‘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

Salvation Army Responds to National Guard Plane Crash In Savannah, GA

The Salvation Army responded to a call from Chatham County Emergency Management Agency to provide food and hydration to approximately 175 first responders, including local public safety, FBI, GBI and military officials on scene of a crashed Air National Guard WC-130 near Savannah, Georgia. According to the U.S. Airforce, the C-130 was from the 156th Airlift Wing in Puerto Rico and was on a training mission when it crashed.

‘Flip Flop Drop’ for the homeless at the Salvation Army in Savannah

WTVM.com-Columbus, GA News Weather & Sports

May 11, 2017 (SAVANNAH, GA) – Local teens making a difference one pair of flip flops and one clean shower at a time.

Thursday, 1,000 pairs of shower shoes were donated to the Salvation Army in Savannah. This, thanks to 12 teens who have been raising money to help the homeless.

One dollar equals one pair of flip flops and a fresh start for someone in need. The flip flops will be handed out to people through the center’s shower facilities.

“The way they respond and the faces we get, it’s just really welcoming and rewarding in itself,” said Brendan Mahoney, from the Benedictine Military Academy.

“You make yourself happy and you make these other people happy and it makes you feel good that you’re donating for a good cause,” said Wynn Ambos, with the STEM Academy.

The “Flip Flop Drop” was started four years ago. Since then, over 12,000 flip flops have been handed out to homeless shelters and community facilities throughout Savannah.

Article from WTVM

Salvation Army to lose major revenue source after storm damage

May 9, 2017 (GARDEN CITY, GA) – Damage done in a matter of minutes will now take months to fix a much-needed revenue source for the Salvation Army of Savannah.

The Salvation Army’s Garden City store location was damaged in last week’s tornado alongside several business on Highway 80. The store was not hit by the tornado, but by the projectiles thrown when the twister hit the Advance Auto Parts store.

“We’re feeling it as an agency that normally helps people to actually be in need of ourselves this time,” says Major Phil Swyers.

Re-bar as well as concrete blocks pierced the store’s roof as well as several walls. The Salvation Army has announced the store is closed indefinitely due to the damage.

“What we’ve been told is the fire inspector came and looked at the building basically they condemned it and said that we can’t reopen until they certify all of the repairs have been made,” Swyers adds.

The store serves as one of four retail chains for the local branch. It is the second largest revenue generator for the Salvation Army of Savannah.

“For us to lose a store puts us into having problems,” Swyers says adding that, “We have four stores and so basically we’re going to be running on seventy-five percent of the income that we normally would.”

Now officials plan to move employees and volunteers to their other stores, but worry about the major loss in revenue the closing will cause. You can donate to the Army here.

“We’re grateful for any assistance any business or individuals can provide in helping us through this situation.”

Not only is the closing a financial blow, but also a detriment to Garden City neighbors who use the social services that the Army provided in the store. For now the Army will be dependent on funds from the United Way, its other stores, as well as donations.

The summer, however, is their slowest time of the year for personal donations. There is a PO box set up at PO Box 23798, Savannah GA 31403.

Article from WSAV

Salvation Army of Savannah takes in more guests during cold weekend

savannah-cold-weatherSAVANNAH, GA (January 8, 2016) – When it’s too cold to stay outside, most people spend the day at home, but for many in Savannah, that isn’t always an option. The Salvation Army of Savannah worked hard through the weekend to help those who didn’t have a place to stay, find somewhere warm so they weren’t out on the streets at night.

Temperatures in Savannah dropped into the 20’s this weekend, and staff at the Salvation Army says when the temperature gets below 40 degrees, that’s when they make adjustments to their facility to accommodate as many people as possible.”

“we aren’t going to turn anybody away so it’s important for us to be prepared,” said Major Phil Swyers, commanding officer of the Coastal Empire Salvation Army.

Staff say all 128 beds were filled over the weekend, and when even more came into the shelter, they had to pull out some extra cots to accommodate.

Those staying at the shelter get three meals a day, as well fresh linens, and an area for activities.

“It’s wonderful to know that the salvation army is a place where people can come when they have needs. Last year we provided over 110,00 meals and we also had 40,000 nights of lodging. It’s just mind-blowing to be a part of an organization that’s able to touch the lives of so many people,” Major Swyers said.

The Salvation Army says due to the increase in number of people helped this weekend, they could use some more donations.

For more information on how and where to donate, visit http://salvationarmysavannah.org/

Article from Fox 28 Media

Salvation Army picks up tab for leftover angel tree children

savannah-angel-treeSAVANNAH, GA (December 15, 2016) – The Salvation Army in Savannah provides Christmas to roughly 3,000 children each year, most of which are on their angel trees.

Many children will get “adopted”, but some will not, usually because of their age. “Everyone likes different things. The older they get, the tougher it is,” Major Phil Swires said.

Major Swires said the most popular age to adopt is birth to seven-years-old, and usually girls. That leaves many older children, majority of them boys, still hanging on the trees.

However, Major Swires said they provide Christmas for every child who applies for the angel tree program, even if they are not adopted.

Parents can come shop at the donation shop at their store on Bee Road if their child did not get adopted. However, the donation shop only goes up to age twelve.

So, Major Swires said the organization will give children 13- to 17-years-old a $50 gift card to Walmart.

“That way, the child can choose exactly what it is that they want for Christmas,” he said.

He also said more families are asking for Christmas help because of Hurricane Matthew expenses. He said families did not expect to evacuate, lose wages, or restock the refrigerator.

So, he worries more children will be left hanging on the trees than last year.

They are asking the public to spare some money for a child in their neighborhood, or donate to them directly.

This weekend is the last chance to adopt an angel from a tree.

To find the nearest tree or donation store closest to you, call the Salvation Army at (912) 651-7420.

Article from FOX 28 Media

Dooley talks up Salvation Army, Kirby Smart

spt1027vincedooleyphotoSAVANNAH, GA (October 26, 2016) – There is no one more identified with the University of Georgia than Vince Dooley, and vice-versa.

The legendary former Bulldogs football coach was in Savannah on Wednesday night to speak at the annual Salvation Army Gala, a fundraising dinner held at The Plantation Club at The Landings.

Doing benefits for the Salvation Army is nothing new for Dooley, who noted that he spoke at the same affair 30 years ago, and has served the Salvation Army in several different capacities in Athens.

“Sometimes when I was coaching, I had so many things going on that I can’t remember half of what I did,” Dooley said. “But, I do remember speaking here.

“I’m proud and happy to be back in Savannah, as I have been here many times. I feel right at home in Savannah as I grew up in a port city (Mobile, Alabama), and there are a lot of similarities between the two.”

Dooley was on his way to Jacksonville for Saturday’s Georgia-Florida game, a matchup which he virtually owned when he coached the Bulldogs from 1964-1988. This will be Dooley’s 53rd UGA-UF game.

The now 84-year-old former coach and UGA athletic director was only 32 when his team beat the Gators 14-7 in a game which coincidentally was also the first Georgia-Florida for Gators quarterback and future head coach Steve Spurrier.

Dooley and Spurrier are the dominant names in the series, which is billed as the World’s Largest Cocktail Party. Dooley was 17-7-1 against Florida while Spurrier was 1-2 as a player, but an impressive 11-1 against UGA as the Gator coach.

While proud of his 201-77-10 record as Georgia’s coach, which included a national championship in 1980 and a four-year stretch (1980-1983) when the Bulldogs went 43-4-1, he is also proud of his work with the Salvation Army.

“One thing for sure is that I love the Salvation Army,” Dooley said. “I served on the Salvation Army board in Athens for several years and even led a campaign in order to raise funds to build a new facility there.”

While he has been “retired” for several years, Dooley remains extremely active, and he has a wide range of interests. He has, for example, created a spectacular garden at his home in Athens, the same home he has lived in since 1964.

And, he is also has a strong interest in history, one which now sees him as the chair of the Georgia Historical Society.

And, he also paused to offer up a vote of confidence to Georgia football coach Kirby Smart, who has fans questioning whether or not he was the right hire to replace Mark Richt.

In Georgia’s most recent game, it lost to Vanderbilt 17-16, which gives Smart as many losses against the Commodores as Dooley had in 25 years.

“It’s not the way everybody would like for it to be,” Dooley said of UGA’s 4-3 start. “Sometimes that’s one of the problems because it’s about expectations.

“I think Kirby Smart is the right person to lead the program,” Dooley said. “But, it’s not going to be a quick fix. It’s pretty obvious we’re going to be struggling along the way, but I think we’re headed in the right direction.

“I think recruiting is going to be really important, and I think, in the long run, the Bulldogs (fans) will be very proud of them, and I want them to start being proud Saturday.”

Article from SavannahNow.com

Faith in the Face of the Storm: The Salvation Army in Savannah

Savannah, GA – Hope is an amazing thing. It can take a family 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.

But when disaster hits, who are the messengers of hope? Who are those who stand firm in the face of the storms in life with a willing heart to serve selflessly and to share an encouraging word when it is needed most?

john-korpThey are people like John Korp from Savannah, GA, who endured the wrath of Hurricane Matthew with determined resilience to help his community through the storm, and to help repair and rebuild when it had passed.

An unassuming, humble single dad with two pre-teen boys, John serves as the Mission Specialist for The Salvation Army of Savannah, where he shares the Good News of Jesus and the good work of the Salvation Army.

“Before the mandatory evacuation was announced by local and state officials, my priority was to get my two boys, John Jr. (12) and Gavin (10), to a safe place out of town with their grandparents.” Korp said. “After I made sure they were safe, I knew my place was here with my community, serving our people here.”

In the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew, John found his home on Wilmington Island severely damaged. Fierce hurricane winds had toppled a towering 100-year-old oak tree onto his house, piercing and crushing the roof.

“A house can be rebuilt, but lives are what matters.” Korp said in a soft undertone, “I’m here to help people rebuild their homes and their lives.”

John is a man who puts his faith into action. “I was reminded of a scripture verse where God says He will work all things for the good of those that love Him.” Korp said, “For me, it reminded me I was doing what He wanted me to do in serving His people, so I knew He was going to take care of me.”

John recently discovered his passion to serve others may be a legacy inherited from his grandparents and great-grandparents. “I was not close to my dad’s side of the family,” Korp said, “So I did some genealogical research on my family and found this long line of history. I found that my grandparents on my father’s side served as majors in The Salvation Army in the eastern U.S., and that my great-grand parents were colonels.”

A company has been contracted to cut and remove the tree from John’s home, so repairs can be started. He is looking forward to moving back into his home with his boys within the week.

“All the things in my life have made me realize I can trust Him and wherever He leads, I will follow.” Korp said.

This world needs more people like John Korp.

The good news is that John is not alone. There are many people like John serving and volunteering in The Salvation Army each and every day, ready to face the storms of life with determined faith and a commitment to serve others in their time of need.

You Can Help

The best way to help after a disaster is to make a financial donation. Monetary donations allow disaster responders to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors as the situation continues to be assessed.

  • Donate Online: http://give.salvationarmyusa.org/hurricane_matthew
  • Donate By Mail: The Salvation Army PO BOX 1959 Atlanta, GA 30301
    Please designate ‘Hurricane Matthew’ on all checks
  • Donate By Phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769)
  • Donate By Text: Text STORM to 51555 to receive a donation link for easy mobile giving