Chattanooga Salvation Army Again Called To Readiness For Disaster Relief To Local Residents

Chattanooga, TN – For the third time in six days, the Chattanooga Salvation Army is preparing its Emergency Services Canteen to respond to a call for disaster relief. This time, The Salvation Army Disaster Response Team based in Cleveland is awaiting word on the extent of damages and services needed following a severe thunderstorm that left thousands without power in the Chattanooga Area.

Salvation Army Spokesperson, Kimberly George, said, “We are waiting for the call from Hamilton County Emergency Management. We’ve been told twenty-thousand to thirty-thousand local families are without power due to the storm. Our team and canteen, really a mobile kitchen, are ready to go.”

The Salvation Army mission during a disaster is to care for the hydration and food needs of those affected including the emergency rescue and recovery workers. The Disaster Response Team also ministers to the spiritual and emotional needs of those at the emergency site and provides clean-up kits if these are needed.

In Chattanooga last Wednesday, The Salvation Army Disaster Relief Team was called to assist at the Jaycee Towers because a downtown water main break left residents without water service for several hours. The Army Team served nearly 600 bottles of water to the affected residents. Then, on Friday, the Emergency Services Canteen was placed on standby to go to the site of expected severe weather along the Tennessee-Kentucky state’s line north of Crossville.

To donate to the relief efforts of Chattanooga Salvation Army Disaster Services, you may go online to or send your tax-free gift to The Salvation Army, 822 McCallie Avenue, Chattanooga, TN 37403.

The Salvation Army Responds To West Texas Wild Fires

West Texas – The Salvation Army provided assistance and relief to residents and first responders across West Texas as numerous grass fires fueled by high winds scorched more than 120,000 acres of dry grassland.

It is reported that 80 homes were destroyed as several cities were under evacuation orders throughout an area that stretched from Amarillo in the Texas Panhandle to Midland, almost 250 miles South in the Permian Basin.

In Amarillo, The Salvation Army went on alert Sunday afternoon to provide basic needs for families affected by the raging fires. The Disaster Canteen was on standby to support first responders with water and snacks and the emergency shelter began to accept families needing housing. Donations of clothing and household items are being accepted at all Salvation Army facilities.

The Rapid Response Unit and Disaster Canteen from Lubbock drove two hours east to serve people in the cities of Matador and Dickens. Salvation Army staff and volunteers provided more than 60 meals in Matador, while 30-40 firefighters and policemen who had been fighting the blaze for more than five hours received water and food from the Disaster Canteen in Dickens.

The Salvation Army will continue to provide support as long as is needed. Monetary donations are welcome and can be made by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY or online at

Chattanooga Salvation Army Remains on Standby for Disaster Duty

Chattanooga, TN – The Chattanooga Salvation Army remains on Standby for emergency disaster relief following its assistance at the Jaycee Towers Wednesday evening due to a broken downtown water main that interrupted service.  This time, however, the local Army’s disaster response team and its Emergency Canteen are on Standby as severe storms threaten South-central Kentucky and North-central Tennessee.

Severe weather including possible flooding is expected along the Stateline into the weekend, and the Kentucky-Tennessee Divisional Emergency Disaster Services Office has called on the Chattanooga first responders to be ready to go again to help those affected by disaster.

In Chattanooga on Wednesday evening, The Salvation Army Disaster Relief Team was called to assist at the Jaycee Towers because a downtown water main break resulted in extremely low water pressure, and residents were without service for several hours.  The Army Team served nearly 600 bottles of water and several dozen cups of coffee to the affected residents.

Incident Commander at the Chattanooga emergency site, Kimberly George said, “We try always to be ready to go to do the most good when we’re called on.  This is a highlight of The Salvation Army’s mission to ‘serve people in need in Jesus’ name without discrimination.”

The Chattanooga Area Command is part of The Salvation Army’s Kentucky-Tennessee Division of the Southern Territory.

Salvation Army Earthquake Response in New Zealand Focuses on Food and Psychosocial Support

New Zealand – The Salvation Army in New Zealand is focusing on providing food and psychosocial support to people affected by the earthquake that devastated the Canterbury region on 22 February. Local Salvation Army staff and officers (ministers) have been joined by others from around the country.

Reinforcement personnel are boosting the psychosocial team that was already established as part of the ongoing recovery work from the September 2010 earthquake. The Salvation Army has been asked to provide up to 40 staff to accompany assessment teams (one Salvationist per team) that will travel through affected areas. Salvationists have also been asked to assess social and welfare needs.

The Salvation Army’s earthquake response team is working out of a temporary location at Sydenham Corps (church) because its buildings in Christchurch sustained significant damage. Salvation Army IT staff have arrived on site, traveling overnight from Wellington, and are setting up computer and phone networks.

Salvation Army church members in Christchurch are taking part in the feeding program. Emergency services coordinator Major Rex Cross says: ‘The Salvation Army was up and running almost instantly. We are thrilled with the local response.’ Team members at Cowles Stadium were about to start serving breakfast when engineers told them the building might be unsafe. They simply moved outside and served breakfast there.

Reports suggest that the situation in Christchurch remains chaotic. There are also concerns that needs in outer Christchurch suburbs are not well understood.

More news is emerging about an international track meet to raise funds for the earthquake response. The event – held in place of a meet that should have taken place in Christchurch – will take place at Wellington’s Newtown Park on Saturday 26 February.

‘Track Meet 4 Christchurch’ is organized by the athletes themselves and is to be run in association with the New Zealand Olympic Committee, which will present Nick Willis with his long-awaited Olympic silver medal at the beginning of the event. Nick came third in the 1,500 meters in Beijing but was promoted to second when the winner was disqualified in November 2009 after failing a drugs test.

Spectator entry to the track meet is free. However, The Salvation Army will collect donations for the Christchurch relief effort.

Nick says that in response to the events in Christchurch the athletes wanted to do something to help. ‘We hope to see at least five athletes break the magic four-minute barrier [for the mile],’ he says. ‘And we hope to get a large crowd and raise as many funds for the Christchurch people as possible.’

Donations to the Canterbury Earthquake Appeal can be made online by clicking here.

The Salvation Army Preparing for Severe February Storms–32 Units on preparedness alert for potentially powerful storms

Jackson, MS –  With strong storms expected to crawl across northern Louisiana, Mississippi, and Alabama on Thursday, The Salvation Army’s Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi Division has placed 32 Disaster Response units on standby. Additionally, The Salvation Army’s Disaster Warehouse in Jackson has resources ready for deployment to support any response once the storms pass.

FEMA and the National Weather Service recommend residents prepare for severe weather with the following steps:

  • Check weather radios for working batteries.
  • Review your family emergency plan.
  • Check and restock your emergency supply kit in case you are without electricity for an extended period of time.

“The Salvation Army has been blessed with the resources to respond to natural and manmade disasters. We are ready and willing to serve as the need arises,” stated Bill Feist, Divisional Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army.

The Salvation Army will continue to monitor reports of inclement weather across the region and respond in coordination with local and state authorities.

Donations are always needed to offset the costs of services to storm victims. To learn more about The Salvation Army or to donate please visit or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY to donate. All donations for disaster services will be used for the designated purpose. For up to the minute updates please follow us on twitter at

Salvation Army Sets Red Kettle Record For Sixth Straight Year–Americans Continue To Donate Despite Lingering Recession Giving $142 Million to Support People in Need

Alexandria, VA – Through strong support of U.S. donors and a united front of traditional red kettles and virtual bell-ringers, The Salvation Army raised a record $142 million during the 2010 annual Red Kettle Christmas Campaign. The increase of just over two percent from 2009’s record of $139 million raised reflects the continued determination of every American to support their neighbors during challenging economic times. The Salvation Army’s 2010 campaign employed traditional efforts with volunteers, celebrity endorsements and corporate partners such as Walmart and Sam’s Club, along with new technology and social media tools to set a campaign record for the sixth year in a row.

“We’ve all witnessed the extreme demands the economic recession has placed on Americans during the past three years,” said Commissioner William Roberts, National Commander of The Salvation Army. “This record-breaking year stands as a testament to the generosity of our neighbors, but more importantly it demonstrates the spirit of the One whose birth we celebrated. We are thankful to all those who supported the campaign for enabling The Salvation Army to continue its mission of meeting human needs.”

For the 14th consecutive year, the Dallas Cowboys hosted the National Red Kettle Campaign Kickoff at Cowboys Stadium with a live performance by country superstar Keith Urban during their nationally televised Thanksgiving Day football game that reached more than 31 million Americans. In keeping with The Salvation Army’s continued efforts to reach young and aspiring American philanthropists, the Red Kettle Campaign was also celebrated with the first ever “Rock the Red Kettle” concert in Glendale, CA on December 15. The event, in partnership with Sky Blue Group and Caruso Affiliated, featured up-and-coming performers, including Emily Osment, Ashlyne Huff, New Hollow and Honor Society.

Throughout the campaign, bell-ringers manned Red Kettles at store fronts and in shopping malls at approximately 25,000 locations nationwide. Red Kettles located at Walmart stores and Sam’s Club locations raised $37 million and $5 million respectively, or 30 percent of this year’s total raised in the kettles. These donations and others support a variety of programs and services including providing food, shelter, rent assistance, summer camps and Christmas assistance to the nearly 30 million Americans served by The Salvation Army each year.

The Walmart Foundation also made a direct donation of $1 million to The Salvation Army, as part of its effort to support hunger relief throughout America. The donation was used in part to support Salvation Army food service programs, which have seen an increase in demand and flat donations that has left shelves bare in some cities according to Army’s recently released report “Feeding the Need 2011.”

“The Salvation Army offers an unparalleled breadth of programs and assists millions of people every year. We are proud to support their efforts during the holiday season and year-round,” said Margaret McKenna, president of the Walmart Foundation. “Through donations from our customers and the Walmart Foundation’s support of local food service programs, we know we are able to reach those who need our help most.”

Sam’s Club and The Salvation Army also partnered with Off the Field, a professional football players’ wives association, to host the fourth annual Dream Drive on December 16. Through their efforts, 10 needy families in 10 cities across the country, received $1,000 worth of food and holiday gifts, including clothes, personal items and toys from their local Sam’s Club to help provide a brighter Christmas. The donation totaled $100,000.

Kroger and its family of store banners hosted Red Kettles at nearly 2,000 store locations across the country in 2010, raising $11.8 million, or 8 percent of the campaign’s total. Donations at more than 800 Big Lots stores raised $1.3 million or approximately 1 percent of the campaign’s physical Red Kettle total.

“We are ever grateful for the charitable support and compassion of all our corporate partners,” said Commissioner Roberts. “Through their big-heartedness, along with the generosity of the millions of Americans who gave, The Salvation Army is able to continue their work to help those in need.”

Utilizing various high-tech platforms, The Salvation Army also engaged virtual bell-ringers during the Red Kettle campaign to raise awareness, volunteerism and fundraising during a time of great need. For the sixth year in a row, donors could raise money with family, friends and colleagues through The Salvation Army’s Online Red Kettle ( Nearly $1.6 million was donated through this method. Other online donations in November and December, not through the Online Red Kettle system, totaled $13.7 million, a 19 percent increase over the $11.5 million raised in 2009.

The Salvation Army also developed free applications for the Apple iPhone including an all-new Online Red Kettle iPhone app and, for the second year, a virtual Red Kettle bell app that allowed users to share in the tradition of the Red Kettle Campaign by ringing a virtual bell on their phone.

In addition, The Salvation Army launched its first national text-to-give program to support the red kettles, which ran from November 21 to December 24. The program raised $25,000 and allowed donors to text “GIVE” to 85944 to make a $10 donation to the Red Kettle Campaign.

Corporate partner JCPenney helped raise more than $3 million in red kettle donations across its stores. In addition, the 2010 holiday season marked the second year that JCPenney hosted The Salvation Army Angel Giving Tree online at As the exclusive online destination for adopting Salvation Army Angels, customers could adopt, shop and ship their gifts through the ease and convenience of Nearly 70,000 children and seniors in need were adopted in time for Christmas – an increase of over 40 percent from when the program first launched the year before.

The Salvation Army also partnered with Hanes®, America’s No. 1 Sock Brand, to deliver 1 million socks to people in need via Facebook. For every person who “liked” Hanes on Facebook ( and clicked “Help Hanes Donate,” the Hanes® donated one pair of actual socks toward its overall donation goal of 500,000 pairs (one million individual socks).

“In the 21st century people are looking for new ways to support and interact with the charities that are important to them. The Salvation Army is keeping pace so donors have a variety of options to give,” said Commissioner Roberts. “The Red Kettle Campaign incorporated several aspects of the changing face of giving by raising awareness through social media and allowing the next generation of donors to give online or through their phones.”

The Red Kettle Campaign, the oldest annual charitable fundraiser of its kind in the United States, helps raise money for those who need it most in communities nationwide – providing toys for kids, coats for the homeless, food for the hungry and countless social service programs year-round. From its humble beginnings as a fundraiser started by a Salvation Army captain in San Francisco in 1891, the Red Kettle Campaign has grown into one of the most recognizable and important charitable outreach efforts in the United States.

2010 Salvation Army Red Kettle Fact Sheet

Salvation Army Earthquake Response Under Way in New Zealand

Canterbury, New Zealand – The Salvation Army’s earthquake response program in Canterbury, New Zealand, is under way. Salvation Army officers (ministers) and volunteers are feeding and caring for Canterbury residents displaced by the 6.3-magnitude earthquake that hit the region around Christchurch on Tuesday 22 February. With large loss of life reported and many people still missing, sorrow continues to engulf the South Pacific nation.

Salvation Army teams from its three North Island divisions, along with teams from the South Island corps (churches) of Mosgiel and Queenstown, comprising 50 people, are on the way to Christchurch. Other teams across South Island are on standby.

Last night, the first since the earthquake struck, Salvation Army volunteers served 1,500 meals to those unable to go back to their homes and staff provided support at emergency welfare centers.

Damage to The Salvation Army’s Southern Divisional Headquarters, as well as to Christchurch City Community Ministries Centre and Christchurch City Corps, means a temporary operations center to oversee recovery work has been set up at Sydenham Corps. Southern Division and territorial headquarters (THQ) staff are now assessing the situation across the affected area to determine the exact nature of the Army’s response. With mobile communications in the region patchy at present, communications equipment including radios, satellite phones and computers is being transported from THQ to Sydenham.

Linwood Corps and Community Ministries, which has shouldered a large part of The Salvation Army’s recovery work since the larger but less deadly September 2010 earthquake, suffered mainly superficial damage. Its officers, staff and volunteers are preparing for a steep increase in demand. Christchurch City Community Ministries Centre will not reopen in the immediate future due to quake damage and its staff are being redeployed to Linwood.

Major Campbell Roberts, who is coordinating The Salvation Army’s emergency response, says the quake is a tragedy beyond description but that the Army’s experience since September and the high morale of officers and volunteers puts it in good stead to respond effectively.

Salvation Army teams are at Wellington and Auckland airports to meet hundreds of people who have been evacuated from the quake zone and offer support and light refreshments.

The Salvation Army re-launched its Canterbury Earthquake Appeal yesterday. There has been a strong response from the public and from potential corporate donors. The Salvation Army’s USA Western Territory is donating US$200,000 to assist with the Army’s earthquake recovery efforts. The Australia Southern Territory is donating Aus$50,000.

Large and small-scale fundraising is being organized around New Zealand. An international track meet scheduled for Christchurch this weekend was cancelled after the quake. Athletes now plan to stage a fundraising meet in Wellington to support The Salvation Army’s earthquake appeal.

The Salvation Army’s international leader, General Shaw Clifton, was New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Territorial Commander from 2002 to 2004. He informed current territorial commander Commissioner Don Bell that the prayers of International Headquarters were with the victims of the earthquake. ‘We are shocked, unhappy and downcast to hear overnight of a further quake in lovely Christchurch,’ he said. ‘We stand with you and your people in what you will do to offer relief.’

Commissioner Bell will soon visit the earthquake zone to encourage Salvation Army personnel.

Donations to the Canterbury Earthquake Appeal can be made online by clicking here.

Salvation Army in New Zealand Responds After Earthquake Brings Destruction

Christchurch, New Zealand – The Salvation Army in New Zealand is responding after the city of Christchurch was hit by a huge earthquake on Tuesday 22 February – the second major earthquake to affect the city in less than six months. At least 65 people are known to have been killed and – at time of writing – hundreds are trapped in the debris.

The 6.3-magnitude earthquake struck at 12.51 pm local time, causing structural damage and total destruction of some buildings. Vehicles were crushed by falling debris. Medical triage centers have established around the city and the mayor of Christchurch has declared a state of emergency.

The city of Christchurch and parts of the surrounding region were still rebuilding after a 7.1 earthquake that struck in the early hours of 4 September 2010. While that earthquake damaged buildings and made some homes inhabitable, there were no deaths and only a small number of injuries. The 22 February earthquake – said by seismologists to be an aftershock to the 2010 quake – was of a lesser magnitude than that in September but it was closer to the city center and nearer to the surface, which is why the damage is more significant.

By late afternoon The Salvation Army was assisting more than 1,000 people at a welfare site established near the inner city at Hagley Park. Shocked and grief-stricken locals are temporarily being housed in large marquees that were already on site for a flower show.

Major Rex Cross, emergency services coordinator for The Salvation Army in Christchurch, said that The Salvation Army was calling its emergency response teams together. Travel across the city was extremely difficult, however, and people are being told to stay away from the city center.

Catering supplies have been organized for around 1,500 people, says Major Cross, giving assurance that ‘food is on its way and people will be fed’.

He adds: ‘You just cannot imagine the enormity of this [quake] compared to the first one.’

Some Salvation Army buildings have been damaged. The Salvation Army’s community ministry center in Christchurch has been severely damaged, with significant damage to Christchurch City Corps (Salvation Army church). The Salvation Army’s South Island headquarters has also been affected.

The Salvation Army was involved in the initial response to last year’s earthquake and has continued to assist with welfare and psychosocial support.

‘The situation in Christchurch is extremely serious,’ says Commissioner Don Bell, commander of The Salvation Army’s New Zealand, Fiji and Tonga Territory. ‘Our prayers are with the city of Christchurch – we pray for our own people, for their friends and neighbors. We pray that God will give strength and hope to those who are in shock, and help rescue efforts.

‘The Salvation Army stands ready to continue to help the city in this terrible time of great grief and human need.’

The Salvation Army has re-launched its Canterbury Earthquake Appeal in expectation of great humanitarian need. National fundraising coordinator Major Robbie Ross says the region has suffered terribly since last September’s earthquake and a tremendous effort was now required to help those already living with the hardships and psychological effects of the original quake and its aftershocks.

‘Our experience with the September quake showed us the great emotional shock such an event can have on people – and now there is the added dimension of people grieving for loved ones,’ he says. ‘There will be a myriad of material needs by those who have lost possessions and homes. We are appealing for cash donations to strengthen our response.’

The Salvation Army Responds to Deadly Police Officer Shooting in St. Petersburg

St. Petersburg, FL– The Salvation Army of St. Petersburg is assisting emergency personnel in the massive manhunt near downtown.

The Salvation Army providing feeding and hydration to police officers, county deputies and federal agents as they try to capture a man who allegedly killed a St. Petersburg policeman late Monday evening.

Since 11 a.m. Tuesday (Feb. 22), The Salvation Army has served more than 400 meals at the incident command center, Tropicana Field. With the help of its partners, Wendy’s, Hungry Howies, Savannah’s Cafe, Chick-fil-A, Dunkin’ Donuts, Jimmy Johns, Tropicana Field, Cafe 10-0-1, Panera, Hooters, Smokey Joes and Publix, The Salvation Army continues to serve the community.

“We had a table set up with food and officers are just coming in as their shift ends,” said Michael Rojas, public relations director for the St. Petersburg Salvation Army. “We are just constantly feeding. When it seems like we are running out of food and someone shows up with sandwiches.”

The Salvation Army continues to work with restaurants and vendors that have been willing to support the feeding operation.

Rojas said The Salvation Army initially planned to feed 200 people but the number has easily swelled to 500.

Along with serving meals, Rojas said Salvation Army staff and volunteers are able to sit and talk with officers who have been affected by the shooting.

“This is the third officer who has been shot in the line of duty in St. Petersburg in a month,” Rojas said, “I’m asking how they are feeling and they are upset and angry. We are just trying to talk to them a little and give them some comfort.”

30-year Partnership Marked by Construction of New School in Port-au-Prince

Port-au-Prince, HAITI – Kindernothilfe (KNH) has signed on as the sponsor for the reconstruction of College Verena on The Salvation Army’s Delmas 2 compound.

In April 2011, the Army will celebrate 30 years of partnership with KNH, a German organization dedicated to supporting the development of children and young people. “I am really very happy that we have advanced to this step in our collaboration,” said Dr. Jürgen Thiesbonenkamp, chair of the KNH board of directors, during a recent visit to Port-au-Prince.

Thiesbonenkamp, along with his colleagues and the director of KNH Haiti, had the opportunity to tour the Delmas 2 compound and see the progress that has been made in preparation for demolition set to begin March 1. College Verena now occupies two temporary classrooms. When construction is finished there will be separate buildings for kindergarten, primary and secondary school children with age-appropriate classrooms. College Verena administrator, Major Sylvaine Maegli, and HRD Construction Manager, Major Jean Volet, have been working closely with architects to ensure the new school will be a safe, child-friendly space that promotes learning.

Measures, including the construction of a separate entrance specifically for school children and fencing around the demolition and construction areas, have been taken to ensure the safety of all College Verena students and teachers during the construction process. “It is very important for children to live and study in security,” said Dr. Thiesbonenkamp.

Prior to the earthquake, KNH partnered with The Salvation Army to support programs of La Maison du Bonheur children’s home as well as College Verena and The Salvation Army’s school at Fort National. KNH maintains its commitment to both the education of young people and its partnership with The Salvation Army in undertaking this invaluable post-earthquake construction project.

For more information on KNH, visit

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