Reflections In Hope, With Hope Force International

Marysville, IN (March 30, 2012)—Four weeks ago today, tornados ripped through southern Indiana leaving a trail of devastation and changing the course of lives. I stand amazed and humbly awed by those who quickly and selflessly came to the aid of people in need. While coordinating spiritual and emotional care in the Marysville and Henryville area, it was my pleasure to have a team of responders from Hope Force International dispatched to work with The Salvation Army.

Chuck Duby, Hope Force Chaplain, served as team leader for the Hope Force group. After working with another international ministry for 17 years in multiple capacities, Chuck joined the Hope Force staff nearly 6 years ago.

Phil Fenn, a businessman from Nashville, Tennessee, was in California with his wife on business when the tornados hit. He postponed his business activities and quickly returned to the Midwest so he could serve people in need in Indiana.

Jess, an ER nurse, and Davey Anderson, a personal trainer, are 28 & 29 years old and have been married two years. Following missions training and an outreach to Cambodia, they felt led to leave their home in California to join the Hope Force Staff in Tennessee. They arrived in Nashville Friday evening, March 2, trailing the storms that hit Alabama and Indiana. They were deployed the next day into Alabama, then to Indiana the following Tuesday. By the time I returned to Lafayette, Jess and Davey had spent more time with me than they had in their new home in Nashville.

Stu and Carla Raynor chose to spend their first wedding anniversary serving the needs of the community in Marysville. Taylor and Marie Perez left their vacation in Florida to specifically to assist with the work in Marysville.

Lynn Crew, Vice President of BACAR Constructors in Nashville, Tennessee, is a reservist with HFI and has served overseas and in the US extensively in relief work.
Glenda and Andrew Bashor, a couple in their mid 50’s have been with Hope Force force full time for about year. Glenda’s reflection on her experience serving with The Salvation Army in Marysville follows below.
Marysville, IN Deployment with The Salvation Army, by Glenda Bashor, Hope Force International.

As we watched the storm progression from our home in Franklin, TN and prepared to hunker down in our own ‘safe place’, it became very apparent we would once again be “on the road” to serving survivors in the aftermath of the widespread storms tearing through the eastern states.
Marysville, specifically because the focus had been on other larger communities, was foremost in the heart and mind of Hope Force International leadership. It wasn’t long before our pre-packed bags were being tied down in our trailer and 6 of us were on our way to Marysville.

Our relationship as a national partner with the Salvation Army opened a door wide for our service in the Marysville area. Following our arrival, introductions and updates about the situation surrounding the small community of Marysville, then a brief survey of the area’s needs, it was determined that our initial plans would be adapted to a specific area of service. The Salvation Army pinpointed a greater need of supporting survivors, utility workers and volunteers through a gathering place for physical and emotional rejuvenation. Thus, overseeing the feeding tent became our focus.

Hospitality has always been an important component of my husband’s and my life. To serve the needs of those involved in the recovery process through this means was an honor. Connecting with individuals on a personal level (both survivors and volunteers), while fulfilling a basic need of food (something often overlooked in times of stress), was particularly special. Gathering around food often drops barriers and allows for an openness to deeper emotional and spiritual needs of people. To me, this is the heart of hospitality – reflecting the love of God and expressing the value of the individual through a tangible means.

All the volunteers were so willing, available and capable. “Greg” particularly stands out. Several hours after standing at a menial and seemingly mundane task to which he brought excellence and care, it became apparent this was not what he had come for….he’d been ready to head out to “the fields” with chain saw, shovel and other such tools. BUT, he willingly and cheerfully stood as a sentry over food preparation and holding items when requested to do so. He exemplified the heart of volunteerism ….doing what is necessary, when required, regardless of pre-conceived ideas or expectations.

The spirit of resiliency in the residents of Marysville was evident in even the elderly of the community. Sisters Marguerite and Cecile were one set of survivors reflecting their faith and hope in a loving heavenly Father, even though their home would have to be leveled. They declared His hand of protection in their lives in spite of the discomfort and displacement they were experiencing. Many others, even though still reeling from the shock of loss of home and possessions and/or reliving memories of the winds tearing through their homes and community, were pressing in to gather up, clean up and determine the next step. A community bonded together through the common ground of recovery and rebuilding.

Working with Salvation Army members is always an honor as they are often the heart and soul of serving basic needs in local communities.

Salvation Army Orlando Doubles Serving Capacity In Times Of Disaster

Orlando, FL (March 26, 2012)—Since time began, humans have been attempting to predict the weather using everything from superstitions to high tech instruments. While predictions vary, it is the responsibility of The Salvation Army, as a first-responder, to prepare for the worst and to pray for the best.

The Salvation Army in Orlando is committed to providing the best disaster relief services possible. As a result of this commitment, the Orlando Area Command has been given a state-of-the-art, brand new mobile feeding unit, also known as a canteen. This unit, and others like it, provides The Salvation Army its first level of response in a disaster. It is the tool used to identify what, where, and how many are in need. This allows The Salvation Army to target its rehabilitation to responders and survivors through rest, nourishment, and hydration.

Why is this canteen so great? First of all, it increases the capacity for the Orlando Area Command to respond within its own community. Additionally, it increases the capacity across the state when the Florida Division calls upon the Orlando disaster team to respond to a regional or national disaster. This canteen has the capability of producing 3,000 meals per day, which is a 100% increase from the previous canteen. It is loaded with commercial grade appliances; in that it has two convection ovens, two thirty gallon tilt skillets, two microwaves, and two commercial grade coffee makers. This canteen has been custom designed with work-flow and efficient production being at the top of the list for the layout of the kitchen area.

This unit is going to be on display at the National Hurricane Conference, at the Hilton Orlando (6001 Destination Pkwy, Orlando, FL 32819) on Tuesday, March 27th 9:30am-5:00pm; 6:30pm-7:30pm and on Wednesday, March 28th 9:30am-4:00pm. The annual, National Hurricane Conference is “the nation’s forum for education and professional training in hurricane and disaster preparedness.” With an average of 2,000 attendees from around the country, the conference covers all major aspects of hurricane preparedness, response, and recovery.

For more information on Salvation Army canteens, visit and click on the “Training” tab at the top, go to section entitled “Podcasts,” and look for “What is a Canteen?”. For more information on becoming a disaster volunteer visit and click on the “Join our Team” button on the right of the screen. The Salvation Army in Orlando will also be hosting free disaster training March 30th and 31st. Call or email Wendy Hu for details at 407.423.8581 x 215 or

Salvation Army Providing Support In Devine, TX

Dallas, TX (March 22, 2012) – The small community of Devine, TX, located about 30 miles Southwest of San Antonio, is beginning the road to recovery after a tornado ripped through the city on Monday evening. A Salvation Army mobile feeding unit and disaster team from San Antonio has been providing meals, hydration and comfort to those affected by the tornado and to first responders. More than 50 buildings were damaged or destroyed by the slow-moving, powerful storm.

Major David Hodge, Commanding Officer of the San Antonio Mission Corps, received the call requesting assistance at 9:30 PM on Monday evening. By 11:00 PM, The Salvation Army mobile feeding unit was deployed in Devine, serving snacks and drinks to city residents left shocked and shaken by the storm.

“We worked through the night on Monday, providing assistance and relief wherever possible,” explained Major Hodge. “We served snacks and drinks to the emergency responders and to families who were trying to assess the damage to their homes and businesses. It is important to build relationships quickly within the community in times like this and we are grateful for the support that we received, particularly from Lowes Home Improvement store who donated food for breakfast, that was prepared and served out of The Salvation Army mobile kitchen.”

The Salvation Army disaster team provided meals to volunteers cleaning up the hardest hit areas on Tuesday and Wednesday, and served dinner to displaced families at the emergency shelter, set up at the Devine Community Center. The Salvation Army will continue to provide refreshment, meals and emotional support at least through Friday.

Monetary donations to go directly toward relief efforts can be made online at, by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY or by texting the word “STORM” to 80888 to make a $10 donation through your mobile phone.* For more information on The Salvation Army’s continued response, please visit

* A one‐time donation of $10 will be billed to your mobile phone bill. Messaging & data rates may apply. Donations are collected for The Salvation Army by Reply STOP to 80888 to stop. Reply HELP to 80888 for help. For terms, see

The Salvation Army Responds To West Virginia Flooding

Logan, WV (March 17, 2012) – Three inches of rain in two hours caused extensive flash flooding in this southwestern West Virginia town on Thursday, March 15. Salvation Army Corps Officers in Logan, Lieutenants Gary and Denise Stewart are working with the local emergency management center to respond to the disaster.

“Nearly 200 homes have been affected, in addition to businesses and churches,” said Lt. Gary Stewart. “The flooding is very localized, but this has made it difficult for emergency personnel to reach the area.” Stewart added, “We really feel for these folks! This area has experienced flooding every year since we began our service here in 2009.”

The Salvation Army has been able to provide 350 cleaning kits that are being distributed in the affected area, the National Guard and other emergency personnel. Also, because of a relationship established in a previous flood emergency, Lt. Stewart was able to facilitate the delivery of a tractor trailer of frozen food, canned goods, and cleaning supplies by the Huntington, West Virginia, Area Food Bank. As they have opportunity, the Stewarts are also providing spiritual and emotional support.

Financial donations are needed to support disaster relief efforts. The Salvation Army asks those who want to help to donate on this website or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. Donors may text “GIVE” to 80888*. Checks may be made out to The Salvation Army Disaster Relief, P.O. Box 100339, Atlanta, GA 30384-0339. Monetary donations will ensure The Salvation Army can meet the most immediate needs of those impacted by disaster.

* A one‐time donation of $10 will be billed to your mobile phone bill. Messaging & data rates may apply. Donations are collected for The Salvation Army by Reply STOP to 80888 to stop. Reply HELP to 80888 for help. For terms, see

Salvation Army And Lion Apparel Work Together For Tornado Survivors’ Future

West Liberty, KY (March 15, 2012)—Recovery after a major disaster requires a number of aspects, among them is the ability to return to work. For residents of Morgan County where tornadoes devastated much of the downtown commercial area, along with numerous homes, this is a significant challenge.

“The building’s just gone…we couldn’t go to work even if we could get there,” said Tony, a West Liberty resident lamenting the double loss of his automobile and his job. “But we’re lucky, our whole family is safe,” he added, struggling to find a bright spot.

The bright spot for many Morgan County residents shines on Lion Apparel, the largest non-governmental employer in West Liberty. “We were spared the damage and loss so many others suffered,” said Dorothy Adams, the Lion Plant Manager and life-long resident. “We have dedicated employees; our shifts were full as soon as the lights came back on.” Adams noted that a handful of employees had lost their homes or cars; and all have gone without electricity for several days. “We make protective, ‘turn-out’ gear for firemen all over the world—its important work, but it isn’t easy.”

Jessica, another Lion employee shared about the importance of morale to an effective workplace and the affect a hot, nutritious meal has on that morale—that’s where The Salvation Army comes in. For more than a week now, as part of the on-going relief efforts for the survivors of the tornadoes, The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) canteens (mobile feeding units) have been delivering and serving meals to more than 200 works each shift at Lion Apparel.

“We know getting back to some semblance of normal is an important step toward recovery,” said Major Darrell Kingsbury, Incident Commander for The Salvation Army’s disaster efforts in Eastern Kentucky. “And you can’t have your mind on work when you are trying to figure out what you’re going to eat because you don’t have utilities to cook or to keep food in your house—if you even have a house.”

Trained Salvation Army EDS volunteers prepare for the lunch break lunch with rows of meals and quickly ladle bowls of cream of chicken soup, thick with protein-packed chicken. ‘Thank you’ and ‘you’re welcome’ are repeatedly exchanged along with ‘God bless you’ passed in both directions.

But ‘Thank you’ in Lion Apparel is more than words—no matter how heart-felt. The employees put their money where their mouth is; giving even through their own loss. They took up a collection as a gesture of thanks; handing over a bag with more than $300 to help with continued relief efforts…along with a hand-crafted note.

The Salvation Army and Lion Apparel both do important work and both have a part to play in the recovery of West Liberty & surrounding communities; it is only natural that they would be working hand-in-hand as Morgan County comes back together focused on the future…knowing that today’s needs are met.

For the latest news about Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services or to make a donation in the support of those impacted by this disaster, please visit: or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).

You may also help by texting “storm” 80888 to make a $10.00 contribution to the relief effort. The donation will appear on your next mobile phone bill.*

* A one‐time donation of $10 will be billed to your mobile phone bill. Messaging & data rates may apply. Donations are collected for The Salvation Army by Reply STOP to 80888 to stop. Reply HELP to 80888 for help. For terms, see

Salvation Army And Little Caesars Pizza Team-Up For Tornado Response

West Liberty, KY (March 14, 2012)—A longtime partnership between The Salvation Army and Little Caesars Pizza was on display in Morgan County today. The Little Caesars Love Kitchen rolled into town and fired up their pizza ovens; ready to cook enough Little Caesars famous pizza for 2000 tornado survivors and response crews.

The Love Kitchen is an award-winning, nationally recognized charitable effort designed to provide the hot, fresh comfort food that is longed for in times of great need, like disasters. The program celebrated its 27th Anniversary last week serving with The Salvation Army response in Southern Indiana. Today and tomorrow Little Caesars and The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services have teamed up to prepare, bake, and deliver more than 750 pizzas to those affected by the recent storms.

“This is all made possible because of the support of the local franchisees,” said David Fox one of the two drivers of the Love Kitchen. “The truck is based out of our corporate headquarters, but all the supplies and volunteer labor comes from the community’s Little Caesars.”

“The store here in West Liberty was destroyed by the tornadoes, but fortunately we had supplies we could use in nearby Little Caesars stores,” said Steve Jackson, the local franchise owner and neighbor. “The community has supported our work, we wanted to support the community and this seemed like the perfect way of doing it.”

The assembly line of workers inside the mobile pizza kitchen were all volunteer, many are Jackson’s family members. As the hot pizzas were boxed, they were placed into one of The Salvation Army’s canteens to be delivered to those still struggling after tornadoes destroyed or damaged most of West Liberty and several of the surrounding communities.

“This partnership not only provides a taste of comfort for the survivors, but also allows those who have been preparing the hot meals until today to take a much needed break.” Major Darrell Kingsbury, the Incident Commander for The Salvation Army’s response in Morgan County and is based in Ashland, Kentucky. “It’s a win-win.”

Since the tornadoes ripped through eastern Kentucky, The Salvation Army has been working to meet the ever-changing needs in the wake of a disaster. Working closely with other response agencies to avoid duplication, The Salvation Army response in and around Morgan County has focused on providing hot, nutritious meals. This involves trained, committed volunteers driving canteens (mobile kitchens and feeding units) more than 950 miles a day. Some of the outlying areas are still without basic utilities, and others who live closer to town still lack the resources needed without the assistance of The Salvation Army canteens.

“Our whole family smiles when we see your truck turn onto our street,” said Abigaile a resident of Crockett, Kentucky. Abigaile’s family home is damaged, but is still livable. However, their only car was destroyed when a tree fell on it during the storm. “We don’t know how we would get out to get food without you all,” she said of The Salvation Army.

For the latest news about Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services or to make a donation in the support of those impacted by this disaster, please visit: or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).

You may also help by texting “storm” 80888 to make a $10.00 contribution to the relief effort. The donation will appear on your next mobile phone bill.*

* A one‐time donation of $10 will be billed to your mobile phone bill. Messaging & data rates may apply. Donations are collected for The Salvation Army by Reply STOP to 80888 to stop. Reply HELP to 80888 for help. For terms, see

The Salvation Army Brings Four-Legged Care To Southern Indiana

Indianapolis, IN (March 13, 2012) – On March 2, a tornado with an estimated category of F4 swept through Southern Indiana turning life upside down for thousands of families. Coming to the aid of their fellow Hoosiers, many organizations, businesses and individuals have given countless hours, finances and prayers to ease their burdens. Now, a less traditional method of bringing comfort to those affected by the tornado’s destruction has partnered with The Salvation Army and is being delivered not by humans but by animals – specifically, of the canine kind. Animal-assisted therapy teams from the organization HOPE Animal Assisted Crisis Response have visited residents in the tornado-stricken areas.

“Since November 2001, HOPE AACR has grown to have more than 100 certified crisis response teams in five regions that cover 34 states. Members of HOPE have responded to all manner of crises, including major hurricanes, wildfires, train derailments and school shootings. The training and education program continues to evolve as teams encounter new challenges working in this much needed endeavor.” (

Gayle Sprinkle with Charlie, and Deirdre Stanon with Brie assisted Captain Cynthia Shiels of The Salvation Army, in bringing smiles and joy to the survivors. “It’s amazing to see. People come up to the dogs and give them a hug. You can see their stress start to go down and they just light up. Pretty soon they’re opening up about their experience and their needs,” says Captain Shiels.

In addition to the huge success with the animal therapy teams, The Salvation Army continues to assist families into the second week of tornado recovery. As of Monday, March 12, more than 9,500 meals have been served since the Army began service in Southern Indiana. In Borden, more than 40 families received Emergency Financial Assistance over the weekend. The Salvation Army began handing out Emergency Financial Assistance in Henryville today. More than 150 Emergency Disaster Service volunteers have put in 2,360 hours in the Army’s response efforts.

The quickest and easiest way to support the efforts of The Salvation Army as they serve survivors is to make a monetary donation. You can make a donation online at, or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY.

Due to emergency conditions, The Salvation Army cannot guarantee that gifts of household goods or clothing donated now will be sent to disaster areas. In times of disaster, we fulfill household needs from existing, pre-sorted stock. Please, continue to donate gently-used household goods to your local Salvation Army—you help your community today and may help with disaster relief needs tomorrow. To find your nearest drop-off location, please go to

About The Salvation Army:
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination since 1865. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. About 82 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in nearly 5,000 communities nationwide.

The Salvation Army Teams In New South Wales, Australia, Respond To Devastating Floods

New South Wales, Australia (March 7, 2012) – Salvation Army Emergency Services (SAES) teams have been working around the clock in south-east Australia, where some areas have experienced the worst flooding in more than 150 years.

Southern regions in the state of New South Wales (NSW) have been hardest hit, with SAES teams working to assist affected residents in many cities and towns including Wagga Wagga, Leeton, Forbes, West Wyalong, Cooma, Cowra, Goulburn and Bega.

Thousands of people have been forced to evacuate their homes as river levels peak after a week of heavy rain. Complicating the flood crisis is huge volumes of water flowing south along already swollen river systems after significant flooding in the north of the state last month.

In Wagga Wagga, Salvation Army teams supported by volunteers have been manning a number of evacuation centers; providing meals, refreshments and a place to rest for displaced residents. They are also helping to feed emergency services personnel. Hundreds of people have received assistance at these centers.

Lieutenant Tammy Shelley from The Salvation Army’s Wagga Wagga Corps (church) says the community support has been incredible.

“We have people constantly dropping off food, blankets and pillows for people in the evacuation center,” she explains. “Coca-Cola dropped off a load of bottled water today. It’s great to see the community looking out for each other.”

Attention is now turning to Leeton and Forbes, which are bracing for inundation.

“We have local Salvation Army people in Leeton and also on standby in Forbes and the surrounding area where water is expected to peak in the next couple of days,” says Bruce Smith, SAES Coordinator for The Salvation Army’s Australian Capital Territory and South NSW Division.

In West Wyalong, Les and Noelene Barass (Salvation Army Rural Chaplains for southern NSW) have been providing meals and support to dozens of residents at an evacuation center. They say the big challenge will come when the floodwaters recede and people begin to deal with the emotional impact of trying to rebuild shattered lives.

“In the area of Humbug Creek,’ says Les, ‘I already know of one farmer who has lost almost all his flock and another in Bland Shire who’s lost around 13,000 sheep in this recent flood. These are farmers who have spent the past few years recovering from almost 10 years of drought. They’ve lost their livelihood and now they are completely isolated in their homes by water.”

The Salvation Army also helped serve hundreds of people at evacuation centres in Cooma, Goulburn and Bega, which were among the areas to bear the early brunt of the flood crisis.

Bruce Smith says “Our teams across the south of the state have done excellent work and – where it’s needed – it is still continuing. All SAES teams will remain on alert until flood warnings across the state are lifted.”

Report by Scott Simpson

To make a donation, go to

Chattanooga Salvation Army Disaster Recovery Center Is In Operation At Camp Joy

Chattanooga, TN ( March 7, 2012)—The Salvation Army continues to “Do the Most Good” by providing immediate needs for those Harrison, Tennessee residents affected by last week’s tornadoes. Basic necessities being provided include food, water, toiletries and baby items, as well as recovery and clean-up supplies like tarps, rakes and gloves. The Disaster Recovery Center is located at Camp Joy, 6621 Hunter Road, Chattanooga, TN 37341.

The Salvation Army has been providing nourishing meals and spiritual support to the local neighbors since the tornados swept through on Friday. To date, they have served 2,330 hot meals, 2,374 beverages and provided emotional/spiritual care to more than 500 individuals. The Salvation Army plans on continuing its mobile feeding throughout the weekend and then will re-evaluate the needs of the area.

Many residents, however, are still in need. Monetary donations are the best way to help both tornado survivors and rescue workers. The Salvation Army asks that you donate at; call 1-800-SAL-ARMY; or text “storm” to 80888 for a $10.00 gift on your phone bill.* 100% of your gift will go to the relief efforts. For a list of items needed for recovery efforts please visit

* A one‐time donation of $10 will be billed to your mobile phone bill. Messaging & data rates may apply. Donations are collected for The Salvation Army by Reply STOP to 80888 to stop. Reply HELP to 80888 for help. For terms, see

West Liberty Woman Gives Sacrificially To Help Others

West Liberty, KY (March 7, 2012)—One day Jesus sat down and watched as people were giving their offerings to the temple treasury, and he observed several rich folks putting in large sums of money. However, there was a poor widow who put in two coins that were worth less than a penny in today’s currency, yet Jesus told his disciples that she gave much more than the others because she put in everything she had.

Today, a lady approached our mobile feeding unit with some money in her hand. She explained how although she was on a limited income, she wanted to give us some money so that we could continue to help others. She was very apologetic that she could not give more, but she hoped that it would help a little. We were very grateful for this woman’s sincerity and assured her that what she gave would help us continue to meet the needs of her community.

Many feel that they have little to give in times like this, but you can be assured that The Salvation Army is doing the most good with whatever you are able to give. For the latest news about Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services or to make a donation in the support of those impacted by this disaster, please visit: or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).

You may also help by texting “Storm” 80888 to make a $10.00 contribution to the relief effort.* The donation will appear on your next phone bill.

* A one‐time donation of $10 will be billed to your mobile phone bill. Messaging & data rates may apply. Donations are collected for The Salvation Army by Reply STOP to 80888 to stop. Reply HELP to 80888 for help. For terms, see