Providing Shelter and Meals Ahead of Hurricane Alex

Dallas, TX: – The Salvation Army in McAllen, TX is providing shelter and food to people as South Texas communities brace themselves for the effects of Hurricane Alex.

On Tuesday, June 29, The Salvation Army opened the doors of its shelter in McAllen to residents evacuating ahead of the storm. The shelter accommodated 73 people of which 23 were evacuees. The Salvation Army also provided food support, serving 140 meals, and remains on stand-by should additional support be required at any of the Hidalgo County designated shelters.

Mobile feeding units (canteens) are in place and ready to serve in Corpus Christi, Harlingen, McAllen and Laredo. Eight additional mobile feeding units (canteens) have been mobilized to the State Staging Area in San Antonio along with staff and volunteers. The Salvation Army mobile kitchen , capable of preparing 20,000 meals daily, and generator have been made available and are ready for deployment if necessary. The Salvation Army will also provide clean-up kits in the event excessive flooding becomes an issue caused by the first Hurricane of the season.

“The Salvation Army is anticipating several days of sheltering and mass feeding along the Gulf Coast area”, said Major Terry Israel, Divisional Secretary in Texas.“ These services will be available at least through Friday, and as long as the need exists.”

For more information about The Salvation Army emergency disaster services program or to support The Salvation Army’s emergency relief efforts please visit, call1-800-SAL-ARMY, or contact your local Salvation Army Corps. For current information on Salvation Army disaster activities, follow on Twitter @SalArmyEDS.

The Salvation Army is Ready and Prepared for Alex

Dallas, TX: – The Salvation Army is prepared for any possible affects of Tropical Storm Alex, predicted to gain hurricane strength as it makes its way across the south eastern Gulf area.

The Salvation Army, Texas Division has 35 mobile feeding units (canteens) on standby ready to roll at a moments notice. Estimates predict these effective resources that distribute supply food, water, and ice will be operational from all points of the state within 4-6 hours, along with the manpower to serve those likely to be affected by this first storm of the season.

Should this or any future storm demand greater resources, The Salvation Army will coordinate additional units from neighboring states. The Texas Division’s Communications Bus, and Field kitchen (capable of preparing 20,000 meals daily) is also on standby for deployment if needed.

Mobile feeding units (canteens) are already operational and in place from Laredo, McAllen, Harlingen and Corpus Christi, with a further eight to follow. Each of these units can deliver anything up to 5,000 meals daily. The units are part of a first response package should the need arise.

“The Salvation Army has been responding in times of disaster since 1900” said Major Terry Israel, Divisional Secretary in Texas. “And have been providing practical assistance and emotional & spiritual care for those affected by natural and man made disasters ever since then.”

For more information about The Salvation Army emergency disaster services program or to support The Salvation Army’s emergency relief efforts please visit, call1-800-SAL-ARMY, or contact your local Salvation Army Corps. For current information on Salvation Army disaster activities, follow on Twitter @SalArmyEDS.

El Paso – “Coming Home”

Texas Brass and Lonestar Brass visit El Paso

May 28-30, 2010

“The hills are alive with the sound of music”! No, not Julie Andrews famously singing in the Austrian Alps, but instead, The Salvation Army’s Texas Brass and Lonestar Brass in El Paso! 60 young people made the 1276 mile round trip from Dallas to El Paso over Memorial weekend to participate in “Coming Home” celebrations. The joyful sound of the brass bands could be heard around the city, and no doubt on the surrounding hills, throughout the weekend as they proclaimed the Gospel Message through music.

The Salvation Army in the USA is divided into four Territories; Western, Central, Eastern, and Southern. As of July 1, the El Paso Salvation Army will officially join the Texas Division, Southern Territory. Until now, El Paso has been part of the Western Territory of The Salvation Army, Southwest Division. In anticipation of this transfer of administration and to celebrate El Paso “Coming Home”, the Divisional Commander of the Texas Division, Lt. Colonel Henry Gonzalez, arranged the Texas Brass and Lonestar Brass visit, May 28-30.

The Salvation Army has been at work in El Paso for over 110 years, since February, 1899, when Ensign J. Pitt and his wife arrived from Albuquerque, New Mexico to “open fire”. By 1901, a hall and barracks were opened along with the “Door of Hope Mission”. Salvation Army services have continued in the city since then and have varied over time to meet the needs of the community in the name of Jesus Christ.

The goal of the young people during the weekend visit was to promote the work of The Salvation Army to the greater community and to establish relationships with Salvation Army church members. A busy schedule had been planned by Captains Keith and Robin Bottjen, Area Coordinators for The Salvation Army in El Paso, which included a Music and Arts Institute on Saturday, several outdoor performances around the city, and participation in Salvation Army church services on Sunday.

Over 3000 people attended “El Paso Teen Fest 2010 Summer Reading Kick-Off” on Saturday, sponsored by the El Paso Library and the El Paso Diablos. Both youth bands performed at this event which provided a wonderful opportunity to promote the ministry of The Salvation Army. Another highlight of the weekend was a visit to a Veterans Home where the young people mingled with the residents who enjoyed the patriotic music as they celebrated Memorial Day.

The young people enjoyed the opportunity to minister to the people in El Paso, and along with the rest of the Texas Division, are looking forward to their new friends “Coming Home”, July 1, 2010.

Highlights from National Salvation Army Week

A Fresh Start

Joseph Moreno and his family were excited as they packed up their belongings and set off on the long trip from California to Texas. A steady job and a new start for the family awaited them at the end of their journey. It was early June and the children were looking forward to exploring their new surroundings during summer vacation.

However, the family’s plans and dreams were left in tatters upon arrival in Texas. The job and accommodation that had been promised fell through and they suddenly found themselves with no job, no place to stay, and no finances for a hotel room. After spending several uncomfortable nights sleeping in their car, the family made their way to The Salvation Army, seeking assistance.

The Salvation Army was able to help, providing food and a short term stay in a hotel. “The family was in a terrible situation and I was so pleased that we could help,” said Kathy Davidson, The Salvation Army Pleasanton Service Center Director. “During their initial visit I realized that children from our city were going to Camp Hoblitzelle the very next day. After making a last minute call to the camp staff, I was delighted to be able to invite the children to join our group for the week.”

Manuel and Jessica boarded the bus headed for Camp Hoblitzelle in Midlothian, TX. They made lots of new friends and had a fun week at camp, far from the worries at home. The children enjoyed the daily activities including swimming, boating, fishing and horse riding. They attended Bible classes and Worship services for the first time and significantly, both made decisions for Christ during the week.

Meanwhile, back at home, Joseph secured a job driving a truck for The Salvation Army, and the family was preparing to move into an apartment. The week at camp not only enriched the lives of the children, but it also provided essential time for the Morenos to find jobs and bring stability to their situation that had looked so desperate only a few days earlier.

The children returned home from camp eager to share stories of their week with their parents. “We were able to welcome our children home to a new apartment and a much better situation thanks to the help we received,” said Joseph. “The kids had a great time at camp and we are very grateful to The Salvation Army.” Today, Joseph works for a trucking company and the family is preparing to purchase their first home. The children are doing well in school and look forward to attending camp again this summer!

We hope to have the necessary funding to provide a potentially life changing week at Camp Hoblitzelle to every child who wishes to attend. Please consider helping a child come to camp this summer by donating to The Salvation Army.

National Doughnut Day – Friday, June 4, 2010

The Salvation Army first celebrated National Doughnut Day it in 1938 in the city of Chicago as a way to honor Salvation Army “doughnut lassies” from World War I. The special day also served as a way to raise funds and bring awareness to the Army’s social service programs during the Great Depression.

Approximately 250 Salvation Army volunteers provided assistance to American soldiers in France starting in 1917 during World War I. The Salvation Army sent a fact-finding mission who concluded that “huts” serving baked goods, providing writing supplies and stamps, and a clothes-mending service, would serve the needs of US enlisted men. Six staff members per hut should include four female volunteers who could “mother” the boys.

Because of the difficulties of providing freshly-baked goods from huts established in abandoned buildings near to the front lines, two Salvation Army volunteers (Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance) came up with the idea of providing doughnuts. These are reported to have been an “instant hit”, and “soon many soldiers were visiting Salvation Army huts”. Margaret Sheldon wrote of one busy day “Today I made 22 pies, 300 doughnuts, 700 cups of coffee.”

The doughnuts became an instant hit that was brought back to America by returning “doughboys.”

Happy National Doughnut Day!

Staff at Texas DHQ enjoying National Donut Day