The Salvation Army Prepares for Long-Term Hurricane Michael Recovery in Georgia. read more…
The Salvation Army Partners with FEMA during Hurricane Michael. read more…
BAINBRIDGE, GEORGIA (October 14, 2018) — Bainbridge is a small town neatly nestled in the southwestern corner of the state of Georgia just over the Alabama and Florida state lines. It was first settled as a small trading post in the late 18th century. Residents are rightly proud of their little corner of Georgia, and will quickly remind you it’s the hometown of Georgia Bulldog Head Coach Kirby Smart.
Life is fairly laid back in Bainbridge. But, that all changed when Michael arrived hurling winds of 120 miles per hour down against the quite little town.
“Bainbridge was never seen anything like this before,” said Maria Diaz, a resident since 1999. “The last time anything close to this happened here was back in 1851.”
Bearing testimony to Maria’s statement, countless 100-year-old-plus live oak trees, that once graced the town, are now strewn across streets and lawns, and lay toppled over homes and businesses.
Many of the largest and most beautiful trees in Bainbridge are now either gone or severely disfigured. Waves and swaths of live oak leaves stripped from their branches by hurricane-force winds still swirl in the narrower back streets, like dark green glitter tinged with a smattering of road dust. Unripen acorns wretched from parental trees easily crunch underfoot at every step.
A few miles south of town, and a stone’s throw from Tallahassee Highway, almost 100 men, women and children huddled together inside the United Methodist Hispanic Hispanic Mission seeking shelter from the rages of Hurricane Michael, not knowing the fate of their clustered trailer-homes just over the tree line. Their fear grew in intensity as the raging storm winds increased and pressed trees down to their breaking point. At the height of the storm, the little group of gathered families huddled together in prayer for thirty minutes in the center of the chapel. At midnight, the power went out.
Local congregation leader, Jamie Gallaga, earlier pleaded with the little Hispanic community to shelter in the church from the storm. Much to Mr. Gallaga’s relief, they listened. Gallaga grew up on the Mexican Gulf Coast and shared his frightening personal experiences of what hurricane force winds could do. Although Gallaga is not an ordained pastor, that is not important to the little Hispanic community. He took up care for the little Hispanic community when the pastor assigned to the church was delayed by governmental red tape over a year ago, and they won’t forget his unfailing love and dedication to them.
“I’m glad they listened,” says Gallaga with tears in his eyes, “I can’t image what I would do if anything happened to one of these little ones,” he adds, as children run laughing, playing and chasing each other around the inside of the chapel.
The women and children stay at the church during the day while the men go back to their devastated neighborhood to do what repairs they can. One man lost his trailer-home where he and his five children were living. He lost his wife a few years ago, and now must maintain his strength for his family to make it through yet another tragedy.
Gallaga’s step-son’s house is destroyed — crushed under numerous fallen trees. And two trees crashed through Gallaga’s home. “I’m not going to worry about my home or going back to work until the congregation is taken care of and none of them need to stay here anymore,” says Gallaga resolutely.
Just then, one of the best mobile kitchen units in The Salvation Army Georgia Division 21-canteen fleet from Elberton, GA, slowly navigates the turn into the driveway of the church―within a short time it is set up and ready to serve lunch.
Behind the serving window is 2016 Salvation Army Southern Territory Volunteer of the Year, Joe Johnson, now approaching 30 years of volunteer service. “I love doing this,” Johnson says, as a gaggle of pre-teen girls skip up to the canteen followed closely by their moms and younger siblings. “Hot dogs!” they exclaim excitedly.
“I don’t have words to express how much it means for you to help us like this,” says Gallaga.
“That’s what we do – helping people in their time of need,” says Johnson. “We’re with you, and we won’t leave Bainbridge, or the little Hispanic Mission, either, until all in need are served and safe.”
ALBANY, GEORGIA (October 13, 2018) — The Salvation Army of Georgia’s Hurricane Michael Incident Management Team (IMT) relocated its Incident Command to The Salvation Army Corps building in Albany, GA, and closer to areas of the state most affected by Hurricane Michael. The IMT liaison remains in Atlanta, GA to continue coordination efforts with state and VOAD agencies at the state Emergency Operations Center.
“We continue to assess and evaluate the situation to serve the most impacted areas around the Albany and Bainbridge, GA,” says Major Andrew Gilliam, The Salvation Army of Georgia’s Hurricane Michael IMT Operations Chief. “Our focus is to respond aggressively and serve compassionately to meet the physical, emotional and spiritual needs of hurricane survivors and first responders.”
Current Update for The Salvation Army of Georgia Hurricane Michael response;
- Five mobile canteens and feeding crews are located at fixed sites throughout Putney, Dunes, Massy and Lee Counties.
- In East Albany, the Albany, GA canteen roving the East Albany area serving impacted areas, including the Albany Civic Center.
- In the North Jackson community, a stationary canteen from Macon, GA is located at 321 N. Jackson St.
- In the Gordon Sports community, a stationary canteen from Atlanta, GA is located at 800 Willie Pits Trail.
- In Lee County, a stationary canteen from Vidalia, GA is located at 954 U.S. Highway 19 South.
- In the Double Gate community in north Albany, a stationary canteen from Augusta, GA will be located at 3800 Old Dawson Rd.
- Four mobile feeding units are actively at fixed sites to provide service to impacted areas throughout Seminole, Early and Miller counties.
- In Seminole County, a canteen from Bainbridge, GA is located at 3401 Town and Country Road, Donaldson, GA.
- In Early County, a canteen from Newnan, GA is located at the Piggy Wiggly; 113 North Main St. in Blakely, GA.
- In Miller County, a canteen from Lawrenceville, GA is located at 351 E. Pine St., Colquitt, GA.
- In Bainbridge, GA a canteen from Elberton, GA will serve at two locations; the Bainbridge Hospital, located at 1500 E. Shotwell Rd., and at Jones Wheat Elementary School, located at 1401 E. Shotwell St.
In addition, The Salvation Army of Georgia is coordinating efforts with both the Tyson Foods’ “Meals that Matter” disaster relief team and The Baptist Men to set up cooking operations to expand service in the Albany and Bainbridge areas.
How to Help:
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.
- Donate by phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769)
- Donate by mail: The Salvation Army, PO Box 1959, Atlanta, GA
- Please designate ‘2018 Hurricanes – Michael’ on all checks
- Donate online: www.HelpSalvationArmy.org
- Donate by text: Text STORM to 51555 to receive a donation link for easy mobile giving
- The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900.
- In times of disaster, we serve the whole person – physically, emotionally, and spiritually.
- After immediate needs are met, The Salvation Army will remain and continue to partner with impacted communities to rebuild. Rebuilding communities takes time and partnership, and we will be there as long as it takes.
- The Salvation Army is there before, during, and after the storm.
Since Hurricane Irma’s high tidal waves and severe winds battered ashore and swept through Georgia in the fall of 2017, The Salvation Army of has been restoring hope, giving strength and providing healing. At the height of Hurricane Irma, The Salvation Army served 57,800 meals, 81,000 snacks, and 47,800 drinks. They also provided emotional and spiritual care for 11,800 individuals, distributed 1,900 food boxes, 900 clean-up kits, and $425,000 in gift cards.
As military investigators continue to seek the cause of the crash of an aging C-130 cargo plane in Savannah, Georgia, The Salvation Army of Georgia has been on site since day-one providing food, drinks, snacks and emotional and spiritual care to responders and military officials.
For Captains Chris and Billie Powell, their posting so far in Brunswick, Georgia, has been one adventure after another. When they arrived in June, a much-needed renovation of The Salvation Army’s corps homeless shelter was about to begin. Then, the shelter’s plumbing failed. Then, Hurricane Irma hit.
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.
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