San Antonio Storm Prompts Salvation Army Response

san antonioSan Antonio, TX – In the late evening of Sunday, February 19, a severe storm system moved through San Antonio, Texas, causing significant damage to homes and businesses in the north of the city.

Salvation Army staff spent Monday morning assessing the damage in the worst hit areas where three tornado touch downs were reported.

Two Salvation Army mobile feeding units with crews from San Antonio and New Braunfels were deployed and provided roving food and hydration services for survivors and first responders. One unit provided meal service to residents based at the Howard Elementary School in the Alamo Heights area. Clean up kits and water were sent from The Salvation Army EDS warehouse in Arlington and arrived in San Antonio late in the afternoon.

“By mid-morning our crews were in the affected areas and working to assist people with food, snacks, drinks and encouragement. Fallen branches and debris was a major issue in several communities and our staff rolled up their sleeves and worked alongside residents in the clean up effort,” said Alvin Migues, The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services Director for Texas. “Water and clean up kits will be made available to residents tomorrow and we are working closely with partner agencies to make sure that we are providing meaningful and effective support.”

The Salvation Army will continue to assess the needs of the communities affected and provide services as needed in the coming days.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 130 years in the United States. 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. 82 cents of every dollar spent is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.

Soup Kitchen Rededicated to reflect Mission and Long-Time Supporters

The Salvation Army of El Dorado’s Soup Kitchen received a new name recently during a re-dedication and ribbon cutting ceremony.   

Murphy Red Shield Diner Lt Charles SmithFormerly known as the Bread of Life Soup Kitchen, Lts. Charles and Teri Smith proudly rededicated the newly-named Murphy Red Shield Diner in honor of its past 30 years of service offered to the counties of Union, Calhoun and Ouachita.

Lt. Smith opened the ceremony with a reading of scripture from Proverbs 24:3-4, “Through wisdom a house is built, and by understanding it is established; by knowledge the rooms are filled with all precious and pleasant riches.”  Lt. Smith followed with “that can be said of this dining facility and also of our canteen. It’s been a blessing to serve this community.”

The renaming of the “soup kitchen” reflects The Salvation Army’s mission as well as honoring the long-time support of the Murphy family, according to a Salvation Army press release.

Wanda Ragsdale, a lifetime Advisory Board member and former Chair of the board, provided a brief history of the soup kitchen. In 1986, eight local churches came together in an effort to help the needy of El Dorado and offered their support to create the Bread of Life Soup Kitchen. “The power was there because God was blessing us,” she said. “And if God is for you then who can be against you?”   Ragsdale went on to say on the first day, 25 adults and six children were served.  On Wednesday before the rededication, 267 individuals were served.

During its 30 years of serving meals to the hungry of El Dorado, The Salvation Army has provided hope to thousands of men, women and children. In 2015, The Salvation Army served 124,559 meals and provided 6,935 nights of lodging. The meals and lodging are just a part of the services provided to over 18,400 individuals in 2015.

The Salvation Army would like to thank the Murphy family and The Murphy Foundation, Murphy Oil and Murphy USA for their contributions and generous support of the mission and work in El Dorado.

Family Stores

5 Things About That Lamp You Bought At The Salvation Army

by Ashley Seager

When you purchase an item from a Salvation Army Family Store (aka thrift store) the money goes back into the local community. We don’t exist to generate profit so your dollar doesn’t go into the pocket of a CEO. The lamp you bought might mean a hot meal for an individual staying at a shelter, a music lesson for a child at one of our afterschool programs, or another month of electric service while a family works to get back on their feet. Here are 5 things that you make happen when you shop at The Salvation Army.

1. Youth Programs

The Salvation Army across the United States offers after school programs. In Arkansas & Oklahoma our partnership with the Boys & Girls Clubs of America allow us to operate 10 different Salvation Army Boys & Girls Clubs. We also operate other community centers and afterschool programs too. Almost all locations provide transportation from school to our programs and a snack. Programs focus on character-building and helping kids with their academic achievements. We know that the afternoon hours after school are some of the most dangerous when it comes to kids making poor decisions related to drugs, crime, and sex. When you shop at The Salvation Army, you’re helping kids attend these vital programs; you help keep them safe.

2. Music Programs

Many of our locations offer free music lessons. Music has been important to The Salvation Army for a long time. Our instructors teach kids (and even adults) how to play various musical instruments from trumpet, to guitar, to piano. Many students can even participate in church services or regional bands that The Salvation Army operates where they build relationships with mentors and instructors who help students learn and grow in a environment grounded on faith. Students often get to take an instrument home to practice! (Sorry mom and dad… but it’s worth it!).

3. Community Building Programs

The Salvation Army doesn’t just offer programs for children. Throughout the Arkansas & Oklahoma Division, we regularly hold fun, community events for adults and especially senior citizens. These programs often involve an afternoon meal with tea or coffee. Sometimes there is a discussion, a Bible study, or a devotional thought. But these programs are valuable because of the social connections – the community – that they create. When you buy a lamp at The Salvation Army, you help people continue to feel vitality and purpose. You help them connect with their friends, to share stories, and to make memories.

4. Disaster Services

The Salvation Army responds when disaster strikes. From small local disasters to large natural disasters that involve many states – and many people. When you shop at The Salvation Army, you’re helping to provide this capability in your community. Our Emergency & Disaster Services teams can deploy food service canteens and other important support at a moment’s notice to help those most impacted by disaster. That lamp you bought: now it’s a hot meal for a first responder ensuring the public’s safety or disaster survivor working to get back on their feet.

5. Social Service Vouchers

For those that need the most help, our Family Stores provide free or reduced cost clothing and furniture. When you buy that lamp, you’re providing families with a new sofa after their house burned down; you’re helping a mother with nowhere else to turn keep her growing children clothed; you’re providing a person leaving our rehabilitation program with a suit for their first job interview since getting clean.

That lamp you bought? It’s going to look great in your living room. It’s going to be a great conversation piece. You might wonder who owned it, what their story was, and why they decided to donate something so wonderful to The Salvation Army.

But even more than that, maybe you can think about who you’ve helped. What is the story of the family whose life you helped change? You’ve done more than buy a lamp. You’ve made a difference.

BvilleMusic

Bartlesville Music Conservatory Offers New Experiences

The Salvation Army of Bartlesville, Oklahoma hosted a special program throughout the month of June. Children from the Red Shield Club were invited to participate in a Summer Music Conservatory program every Tuesday and Thursday of the month, allowing children to get hands-on with a variety of musical instruments and lessons in the performing arts.

The program began the day with choir classes, teaching the children how to sing in unison and harmony. Mornings also featured a time where a volunteer from the Performing Arts field would come and showcase their talents, including classical music performances and even a cartoon voiceover artist.

During the afternoon, children were split up by grade level, ranging from Pre-K to 5th grade, and given breakout room assignments which rotated every 30 minutes. During these breakouts, the children were able to interact with instruments such as piano, guitar, saxophone and clarinet. However, if you ask any child what their favorite instrument at the camp was, it was almost unanimous: the drums.

The month long program culminates with two choral performances, the first of which will be held at The Salvation Army Corps for family members of the students. The second event will showcase the students on July 4th during the downtown festivities, singing patriotic songs such as “Fifty Nifty United States” and “God Bless the U.S.A.”

The Salvation Army would like to extend a very special thank you to OK Mozart, Everett Music Studio and the Bartlesville Symphony Players, all of whom donated their time and instruments to the Conservatory, making it available to the Red Shield Club students at no additional cost.

EDS News

Responding To Those Affected By NE Oklahoma Tornado

The Salvation Army of Arkansas and Oklahoma is becoming active in disaster response.  A strong storm system crossed Oklahoma and Arkansas this afternoon and evening that developed multiple thunderstorms and a tornado in NE Oklahoma.

The Tulsa Metropolitan Area Command is deploying their canteen and an Emergency Disaster Response team to Rogers County at the request of Emergency Management.    The team will be providing snacks and hydration throughout the night to first responders as well as residents affected by the tornado that touched down near Claremore, Oklahoma.

Further details will be provided after assessments are made after daybreak on Thursday morning.   The Salvation Army will be working closely with first responders, emergency management at the local and state levels to ascertain what the needs are for emergency response.

Monetary Donations are always needed to offset the costs of services to storm victims.
• Online:  Visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org
• By Phone:  Call 1-800-SAL-ARMY
• Donations of Household Good and Clothing: Due to the emergency situation, The Salvation Army cannot guarantee that any individual donations of household goods or clothing (gifts-in-kind) will be sent to the disaster area. In times of disaster, our stores fill these needs from existing, pre-sorted stock. PLEASE continue to donate gently-used household goods to your local Salvation Army store. You will help your community and help us prepare for future disaster relief needs. To find your nearest drop-off location, please go to www.satruck.org.

All donations for disaster services will be used for disaster response.

Additional updates will be posted as additional information is forthcoming at www.twitter.com/SalArmyAOK, www.twitter.com/SalArmyTulsa, www.facebook.com/SalArmyAOK, and www.twitter.com/SalArmyAOKEDS.

Contact:   DJ Morrow, Mobile: 918760-2349
E-mail:     DJ.Morrow@uss.salvationarmy.org
Office:       (918) 587-7801

EDS20160108a

Holiday Storm Response Continues in Arkansas & Oklahoma

OKLAHOMA CITY (January 7, 2015) – The Arkansas-Oklahoma Division of The Salvation Army is continuing to respond to those affected by the December 26/27 storm that brought severe winter weather and flooding across the two states.  Most communities have power fully restored in the areas affected by the ice, yet flooding continues along the Arkansas River.

Oklahoma Severe Winter Weather 
Salvation Army Units in Altus, Enid, Muskogee, Norman and Oklahoma City all provided assistance during the severe cold weather and ice storms that affected Oklahoma.   From hot meals to snacks, hydration and shelter from the cold, officers, employees and volunteers met the needs of those seeking refuge from the storm.

Eastern Oklahoma / Arkansas Flooding
The Salvation Army of Pine Bluff continues to coordinate with the American Red Cross by supplying two evacuation centers, Swan Lake and Wright/Pastoria, with food and other essential items.  Fort Smith and Conway Arkansas Salvation Army units have also been providing assistance to those affected by flooding in the areas they serve.

Captain David Leonard, Corps Officer in Pine Bluff, Arkansas shared that while delivering dinner to the people in Wright/Pastoria, an older lady came up to him and grabbed both his hands, looked him in the eye and said, “I don’t know what we’d have done if it weren’t for The Salvation Army.  You’re a good man.”   Leonard states “I just made it outside as the tears came.  What a privilege and honor it is to serve others in Jesus’ name.”  Captain Leonard also reports many more families were affected with this round of flooding compared to the flooding experienced in June 2015.  

To date, service delivery for the winter storm and flooding includes 2,267 meals, 3,164 drinks and 760 snacks.  Officers, employees and volunteers have provided over 713 hours of service.  Close to 900 flood bucket clean up kits have been issued from the divisional EDS department for distribution in affected areas.   

The Emergency Disaster Services department of the Arkansas-Oklahoma Division continues to assist the local Salvation Army units with resources necessary to support their communities along with monitoring current and future flooding along the Arkansas and Mississippi rivers. Coordination is taking place with the Oklahoma and Arkansas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) for feeding and bulk distribution of flood bucket clean up kits. 

How to Help:
Monetary donations are always needed to offset the costs of services to storm victims. There are various ways in which to donate to help those affected in Arkansas and Oklahoma:
Checks can be mailed to the following with “Arkansas-Oklahoma Severe Winter Weather / Flooding” in the memo:

The Salvation Army
PO Box 53068
Oklahoma City, OK  73152

The Salvation Army
PO Box 738
North Little Rock, AR 72115

Online:  https://donate.salvationarmyusa.org/uss/arkansas-and-oklahoma-severe-winter-weather–flooding

By Phone:  1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769)

Donations of Household Good and Clothing: 
Due to the emergency situation, The Salvation Army cannot guarantee that any individual donations of household goods or clothing (gifts-in-kind) will be sent to the disaster area. In times of disaster, our stores fill these needs from existing, pre-sorted stock. PLEASE continue to donate gently-used household goods to your local Salvation Army store. You will help your community and help us prepare for future disaster relief needs. To find your nearest drop-off location, please go to 
www.satruck.org.

Additional updates will be posted as additional information is forthcoming at www.twitter.com/SalArmyAOkwww.facebook.com/SalArmyAOK, and www.twitter.com/SalArmy AOKEDS and www.salvationarmyaok.org.

EDS News

Winter Storms Call for Response

OKLAHOMA CITY (December 30, 2015) – The Salvation Army is responding in both Arkansas and Oklahoma to areas affected by severe winter weather and flooding.  The same storm system that brought devastating and deadly tornadoes to Texas on December 27 brought blizzard conditions to northwestern Oklahoma, an ice storm to central, northern and southwestern Oklahoma, and torrential rains causing historical flooding in Eastern Oklahoma and across Arkansas, as well as straight line wind and tornado damage in southern Arkansas.  A State of Emergency has been declared by Oklahoma Governor Mary Fallin for all 77 counties and declarations for disaster have been made for 35 counties by Arkansas Governor Asa Hutchinson.

Oklahoma Severe Winter Weather 
On Sunday, across Oklahoma, The Salvation Army opened warming centers in Altus, Enid, Norman and Oklahoma City, and Ponca City in response to winter weather including blizzard conditions and ice storms.  Additionally, warm meals were provided to those taking refuge at the warming centers and affected by power outages. As of Wednesday all of the warming centers have returned to normal daily operations. 

The Altus Salvation Army also began serving a community shelter in Hollis at the request of the local emergency manager in Harmon County.   They served dinner on Tuesday and served lunch and dinner on Wednesday. Service will continue for the shelter until power is fully restored to the community.

Eastern Oklahoma / Western Arkansas Flooding
The Salvation Army units located in Tulsa and Muskogee are preparing to support and standing by for the potential to serve for flooding occurring in eastern Oklahoma along the Illinois River and Arkansas River as well as many lakes and tributaries feeding into the rivers.  Additionally, record flooding is occurring along the Arkansas River and the River Valley in Arkansas.  The Salvation Army of Fort Smith remains on standby as well.

The Salvation Army of Pine Bluff, Arkansas is coordinating with the American Red Cross and county emergency management to provide water and meals for flooding in their communities.  Boats are already being used to reach neighborhoods and historical flooding levels are expected.

The Emergency Disaster Services department of the Arkansas-Oklahoma Division is assisting the local Salvation Army units with resources necessary to support their communities for both the winter weather and ice storms, along with the ongoing and future flooding in both states. Coordination is taking place with the Oklahoma and Arkansas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) for feeding and bulk distribution of flood bucket clean up kits. 

“It will take a long time for the residents to fully recover from a disaster of this severity,” said Laurie Fried, Disaster Recovery Coordinator for The Salvation Army, Arkansas-Oklahoma Division. “As one of the service providers in these two states we have long-standing partnerships that allow us to help our clients meet a very broad range of needs.”

“As we start the New Year, a time we traditionally set goals and look forward to the coming year, many of our neighbors are in crisis,” stated Fried.  “Your support of The Salvation Army allows us to provide a warm meal, an encouraging word and hope for recovering from these devastating storms.”
How to Help:
Monetary donations are always needed to offset the costs of services to storm victims. There are various ways in which to donate to help those affected in Arkansas and Oklahoma:
· Checks can be mailed to the following with “Arkansas-Oklahoma Severe Winter Weather / Flooding” in the memo:
The Salvation Army
PO Box 53068
Oklahoma City, OK  73152

The Salvation Army
PO Box 738
North Little Rock, AR 72115
· Online:  https://donate.salvationarmyusa.org/uss/arkansas-and-oklahoma-severe-winter-weather–flooding

· By Phone:  1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769)

· Donations of Household Good and Clothing: 
Due to the emergency situation, The Salvation Army cannot guarantee that any individual donations of household goods or clothing (gifts-in-kind) will be sent to the disaster area. In times of disaster, our stores fill these needs from existing, pre-sorted stock. PLEASE continue to donate gently-used household goods to your local Salvation Army store. You will help your community and help us prepare for future disaster relief needs. To find your nearest drop-off location, please go to 
www.satruck.org.
Additional updates will be posted as additional information is forthcoming at www.twitter.com/SalArmyAOkwww.facebook.com/SalArmyAOK, and www.twitter.com/SalArmyAOKEDS and www.salvationarmyaok.org.
 

# # #

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 130 years in the United States. Approximately 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: 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. 82 cents of every dollar donated to The Salvation Army is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). For more information, go to salvationarmyusa.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS

jumbo

Jumbo Foods Donates 50 Box Fans in Enid

July 17, 2015 – (Enid, Oklahoma) The month of July commemorates Home Energy Aid Month, a time set aside to raise awareness about the growing need for utility assistance across the state to help keep families cool in the summer and warm in the winter. The Salvation Army, alongside its energy partners (OG+E, ONG & PSO) also make a special effort to generate donations specifically for energy aid assistance throughout the month.

One of the most immediate ways that The Salvation Army is able to help families stay cool in the summer time is to provide qualifying families with a brand new box fan. As a contribution to the Home Energy Aid Month campaign, The Salvation Army of Enid received a donation of 50 box fans from Jumbo Foods on Thursday.

“These fans couldn’t have come at a better time. Of the 50 fans that were donated, 20 have already been distributed to those who have come to our offices seeking relief from the rising summer temperatures. We are grateful to Jumbo Foods for this wonderful gift,” said Major Ernest Hull, commanding officer for The Salvation Army in Enid, Oklahoma.

For more information on how you can partner with The Salvation Army of Enid, please call their office at (580) 237-1910, or to make a donation today, please visit donate.salvationarmyusa.org

Clean Up Kits

Clean Up Collaborations Strong in Arkansas & Oklahoma Division

Oklahoma City, OK (June 24, 2015) – Partnerships with local and statewide agencies are often the fastest and most efficient way for The Salvation Army to provide care and services during times of disaster, and the Emergency Disaster Services Department of the Arkansas & Oklahoma Division have found strong partnerships with the American Red Cross, Baptist Disaster Relief of the Arkansas and Oklahoma State Conventions, and Catholic Charities of Oklahoma.

With recent flooding in the region, one of the most practical needs that The Salvation Army is able to meet are supplies and tools to help survivors clean up their homes. These items are prepackaged in a plastic bucket referred to as a “clean up kit”, and include mops, brooms, gloves and other essential supplies to help a family clean their residence. These kits are often found on the back of a Salvation Army canteen, but when delivered to partners like the Arkansas and Oklahoma Baptist Conventions, these kits are able to be distributed over a larger range within the affected areas in a shorter amount of time, allowing locations that might not have as many trained Salvation Army personnel on hand to be able to provide their services effectively.

During the May 2015 flooding incident, The Salvation Army was able to provide the Oklahoma Baptist Convention with 768 clean up kits in the counties of Cleveland, Leflore, Bryan, Comanche, and Oklahoma. These kits were then distributed out to survivor’s homes within the flooded region of the state by volunteers and staff with the Oklahoma Baptist Convention. Additionally, The Salvation Army provided 480 clean up kits to the Arkansas Baptist Convention for flooding that occurred along the Arkansas River.

“The Salvation Army clean up kit buckets have been a huge blessing to the 2015 Oklahoma flood recovery. The kits have exactly what is needed to clean out a flooded home,” said Sam Porter, State Director of Disaster Relief, Baptist General Convention of Oklahoma.

In addition to the service provided by the Baptist Disaster Relief, The Salvation Army has also delivered 1,012 clean up kits to the American Red Cross and Catholic Charities to be distributed to residents in need in the flood stricken areas across Oklahoma.

The Salvation Army would like to extend its heartfelt thanks and gratitude to the Arkansas and Oklahoma Baptist Convention Disaster Relief teams, The American Red Cross and Catholic Charities of Oklahoma for their longstanding partnership and service during times of disaster.

IMG_3739

Special Donut Deliveries in Pine Bluff, AR

IMG_3755The Salvation Army of Pine Bluff celebrated National Donut Day on Friday with a heart of gratitude to the first responders of the recent flooding in Jefferson County, Arkansas. With 50 dozen donuts from Lybrands in hand, emergency disaster response teams delivered the sweet snacks to the Officer of Emergency Management, the 911 Call Center, police department, fire department, and local armed forces deployed to the area.

“These agencies and service organizations have worked so hard during this disaster, [The Salvation Army] wanted to show our appreciation for their service and support during this time of need in Jefferson County,” said Captain David Leonard, corps officer for The Salvation Army of Pine Bluff.

National Donut Day was first celebrated by The Salvation Army in 1938 as a way to raise funds during the Great Depression, commemorating the work of the “donut lassies” who served American troops on the front lines during World War I. The Salvation Army continues to recognize this national celebration as a way to reminder to the public that The Salvation Army is available to meet any needs that an individual or family may have.