‘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 of Georgia Activates as the Peach State Braces for Hurricane Dorian

Atlanta, GA (September 3, 2019) – The Salvation Army of Georgia activated feeding and hydration service to emergency disaster personnel and evacuees in coastal Georgia areas and around the state as Hurricane Dorian slowly churned northward just off the Florida coast. It is anticipated Hurricane Dorian will stay just off the Florida and Georgia coasts, but a small deviation inland could make a huge difference.

“The coastal areas of Georgia may be strongly impacted by Dorian’s intense winds and tidal surge,” says Lanita Lloyd, Director of Emergency Disaster Services for The Salvation Army of Georgia. “We continue to assess and evaluate the situation to ensure The Salvation Army are there for people in their time of need.”

Georgia Governor Brian Kemp issued an Executive Order for a mandatory evacuation for Bryan, Camden, Chatham, Glynn, Liberty, and McIntosh counties and for a westerly traffic contraflow on Georgia I-16 to aid in the evacuation process. Many of these evacuees will need meals and drinks and the Salvation Army is ensuring they will be there for them to provide aid and comfort.

“The Salvation Army is currently supporting emergency disaster personnel, evacuees, and shelters across the state of Georgia with feeding and hydration services.” says Captain Jason Smith, Georgia Incident Commander. “In addition, every Salvation Army canteen in Georgia will be on alert and ready for deployment to help when and where needed.”

The Salvation Army has 18 canteens (mobile feeding units) positioned across Georgia, each capable of serving 500-1,500 meals per day and ready to deploy. The Salvation Army locations currently feeding emergency service personnel and evacuees and the anticipated number of people served include: Savannah – 2,000, Augusta – 1,200, Macon – 1,200, Columbus – 850, and Waycross – 250.

The Salvation Army of Georgia Hurricane Dorian Incident Management Team, currently located in Atlanta, GA, is in constant communication with state and local officials to coordinate efforts and respond effectively as needed to help those in the most severely affected areas.

How You Can Help

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 of Georgia Makes Ready for Dorian

ATLANTA, GA (August 31, 2019) – The Salvation Army of Georgia is planning its emergency disaster service efforts well in advance of a Hurricane Dorian landfall. As the latest tracking models predict a bend in the track of the second hurricane of the Atlantic season north towards the Peach State, Lieutenant Colonel William Mockabee marshaled The Salvation Army of Georgia leadership to review options to ensure resources and professionally trained Salvation Army emergency personnel are ready.

“Hurricane Dorian has the potential to be a powerful storm,” Says Lieutenant Colonel Mockabee, Divisional Commander for The Salvation Army of Georgia. “We are ready and poised to minister in the name of Jesus to those who may be impacted — to be there for them in their time of need.”

The Salvation Army of Georgia has 21 mobile feeding units (canteens) which can be stationed to quickly provide feeding, hydration, and emotional and spiritual care throughout any impacted areas.

A Salvation Army Incident Management Team (IMT) stands ready to go into action to organize and coordinate relief efforts should Dorian impact Georgia. Currently, The Salvation Army of Georgia is participating in Georgia Volunteer Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) conference calls and are working with the State Operations Center to collaborate with emergency response partners to ensure awareness of how to best provide Salvation Army resources across Georgia. In addition, local Salvation Army leadership is communicating with local emergency managers and community leaders to plan ahead and determine potential needs.

“We continue to assess and evaluate the situation,” says Lanita Lloyd, Director of Emergency Disaster Services for The Salvation Army of Georgia, “Once we see exactly if and how Hurricane Dorian impacts our state, we will be able to deploy our resources as needed to help those in the most severely affected areas.”

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.

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

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Jamie’s Story

Today, Jamie is full of smiles, laughs, and friendships, but that was not the case in early 2000 when, like millions of others, Jamie became addicted to drugs. Her drug use was gradual but, at its peak, cost her everything. Jamie says the lowest point was when she became homeless and had to live in her car. She worried about her next meal and if tonight was the night the police would tell her she could no longer park her vehicle at a closed restaurant.
It was in January 2012 when Jamie hit rock bottom. A night that was supposed to be filled with fun at a party ended up going disastrously wrong. Driving to the party, Jamie was pulled over by police and was declared to be driving while under the influence of drugs and was taken to jail. The judge ordered Jamie to serve forty days.

It was during that first night in jail that Jamie realized she needed to change her life. She remembers looking in the mirror and not recognizing herself anymore. As she prepared for bed, she looked down and noticed a Bible. The next few hours were spent reading it. By the time she went to bed, Jamie got down on her knees and pleaded with God. “I asked God to take away all the fear and the addiction that I was facing. I didn’t want to be scared anymore and wanted more for my life.”

After serving her time, Jamie searched for an alcohol and drug rehabilitation program. She found such a program with The Salvation Army in Macon, Georgia, where she began a six-month journey to get clean, sober, and free. The first month of her stay was the roughest. “It’s like trying to restart your whole life, and there were plenty of times I was not sure if I was going to make it.” With the help of The Salvation Army, Jamie became more confident in herself. Shortly thereafter, she became a benefactor of the program and started working at the family-store where she found what she loved — helping people.

At the end of her six-month stay at The Salvation Army, Jamie was clean. She also had a clear mind and a stronger relationship with Jesus Christ. Jamie demonstrated so much potential while in the program she was asked to manage The Salvation Army Family Store in Warner Robins.

Jamie continued to flourish in her life and career at The Salvation Army. In just over a year, she was asked to manage a higher-volume Salvation Army Family Store in Macon, Georgia. Jamie now manages a staff of fifteen, coordinates the daily work of volunteers, offers world-class customer service, and shows the love of The Salvation Army to the public.
Jamie is a person with unlimited energy and says that if it wasn’t for The Salvation Army, all of this energy would have gone to waste. “When you come from having nothing while living for no one and suddenly have The Salvation Army show you all that you have missed in your life such as love, self-worth, and trust, that is such a confidence booster. The Salvation Army made me feel like I was worth it.” Jamie now enjoys a life full of everything that was missing due to her addiction.

Jamie’s advice for anyone with an addiction is simply to find the courage to seek help. “Give it to God and find a support system as I did with The Salvation Army. Finally, you have to want it to succeed.

“I love The Salvation Army. It’s my family, a family that cares for me. The Salvation Army replaced everything I was lacking in my life that made me turn to drugs.”

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