evacuation order came, I just did not want to go. There are a lot of people in this world who need help, and I wanted to be there to help these people – to show them that somebody cares.”

Bobby and a few others from The Salvation Army’s Savannah rehabilitation center shelter program joined the dedicated Salvation Army officers and staff who stayed behind to serve their community in the face of the potential destructive forces from Hurricane Dorian.

“Bobby was always there with a smile, ready to do whatever was needed,” says Linda James, Business Director for The Salvation Army of Savannah, “He helped load and unload trucks, he helped feed evacuees, and pushed those in wheelchairs to help them during the evacuation process.”

Each day, in Salvation Army locations around the world, lives like Bobby are being transformed. Thanks to The Salvation Army, they discover a personal relationship with God, a deeper meaning to their existence, and a foundation of values.

“Bobby is a great example of what The Salvation Army can do in a person’s life,” says Major Egan, “Hurricane Dorian may have brushed by us this time, but we will be ready for whatever the next hurricane brings, and if it comes by anytime soon, I’m sure Bobby will be there with us again, serving our community in their in time of need.”

To date, The Salvation Army has served 6,000 meals, 8,100 drinks and 6,400 snacks to first responders and evacuees in 11 locations across Georgia located in Savannah, Augusta, Macon, Columbus, Douglas, and Waycross.

“Bobby and the rest of us will all be here to help evacuees as they return to Savannah,” says James.

Hurricane Dorian lashed out at the Georgia Coast as it passed by far enough offshore to spare Georgians from its full wrath. However, others were severely impacted by this year’s second Atlantic hurricane.

“Our thoughts and prayers continue to be with those impacted by this massive hurricane,” says Major Egan, “But I know that wherever people are impacted from this storm, The Salvation Army will be there.”

How you can help those impacted by Hurricane Dorian

The best way to help survivors and relief workers in a disaster is to make a financial contribution. Monetary donations allow disaster responders to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors.

To make a financial gift to support Hurricane Dorian relief:

  • Donate online: www.HelpSalvationArmy.org
  • Donate by phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769)
  • Donate by mail: The Salvation Army, PO Box 1959, Atlanta, GA 30301
    • Designate ‘2019 Hurricane – Dorian’ on all checks

The Salvation Army on the Move in Georgia

ATLANTA, GA (September 12, 2017) – Wednesday found The Salvation Army of Georgia on the move to confront the panorama of destruction rent across the Peach State after remnants of Irma swept through earlier Monday and Tuesday. As citizens across the state began to return and rebuild, The Salvation Army’s Incident Management Team (IMT) moved their location from Atlanta to Savannah, and closer to the most heavily impacted areas in the state.

The damage from Irma’s raging winds and punishing rains initially appeared significant and widespread, but short of catastrophic. “This is a story that is yet unfolding,” said Major Douglas McClure, Georgia Incident Management Commander. “We are here to help people impacted by the storm and will continually assess the best deployment of our resources to do so.”

Additional Salvation Army reinforcements, deployed from the National Capital/Virginia Division, arrives today with seven canteens to help with relief efforts in Georgia. Across the state in fixed and mobile locations, Salvation Army units continue to provide food services and emotional and spiritual care.

On Saturday, September 9, at 2:00 p.m., Regina Scott, her son, daughter and eight grandchildren had to quickly pack and make the trek from Brunswick to Augusta, Georgia. The plan was to stay with Regina’s brother who lives in Augusta, but after arriving it became clear that there would not be enough room to house the large family. After looking around town Regina realized she and her family had nowhere to go. “We had no place to stay,” recalls Regina, “So my daughter googled shelters around Augusta and ended up finding this one.”

The shelter Regina’s daughter found is located at Patriots Park, a shelter that happened to be partnered with the Salvation Army.
For many across Georgia, like Regina, The Salvation Army was their shelter in the storm. “That’s what we do,” said Major McClure. “We help people in their time of need.”

Coastal and Southern Georgia area service highlights:
• Savannah Corps – provided feeding for Savannah Civic Center, Hunter Air Field and
Southside Fire Department and Chatham County EOC. Distributed 975 meals and 1,675 drinks and snacks.
• Brunswick – Glenn and McIntosh counties evacuated. No services provided on Monday due to storm.
• Albany – Provided food services to Albany Civic Center; served 1,350meals and 1,700
drinks and snacks.
• Waycross – Provided food support to Ware County High School. Distributed 1,200
meals.
• Valdosta – Currently providing meals, drinks, and snacks at Mathis Auditorium
Distributed 30 meals and 225 drinks and snacks, and spiritual and emotional care for 11
people.
• Thomasville – Provided food support at two locations; Distributed 75 meals, 100 drinks, and spiritual and emotional care for 34 people.
• Tifton – Provided food services at the ABAC-Gressett Gym. Distributed 450 meals and 1,350 drinks and snacks
• Americus – Provided food assistance, including EOC. Distributed 40 meals and 225
drinks and snacks.

Metro Atlanta, central and north Georgia service highlights:
• Metro Atlanta Area Command – Provided accommodations and food support for
additional people. Distributed 250 meals and drinks, provided emotional and spiritual
care for 15 people, distributed 45 comfort kits, and provided shelter for 50 people.
• Central GA Command (Macon) – Provided food support to Brooks East Macon Center, North Park Community Center, Frank Johnson Community Center, and Memorial Park. Distributed 1,700 meals and 1,950 drinks and snacks.
• Columbus – Shelter in operation at the Civic Center. Looking to establish food services shortly.
• Augusta – Family store and Kroc Center both sustained damage. Provided food service to Trinity on the Hill, Brigham Community Center, Patriots Park, Warrant Community Center, Pinehill Middle School, and the EOC. Distributed 1,950 meals and spiritual and emotional care for 50 people.

As of Tuesday evening, September 12, 28,502 meals, 35,899 drinks and 16,875 snacks, and 7,478 contacts for spiritual and emotional care have been provided.

Those who want to help people directly affected by recent hurricanes are asked to donate in the following ways:

Online: helpsalvationarmy.org
Donate by phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY
Text to give: text STORM to 51555

For the latest emergency disaster services news, please visit
www.disaster.salvationarmymusa.org and follow the disaster services team on Twitter
@SalArmyEDS.

ATLANTA, GA (September 12, 2017) – The people of Georgia hunkered down as a weaker, but still fierce, Irma cut a path of destruction through Georgia last night and into the early morning. In her wake, Irma left downed trees and power lines that left many without power and damage to homes and businesses. Before and during the storm, The Salvation Army was serving at 33 shelters across the state. Today is a day of continued service and assessment for The Salvation Army to determine how best to counter Irma’s impact.

As The Salvation Army’s Georgia Incident Management Team (IMT), located in Atlanta, assesses Irma’s impact, they will determine the best deployment of its 18 mobile kitchens (canteens). Most canteens were already pre-staged ahead of the storm for quick response to anticipated areas of impact.

“Every team being deployed in Georgia can provide food, hydration, and emotional and spiritual care to those impacted by this weather event,” said Major Charles Powell, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army in Georgia. “We’re uniquely positioned to provide support and relief to impacted areas throughout the state.”

An Incident Command Team deployed from the National Capital/Virginia Division arrives Wednesday with seven canteens to help with relief efforts in Georgia. Assessments are underway to determine the best deployment for these resources.

Coastal and Southern Georgia area service highlights:

  • Savannah Corps – provided feeding for Savannah Civic Center, Hunter Air Field and Southside Fire Department and Chatham County EOC. Served 850 meals and 1,300 drinks and snacks.
  • Brunswick – Glenn and McIntosh counties evacuated. No shelters
  • Albany – Provided services to Albany Civic Center; served 400 meals and 850 drinks and snacks.
  • Waycross – Provided food support to Ware County High School
  • Valdosta – Under voluntary evacuation orders. Power outages. EOC evacuated. Provided 200 meals and 450 drinks and snacks to Mathis Auditorium.
  • Thomasville – Provided food support at two locations; 8- meals and 125 drinks.
  • Tifton – Providing feeding services at the ABAC-Gressett Gym; distributed 580 meals and 1,200 drinks and snacks
  • Bainbridge – Provided food service to Decater County Memorial Colosseum; distributed 150 meals and 100 drinks and snacks

Metro Atlanta, central and north Georgia:

  • Metro Atlanta Area Command – Red Shield residents staying in during the day Monday and Tuesday. Accepting overflow of homeless from Atlanta shelters, if needed.
  • Central GA Command (Macon) – Provided food support to Brooks East Macon Center, North Park Community Center, Frank Johnson Community Center, and Memorial Park; distributed 2,000 meals and 4,200 drinks and snacks.
  • Columbus – Providing services to Civic Center; distributed 370 meals and 250 drinks

“The Salvation Army in Georgia is ready to respond aggressively and serve compassionately to help those impacted by Irma,” said IMT Commander Major Douglas McClure,  “We hope to send multiple feeding units in the coming days to support the residents of each community who need help and hope. Our love and prayers go out to each of them.”

As of Monday evening, September 11 15,975, meals, 17,631 snacks, 9,773 drinks, and 4,758 contacts for spiritual and emotional care have been provided.

Those who want to help people directly affected by recent hurricanes are asked to donate in the following ways:

Online: helpsalvationarmy.org

Donate by phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY

Text to give: text STORM to 51555

For the latest emergency disaster services news, please visit www.disaster.salvationarmymusa.org and follow the disaster services team on Twitter @SalArmyEDS.

Salvation Army Staged for Deployment as Hurricane Irma Heads for Georgia

ATLANTA, GEORGIA (September 11, 2017) – The Salvation Army in Georgia is ready to provide physical, emotional, and spiritual care to survivors and relief workers as Hurricane Irma makes its way up the western Florida coast Sunday and Monday and impacts Georgia late Monday afternoon. Disaster units are staged and ready to serve, and additional resources outside Georgia are ready to mobilize and offer additional assistance as needed.

A total of 18 mobile kitchens (canteens) – each with the capacity to serve an average of 750 meals per day – are either currently staged in, or ready to deploy to, anticipated impact areas throughout the state. An Incident Management Team (IMT) is positioned in Atlanta to coordinate the ongoing disaster response, but is ready to move closer to impacted areas if needed.

“We are staging critical relief supplies in key locations in preparation and will deploy close to the worst affected areas in the coming days,” said Major Douglas McClure, The Salvation Army Georgia Incident Management Team Commander. “We are grateful to our partners during times of disaster who provide essential disaster supplies.”

As Georgia Governor Nathan Deal declared the entire state of Georgia under a state of emergency today ahead of Irma’s appearance, Salvation Army units throughout the state are working closely with local Emergency Operations Centers (EOCs) and community partners. Many have opened their doors as emergency shelters and others are supporting city and American Red Cross shelter operations with mass feeding.

Currently, The Salvation Army in Georgia has served over 4,000 meals, 7,000 snacks and beverages, and provided emotional and spiritual care to over 3,000 individuals.

“The Salvation Army is already at work in many communities that find themselves in the path of the storm,” said McClure. “Georgia can rest assured The Salvation Army is here and committed to serving the needs of those impacted as long as is needed.”

To make a financial donation to support the Hurricane Harvey relief efforts please visit www.helpsalvationarmy.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.

For the latest information on The Salvation Army disaster response, please visit www.disaster.SalvationArmyUSA.org and watch for regular updates on our social media pages at www.facebook.com/SalvationArmyGeorgia and www.twitter.com/TSAGeorgia

Signs of Hope

Hope is an amazing thing. It can take a person by the hand and lead them out of the depths of despair. It can raise up a community out of unthinkable disaster. And it can bless us with immeasurable spiritual riches in the midst of desperate times.

When Hurricane Harvey hit the tiny coastal town of Port Lavaca, Texas, many people found themselves dazed and confused. In the aftermath of the storm, their little community was left for a time with no power, tainted water, and scarce, if any, word as to how bad the situation was in their little corner of Texas. Uncertainty prevailed.

But imagine facing the storm when you cannot hear or communicate with anyone to express your fear or how much you need help. There is no aloneness like silence in a raging storm. No more feeling of hopelessness than not being able to make yourself understood in a life-threatening situation.

“What do you want?” The Salvation Army canteen volunteers asked. “How many meals?” Trying a little louder they asked the woman energetically motioning to them, “Are you OK?”

With increased worry and frantic expressions, the woman signed to the volunteers that she was deaf, but to no avail. The volunteers did not understand what she communicating to them in sign language – I AM DEAF.

Peering through the canteen window, new soldier and recent Baylor University graduate, Laura Stevenson, saw the commotion just below her. She quickly stepped out of the canteen and approached the deaf woman signing “It’s OK, I’ve been signing for five years! What do you want?”

Worry and tension faded into joy and laughter as the woman signed back to Laura, “I did not know you would have people who signed – this is amazing!”

The following signing conversations were filled with more joy and laughter as the woman signs to Laura of her desperate situation. “My house is completely destroyed. If you did not have food, I would not have been able to eat today,” she signed. As Laura signs back to her that The Salvation Army will be here for as long as the community needs and that she can come as many times as she wants, her hope was restored.

According to Laura, signing is a very conceptual language and much of it is beyond words. Laura says she never got the deaf woman’s name. Maybe names are not that important when hope and joy transcend uncertainty and despair.

Laura and her husband Tyler, a Salvation Army Mission Specialist at the Waco, Texas corps, plan to become Salvation Army officers and look forward to entering Evangeline Booth College next year. “We love helping people and being a part of what The Salvation Army stands for,” says Laura, “because we are known for being the hands and feet of Christ.”

Yes, it is a very bright and hopeful sign that the mission of The Salvation Army, to share the Gospel and help others in their time of need, will steadfastly march on with people like the Stevenson’s joining the ranks.

How you can give help and hope

The best way to give help and hope 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.

Online: helpsalvationarmy.org

Donate by Phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY

Mail Checks to:

The Salvation Army PO Box 1959 Atlanta, GA 30301

Please designate “Hurricane Harvey” on all checks.

Text to Give: STORM to 51555

The Salvation Army Stands Strong in Victoria

Victoria, Texas (September 4, 2017) In response to the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey, The Salvation Army is supporting one of the largest disaster relief operations in its history. To date, The Salvation Army has deployed 92 mobile feeding units (canteens) to impacted areas in the state of Texas from across the country. Joining them are Salvation Army trained disaster workers from across the United States and Canada.

In the greater Victoria area, The Salvation Army is currently providing feeding, hydration and emotional and spiritual care at various sites in Victoria, Colhoun, Refugio, and Goliad counties.

The Salvation Army has a standing fleet of canteens designed for rapid and free-standing response in times of emergency. “Ten Salvation Army canteens from Texas, Kansas, and Oklahoma are specifically deployed to serve Victoria and surrounding areas,” said Captain Chris Powell, The Salvation Army Incident Management Team Director serving the Victoria area. “The canteens are stocked twice a day with food and drinks ready to serve affected areas. They have the ability to respond quickly to changing conditions to serve those in need.”

To date The Salvation Army has served approximately 4,000 meals and snacks, and 8,000 drinks a day in the greater Victoria area. Response to The Salvation Army’s presence has been extremely positive and appreciative. “My house is destroyed and I would not have eaten today if you had not been here,” said a woman from Port Lavaca, “Thank you!”

“The Salvation Army has been on the ground helping residents get back on their feet so they can start to rebuild,” said Lieutenant Jeremy Mockabee, Operations Chief for The Salvation Army’s Victoria Incident Management Team. “The Salvation Army is here standing strong for the local community, ready to respond aggressively and serve compassionately as long as we are needed.”

How People Can 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.

Online: helpsalvationarmy.org

Donate by Phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY

Mail Checks to:

The Salvation Army PO Box 1959 Atlanta, GA 30301

Please designate “Hurricane Harvey” on all checks.

Text to Give: STORM to 51555

 

The Salvation Army of Georgia Canteens on the Way to Texas

Eleven mobile feeding units (canteens) from The Salvation Army of Georgia are on the way to Texas destined to help those affected by Hurricane Harvey. The Georgia canteens join 42 other canteens from around the southeast that have been on the ground in Texas since before Hurricane Harvey made landfall early last week.

The canteens will deploy to Houston with 27 Salvation Army staff, officers, and volunteers to help with relief efforts. They join 60 other volunteer teams and mobile feeding units already in Texas In the upcoming weeks, The Salvation Army will continue to send teams as needed, with an additional 450 canteens on standby throughout the United States.

“So far, nearly sixty inches of rain has fallen in the Gulf Coast region. The Salvation Army served victims after Hurricane Katrina and Hurricane Matthew, but we’ve never seen anything like this. We will be on the ground in Texas to help those impacted by this disaster as long as we’re needed,” says Salvation Army Major Mark Woodcock.

The Salvation Army has a fleet of mobile feeding units designed for rapid and free-standing response in times of emergency. The canteens can be stocked with three full days of food and drinks, and can serve 1,500 meals per day. After deployment, the mobile canteens can be restocked and moved throughout affected areas.

On Tuesday, the first of several of Georgia’s Salvation Army Incident Management Teams (IMT) deployed to one of the hardest hit areas around the city of Victoria, Texas. The IMT will monitor the continually changing situation in the area and communicate with state and local officials to coordinate efforts and respond effectively. In addition, a representative from The Salvation Army will work with the State Operational Command (SOC), located in Austin, Texas, to help coordinate relief efforts among federal, state and local organizations.

Those who want to help people directly affected by Hurricane Harvey are asked to donate in the following ways:

Online: helpsalvationarmy.org

Donate by phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY

Text to give: text STORM51555

To receive a donation link via text: Text STORM to 51555

For the latest emergency disaster services news, please visit www.disaster.salvationarmymusa.org and follow the disaster services team on Twitter @SalArmyEDS.

 

Georgia Team Serving in Texas

Captain Chris Powell of Brunswick, Georgia, leads Hurricane Harvey relief efforts for the Georgia Incident Management Team in Victoria, Texas.  read more…

Georgia Salvation Army Team Deploys for Victoria TX for Hurricane Harvey

The Salvation Army of Georgia is prepared and on stand-by, ready to help the people affected by Hurricane Harvey.

“The impact of this hurricane is dramatic,” says Lanita Lloyd, Emergency Disaster Director for The Salvation Army of Georgia. “Due to the size of the population impacted, including Houston, Texas, the county’s fourth largest city, we anticipate this will be the largest and longest emergency response in the history of The Salvation Army in America.”

The Salvation Army of Georgia has a fleet of mobile feeding units (canteens) designed for rapid and free-standing response in times of emergency. Eighteen Salvation Army canteens in Georgia stand ready to be deployed wherever needed at a moment’s notice to help those in need. The canteens can be stocked with three full days of food and drinks ready to serve affected areas. After deployment, the mobile canteens have the ability to restock and move throughout affected areas.

A specially trained and experienced Incident Command Team (ICT) is currently deploying to one of the hardest hit areas around the city of Victoria, Texas. The ICT will monitor the continually changing situation in the area and communicate with state and local officials to coordinate efforts and respond effectively. In addition, a representative from The Salvation Amy will work with the State Operational Command (SOC), located in San Antonio, Texas, to help coordinate relief efforts among federal, state and local organizations.

In times of disaster, The Salvation Army traditionally serves and prepares meals from its mobile canteens, helps distribute cleaning supplies, and offers comfort to those impacted. According to Lanita Lloyd, “The best way to help survivors and relief workers is to make a financial contribution.” Monetary donations allow disaster responders to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors as the situation continues to be assessed.

Currently, The Salvation Army is not accepting in-kind donations from the general public for disaster relief operations. However, The Salvation Army depends upon your donation of used clothing and other items to support local programming. Please consider donating your used clothing, used furniture, and other items to your local Salvation Army Family Store.

Those who want to help people directly affected by Hurricane Harvey are asked to consider the following ways to help;

Donations may be made:

Online: helpsalvationarmy.org

Donate by phone: 1-800–SAL-ARMY

Mail checks to: The Salvation Army P.O. BOX 1959 Atlanta, GA 30301

Please designate ‘Hurricane Harvey’ on all checks.

To receive a donation link via text: Text STORM to 51555

For the latest emergency disaster services news, please visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org and follow the disaster services team on Twitter @SalArmyEDS.