Posts

By: Brad Rowland

With Hurricanes Hermine, Irma and Michael making landfall in the area within the last half-decade, The Salvation Army of Tallahassee, Florida, is all too familiar with on-the-ground disaster work. With that as the backdrop, The Salvation Army saw an opportunity to both maintain its readiness for emergency disaster services (EDS) and serve the population of Leon, Gadsden, and Wakulla counties on a regular basis.

The result is the “Feed the Need” program, deploying each week to serve hot meals in the community and address an emerging local issue of food insecurity. Simultaneously, these deployments allow The Salvation Army to stay sharp, expanding a volunteer base and maintaining crucial equipment for a time when an immediate need arises.

“Our goals for ‘Feed The Need’ are two-fold,” said Julie Smith, Social Services Program Coordinator in Tallahassee. “First, we can meet the needs of people in our community that are in need of a hot meal. The other side is that the program is operated by our EDS volunteers. There is a lot that goes into it and there is a lot that people can learn by doing, rather than only going through the typical training, even if that part is also necessary.”

In addition to vital disaster response training that must take place with any volunteer, the “Feed the Need” program allows for a hands-on experience that also opens the door for regular engagement with The Salvation Army. Four teams of four individuals operate on a rotating basis, going into the community on Thursdays to serve after important preparation takes place. There are four distinct positions held by team members, ranging from crew chief to food service specialist, and deployment locations are predetermined, in conjunction with social services, to meet the greatest local need.

“This is a great way for us to meet a need in the community but also to simply be prepared for the future,” said Lieutenant Ryan Meo, Salvation Army Administrator. “We’re praised often for our response times in The Salvation Army and how quickly we’re able to respond on the ground after an incident. With that said, people don’t always realize the work that went in before it and all of the training and team building it takes to do it well.”

The program launched in 2018 on a four-month basis, experiencing real success both in volunteer recruitment and critical service to the community. After a brief hiatus, “Feed the Need” launched in August 2019 with an expanded, four-team format, and plans include a year-round utilization.

Early returns have been exceedingly positive for volunteer engagement and the overall impact of the program and, with the dual purpose of aiding those with immediate needs, success is being achieved.

“These people are now ready to go when an incident occurs and, in the process, we’re serving our community,” says Smith. “This has motivated individuals in a fantastic way and people are getting involved.”

“I think our disaster services program is uniquely able to engage stakeholders in the community as volunteers that other programs and services don’t always seem to reach,” Lieutenant Meo said. “Our disaster volunteers are sometimes people that we aren’t able to engage with in other ways and, when we’re able to allow people to be a part of The Salvation Army through a program like this, people serve with a sense of agency.”

To learn more about The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services, please click here

Pathway of hope family

The Quintana-Arroyo family (husband, wife, and three sons) met The Salvation Army through Emergency Disaster Services after being displaced from Puerto Rico by Hurricane Maria, forcing them to relocate to Florida.

The family stayed in The Salvation Army’s Emergency Shelter and learned about the Pathway of Hope Initiative.

Over time, the wife found employment, followed by her husband, who began working at a Salvation Army board member’s construction company.

Through affiliation with a local community partner, the family was gifted a vehicle.

With one son recently graduating high school and another in college, the family has been able to save more than $7,000 and are now in the final stages of purchasing a home.

The Salvation Army’s Pathway of Hope Initiative has helped the family to become financially stable, increase their credit score, and position themselves to become homeowners.

The Salvation Army provided the necessary tools and services to help this family re-establish their life while working cohesively with community partners toward meeting their goals.

Through the support of donors, The Salvation Army is able to help families like this every day. Your gift today will help The Salvation Army serve families in need in your community.

Emergency Disaster Services

The Salvation Army began offering assistance to disaster survivors after a major hurricane hit Galveston, Texas in September 1900, destroying the coastal city and killing thousands of people. At the request of The Salvation Army’s National Commander, Commissioner Frederick Booth-Tucker, officers from across the country moved into the Galveston area to help feed and shelter thousands of survivors, while also providing much needed emotional and spiritual support.

Since then, The Salvation Army has responded to natural disasters, transportation accidents, civil unrest situations, and terrorist attacks. By providing beverages, meals and emotional and spiritual care to first responders and survivors, The Salvation Army strives to bring hope and healing to people who find themselves in the midst of extremely difficult situations.

While each disaster creates its own unique circumstances and special needs, Salvation Army disaster relief efforts focus on seven core services. These services may be modified based on the magnitude of the disaster and adapted to meet the specific needs of individual survivors.

Training

The first step in being ready to respond to an emergency is training. In partnership with other agencies, The Salvation Army’s disaster training program offers a variety of courses designed to help individuals and communities prepare for emergency events and become trained disaster volunteers.

Food Service

When disaster strikes, one of the first signs that help is on the way is often the arrival of a Salvation Army mobile feeding unit, offering meals, snacks and drinks to rescue workers and survivors.

Emotional and Spiritual Care

Motivated by Christian faith, The Salvation Army deploys specially trained individuals to offer emotional and spiritual care to rescue workers and disaster survivors.

Emergency Communications

The Salvation Army Team Emergency Radio Network (SATERN) includes a worldwide network of volunteer amateur radio operators and other communications specialists, who may be mobilized to transmit emergency information during a disaster event.

Disaster Social Services

After a family has lost everything in a disaster, The Salvation Army is there to provide emergency assistance to help meet survivors’ most urgent needs for food, clothing, shelter and medical services.

Donations Management

The Salvation Army is one of the nation’s leaders in responsibly collecting, sorting and distributing donated goods. The Salvation Army encourages cash donations as the best and most flexible way to help and solicits only those in-kind donations that can be effectively received and efficiently distributed.

Recovery

The Salvation Army supports long-term disaster recovery operations with flexible programming that is adaptable to the unique needs of individual communities.

Find out more, including how to volunteer with The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services, by visiting SalArmyEDS.org.

Original Article

salvation army naples rubicon

The organizations will work together to rebuild 30 homes damaged by Hurricane Irma

Naples, FL (September 19,2018)  Team Rubicon, a veteran-led disaster response organization, and The Salvation Army officially kicked off their partnership to help rebuild lives and homes that were impacted by Hurricane Irma. Over the next year, as part of Team Rubicon’s South Florida Rebuild Program, the two organizations will work together to identify and rebuild 30 homes damaged by Hurricane Irma in Collier County, Florida.

For its piece of the partnership, The Salvation Army will identify homes that meet established criteria for assistance as well as handle client services and case management. Team Rubicon, led by the military veterans of Cohort 8 of their Clay Hunt Fellows Program, will manage the construction and rebuild of these 30 homes.

“The Salvation Army has a long history of providing disaster relief and recovery around the world,” says Ashley Jones, Director of Social Services and Disaster Recovery for The Salvation Army. “Although it has now been one year since Hurricane Irma impacted Collier County, so many of our residents continue to rebuild. We are proud to partner with Team Rubicon in an effort to make sure all those in the community who need help receive it.”

In March 2018, Team Rubicon launched its home rebuild pilot program in Houston, Texas to support long-term recovery in the wake of Hurricane Harvey. This South Florida Home Rebuild Program will be built on the success and lessons learned from the Houston pilot.

“Team Rubicon is excited to launch this Home Rebuild Program in South Florida and for the opportunity to help get families impacted by Hurricane Irma back to a sense of pre-storm normalcy,” said David Venables, Deputy Director of Rebuild at Team Rubicon. “It’s a privilege to partner with The Salvation Army on this project. This organization brings deep community ties, resources and know-how that will help us rebuild homes and lives in South Florida.”

The launch of this program in South Florida marks a return to Collier County for Team Rubicon. Soon after Hurricane Irma made landfall as a Category 4 storm, Team Rubicon launched a response operation to provide immediate disaster relief. Now, the organization is returning to Collier County to address on-going, long-term recovery needs in impacted communities.

Team Rubicon boasts an 80,000-strong, highly-skilled volunteer force that helps communities stabilize and recover after a disaster. Since its 2010 inception, Team Rubicon has responded to over 285 disasters, including Hurricanes Harvey, Irma, and Maria.

# # #

About Team Rubicon

Team Rubicon unites the skills and experiences of military veterans with first responders to rapidly deploy emergency response teams. Team Rubicon is a nonprofit organization offering veterans a chance to continue their service by helping those afflicted by disasters, and also themselves. Programs and services are made possible by the support of individual donors, corporate partners, and the dedication of volunteers across the country. To join or support Team Rubicon’s mission, visit www.teamrubiconusa.org.

 

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 a wide 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 for the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. To learn more, follow @SalArmyFlorida or visit www.SalvationArmyFlorida.org.

salvation army disaster

Organization providing meals, serving first responders as they prepare for relief efforts

ALEXANDRIA, VA (September 14, 2018) – The Salvation Army’s national network of disaster staff and volunteers has been activated since Monday, September 10, to mobilize for storm preparation and response. Trained emergency disaster personnel are prepared to provide food, hydration, and emotional and spiritual support to survivors and first responders. Staff and volunteers are also serving at emergency shelters and staffing emergency operations centers. An incident command team and staging area for North and South Carolina has been established in Charlotte.

The Salvation Army has committed more than 60 mobile feeding units across four states to Hurricane Florence relief operations. Each canteen can provide up to 1,500 meals per day. The Salvation Army is also working closely with other charitable disaster responders, such as Operation BBQ Relief, who is staging a kitchen alongside Salvation Army units in Charlotte. As of September 14, The Salvation Army has provided more than 8,000 meals, 6,500 drinks and 5,000 snacks.

Because The Salvation Army has more than 7,600 centers of operation in the U.S., they’re often the first ones on the scene. And they don’t leave – as part of the communities they serve, they help people recover now and later rebuild.

“Donations from the generous public will help provide food, shelter and other valuable resources that survivors need,” said Lt. Col. Ward Matthews, national community relations and development secretary for The Salvation Army. “After immediate needs are met, The Salvation Army will remain and continue to partner with impacted communities to rebuild, which could take years.”

The best way to support the survivors of Hurricane Florence is by making a financial contribution. This gives relief organizations flexibility to quickly and efficiently meet the immediate needs of disaster survivors without incurring many of the costs associated with sorting, packing, transporting and distributing donated goods.

To contribute to The Salvation Army’s Hurricane Florence disaster relief efforts, visit HelpSalvationArmy.org, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY, ask Amazon Alexa to “make a donation to The Salvation Army,” or text “STORM” to 51555.

A digital media kit with b-roll, fact sheet, photography and social media assets can be found here.

###

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 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. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations – during emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to SalvationArmyUSA.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

canteen florida

LUTZ, FL (September 10, 2018) – Having strengthened from a tropical storm over the weekend, Hurricane Florence is expected to increase in significance as it approaches the southeastern United States. As the threat to Florida’s coast has lessened, The Salvation Army will deploy mobile feeding units, staff, and volunteers from across Florida to assist areas where the storm is expected to make landfall in North and South Carolina.

Teams from Clearwater, Cocoa, Fort Lauderdale, Fort Myers, Jacksonville, Melbourne, Miami, Orlando, St. Petersburg, Stuart, Tallahassee, and Vero Beach are preparing now to be in place mid-week in anticipation of serving impacted areas after the storm.

“The units being deployed each have the capacity to serve 500 – 1,500 meals per day,” says Steven Hartsook. Salvation Army Director of Emergency Disaster Services.

“The Salvation Army prepares all year to be able to serve where needed. Individual and family preparedness is crucial in advance of a disaster, and we want to remind everyone that the time to prepare for the next storm is now,” says Hartsook.

The Salvation Army will also deploy a 53’ refrigerated feeding support trailer from Florida to North Carolina to assist with transporting food and drinks to affected areas.

To support The Salvation Army’s Hurricane Florence relief efforts, visit www.HelpSalvationArmy.org. For updates on The Salvation Army’s emergency disaster response efforts, visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org.

 

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Media Contact:
Lindsay Crossland, Director of Communications
P: 727-403-7766
E: Lindsay.Crossland@uss.salvationarmy.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 135 years in the United States. Nearly 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster survivors, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. Eighty-two cents of every dollar donated to The Salvation Army are 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, visit www.SalvationArmyFlorida.org or follow on Twitter @SalArmyFlorida.

Clearwater Irma

With the help of faithful volunteers, donors, and community partners, The Salvation Army continues to meet the needs of those impacted by Hurricane Irma across Florida.

Here’s a glimpse of how we’ve been able to serve this past year through your generosity:

hurricane irma infographic

  • As of July 2018, The Salvation Army has distributed more than $9million in aid to those affected by Hurricane Irma across Florida, with an additional $20million recovery plan in place to continue to meet the long-term needs of the impacted areas. Aid has included serving more than 1million meals, drinks and snacks, and providing nearly 5,000 nights of shelter.
  • The Salvation Army received $370,000 from the Richard M. Schulze Family Foundation to help first responders, educators, low-income households and senior citizens replace appliances, complete home repairs, and cover rent and mortgage payments. Grants were distributed in amounts of $500 – $2,500, and these funds have assisted nearly 500 men, women, and children to date.
  • Through a partnership with The Home Depot, The Salvation Army is able to purchase supplies at a discounted rate for residents in Southwest Florida and the Florida Keys to repair and rebuild their homes. The Salvation Army has allocated $5million in recovery aid for this program.
  • In the first phase of the disaster response, The Salvation Army worked with partner agencies to cover insurance deductibles for damaged homes and automobiles to help people get back on their feet as quickly as possible.
  • For individuals and families who have been displaced form their primary residence due to Irma, The Salvation Army offers relocation assistance. This may come in the form of purchasing a bus or airline ticket, renting a moving truck, or making a deposit on an apartment in their destination city.
  • The Salvation Army’s long-term recovery plans include the hardest hit region of Florida, which includes the Ft. Myers area (Lee, Hendry, and Glades Counties), the Naples area (Collier County), and the Florida Keys (Monroe County).

To  help The Salvation Army continue to serve your neighbors in need:

Florida Panthers and The Salvation Army

Thank you The Florida Panthers for hosting 1,000 “hurricane heroes” at home opener and generous support of The Salvation Army.

“It’s amazing to see, not only the generosity, but the spirit and camaraderie of the Panthers,” said Kevin Smith, The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services Director for Florida. “We’ve already given out a direct service of $4.2 million in just the Hurricane Irma response across Florida. Every dollar that comes to disaster services goes directly to disaster services. This gift by the Panthers will extend what we’re able to do for families across South Florida.”