Our 48th Wedding Anniversary Was A Disaster!

Having made plans to go out for a nice, quiet dinner for two in their home town of Fort Worth, Texas, Frank and Bera Calvert were looking forward to celebrating their 48th wedding anniversary. However, Hurricane Alex had plans of its own as it surged towards the South Texas coastline.

Frank and Bera first volunteered with The Salvation Army as bell ringers while living in Daytona, Florida, and have always appreciated the ministry of the organization. Since moving to Texas they have been part of The Salvation Army Disaster Team for almost seven years. Married in Amarillo in 1962, the Calverts are responsible for The Salvation Army Disaster Canteen (mobile kitchen) that serves Tarrant County. On June 29, the eve of their anniversary, they received an emergency call for assistance. They were requested to be part of the State Task Force, meeting in Austin, preparing to be deployed to South Texas in anticipation of Hurricane Alex making landfall.

“It’s just another day to us and is the second time we’ve been called out on our anniversary,” says Frank. “We’re always together, and we have so much fun serving people every day.”

Since joining The Salvation Army Disaster Team the couple has responded to eight hurricanes and countless tornados, floods, fires, and other natural disasters. The Disaster Canteen is capable of serving up to 5,000 meals per day, catering to first responders, other relief workers, and those affected by the disaster.

“There are times, like when we helped with Hurricane Rita, that you see people who have lost everything. They don’t even have food. Then they drive up, you hand them food, and they have tears in their eyes,” Bera says. “That’s what keeps you going. With the help of God, we are able to help them and love doing it.”

ONE WEEK AFTER THE FLOOD, SALVATION ARMY EMERGENCY DISASTER SERVICES CONTINUE IN CORPUS CHRISTI

A week after heavy rains caused flooding in areas of Corpus Christi, Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) personnel report they are continuing to serve meals and drinks to displaced and affected residents from the mobile feeding unit (canteen) and to provide other types of assistance—cleaning kits, blankets, clothing, shelter, and financial assistance—as necessary.

In fact, says Major Daniel New, administrator of the Salvation Army in Corpus Christi, the number of meals served has increased slightly each day of service. “On Monday the 20th, we served lunch to 75 at the Ben Garza temporary shelter. The following day we provided lunch at the shelter to 50. On Wednesday we served dinner to 200. Thursday and Friday, we served dinner from the canteen, providing some 700 meals on those days. Over the weekend, we used our Shelter’s kitchen to make boxed lunches that were then distributed by The American Red Cross. We served dinner from our own canteen in the field to approximately 500 individuals.”

The Corpus Christi community has responded quickly and with compassion toward those affected by these floods, providing The Salvation Army with donations of a 48-foot cooler/freezer trailer, two trailers of donated items from the local food bank, and numerous other gifts of food and clothing from individuals. “We are proud of the way our neighbors have responded during this time of crisis,” says Major New. “We know that when we tell the community there is a need, Corpus Christi will help us meet that need.”

Major New and his EDS personnel will meet with representatives from the City of Corpus Christi today, the 27th, to determine how much longer Salvation Army assistance will be needed. “We are scheduled to continue EDS operations through Wednesday, the 29th,” Major New says, “but that date may change after we meet with the City. However, we are prepared and committed to serve our Corpus Christi neighbors for as long as they have a need.”

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

SALVATION ARMY EMERGENCY DISASTER SERVICES TEAM PROVIDING FOOD, DRINKS TO CORPUS CHRISTI RESIDENTS DISPLACED BY FLOODING

Corpus Christi, Texas –  After more than 7 inches of rain fell over the course of two days, areas of Corpus Christi experienced severe flooding on September 20, 2010. Displaced residents were sheltered in the Ben Garza Gym at 1815 Howard Street overnight.

Trained Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) personnel and a stocked mobile feeding unit (canteen) were immediately dispatched to the temporary shelter. The canteen allows Salvation Army staff to provide hot food and drinks to the flood victims as well as shelter and emergency personnel on-site. At any EDS response site, trained Salvation Army personnel are always available to provide emotional and spiritual counseling to crisis victims and emergency workers.

“We were told last night to expect 70 to 100 individuals in the temporary shelter,” says Major Daniel New, administrator of The Salvation Army in Corpus Christi. “And we were able to provide a hot dinner including chopped brisket sandwiches, and drinks—coffee, cocoa, and water— to those individuals.”

In addition to the meals and drinks served at the shelter yesterday, the canteen patrolled the city streets in low-lying and flood-prone areas, distributing another 100 drinks and 50 hot meals. “We were also able to provide a number of blankets and jackets to people in need,” Major reports. “We’re also seeing increased numbers in our own, permanent shelter.”

As rain continues to fall on Tuesday, September 21, the expectation is that more residents may be displaced and require temporary shelter. Salvation Army EDS personnel and the canteen will return to the Ben Garza Gym today to provide a hot lunch (beef stew over rice) and drinks to the evacuees before beginning another 3-hour patrol of the city, serving anyone in need.

“With rain continuing today, and perhaps for the rest of the week,” says Major New, “we are preparing for increased numbers today. We are prepared to serve lunch to 150 at the temporary shelter today and perhaps another 100 meals while on patrol.”

The Salvation Army can also provide the flood evacuees with clean-up kits to be used once they are allowed to re-enter their residences. Clean-up kits provide brooms, mops, buckets, and cleaning supplies to displaced residents.

With permanent operations located in Corpus Christi, The Salvation Army will continue to provide follow-up assistance to evacuees as necessary after they are able to return to their homes.

“The Salvation Army has been called to serve several times in the last week,” Major New says. “And we remain ready, in the face of any local crisis and its aftermath, to provide not only for our neighbors’ physical needs for food and hydration, but also their spiritual and emotional needs for counseling and comfort.”

Salvation Army EDS personnel and the canteen will remain on standby and prepared to serve while the forecast continues to predict rain.

For more information about The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services program or to support The Salvation Army’s emergency relief efforts please visit www.salvationarmyusa.org, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY, or contact your local Salvation Army Corps. A $100 donation will feed a family of four for two days and provide two cases of drinking water and one household cleanup kit.

For current information on Salvation Army disaster activities, follow on Twitter @SalArmyEDS.

SALVATION ARMY EMERGENCY DISASTER SERVICES TEAM RESPONDED TO EXPLOSION IN NORTH BEACH AREA OF CORPUS CHRISTI

Corpus Christi, Texas – Approximately five hours after an explosion in the North Beach area of Corpus Christi yesterday, The Salvation Army was requested to provide Emergency Disaster Services on-site to victims displaced by the explosion as well as emergency responders in the area.


Major Daniel New, administrator of The Salvation Army in Corpus Christi, Texas, reports that trained Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) personnel and a stocked mobile feeding unit (canteen) were immediately dispatched and arrived on-site approximately 30 minutes after the request was made. “We were not contacted until emergency personnel were sure our equipment and personnel could enter the area safely,” Major New explains. “As soon as it was clear the danger had passed, we were requested to mobilize.”


The canteen allows Salvation Army staff to provide food and drinks to victims and emergency personnel. At any EDS response site, trained Salvation Army personnel are always available to provide emotional and spiritual counseling to victims as well as witnesses and emergency workers. “We stand ready to serve our community in any crisis situation,” Major reports. “We are equipped to meet not only their physical needs for food and hydration, but also their spiritual and emotional needs for counseling and comfort.”


Salvation Army EDS personnel and the canteen remained on-site and in service through the night, serving 200 beverages and 28 meals to victims and first responders.


The canteen and EDS returned to their Salvation Army home base in Corpus Christi after 9 this morning, once all victims and emergency personnel were clear.

Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services Respond To Flooding In Belton, Texas, Providing Meals And Other Services

Temple, Texas —  The Salvation Army mobile feeding unit (canteen) and Emergency Disaster Services personnel stationed in Temple have been called into service in Belton, Texas, where 25-30 families have been evacuated from their flooded homes.

“In the immediate aftermath of a storm such as this, Salvation Army relief workers focus primarily on meeting the basic needs of disaster evacuees and first-responders: food, hydration, and emotional and spiritual counseling,” says Major Terry Israel, Divisional Secretary in Texas.

Captain Martha Hidgon, administrator of The Salvation Army in Temple, Texas, and local EDS staff and volunteers have been operating out of The Salvation Army mobile feeding unit (canteen) in Belton since this morning. Captain Hidgon reports that The Salvation Army has served breakfast, snacks, and lunch from the canteen to storm evacuees and first responders. “We have provided food and drinks to 130-140 persons at each of the three servings so far,” she says. Salvation Army officers (ministers), staff, and trained volunteers also offer spiritual and emotional counseling to storm victims and emergency workers.

Captain Hidgon reports the mobile feedings will continue in the area throughout the day, at least. She anticipates that, in addition to food and drinks, her Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services crew will begin distributing personal hygiene kits and baby items (formula, diapers, wipes) to the families and individuals who will be temporarily sheltered at the First Baptist Church. The Salvation Army can also provide these storm evacuees with clean-up kits to be used once they are allowed to re-enter their residences.

Personal hygiene kits include a comb, toothbrush and toothpaste, and wipes for basic hygiene needs. Clean-up kits provide brooms, mops, buckets, and cleaning supplies to displaced residents.

With permanent operations located in Temple, The Salvation Army will continue to provide follow-up assistance to evacuees as necessary after they are able to return to their homes.

Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services personnel positioned in several communities around the state continue to monitor Texas weather conditions and stand ready to deploy within minutes of a request for assistance from local Emergency Management offices.

For more information about The Salvation Army emergency disaster services program or to support The Salvation Army’s emergency relief efforts please visit www.salvationarmyusa.org, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY, or contact your local Salvation Army Corps. A $100 donation will feed a family of four for two days and provide two cases of drinking water and one household cleanup kit.

For current information on Salvation Army disaster activities, follow on Twitter @SalArmyEDS.

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Mary’s Project Aims To Raise Food And Funds For The Salvation Army Food Pantry

FREEPORT, TEXAS – In mid-August, when Mary Heckler read in her local newspaper that The Salvation Army Food Pantry in Freeport, which helps to feed 160 of her neighbors each month, was running dangerously low on supplies, she decided she had to do something about it.

She reached out to Majors Mario and Maria Maldonado, administrators of the Salvation Army in Freeport, with an idea. “When Mary spoke to me,” recalls Major Maria Maldonado, “she said, ‘I am Mary Heckler. I have a weight problem—I have 200 pounds to lose—and I need some motivation. I decided the only way that I could lose weight was if it helped people.’” And so the idea for Mary’s Project was born.

Mary’s Project is simple enough: Mary asks people to pledge to match each pound of weight she loses by donating a pound of food to one of three charities, including The Salvation Army Food Pantry in Freeport.

“Mary’s Project is a real blessing to us,” Major Maldonado says. “We have been filling record numbers of food requests all summer.” In fact, the number of requests for food assistance The Salvation Army Food Pantry has received so far in 2010 has doubled over last year. The majority of the cases served are first-time clients. “We have seen an increase in requests for assistance across all of our programs and services,” Major Maldonado explains, “not just in our Food Pantry. But we are especially troubled by the lack of basic necessities; too many of our children, seniors, and families are going hungry because there’s just not enough money to cover monthly bills and groceries too.”

The Salvation Army Food Pantry, which is located at 1618 Avenue J in Freeport, operates Monday through Friday, from 9 a.m. to noon and 1-4 p.m., year-round and relies heavily on donated food items to meet the community’s increasing need for basic groceries. To stock the Food Pantry, The Salvation Army accepts donations of funds as well as nonperishable food items (pasta, cereal, soups, canned meats and vegetables), breads and baked goods, and baby and hygiene items such as diapers, formula, and wipes.

Mary’s Project officially launched on September 1, 2010, with the creation of a Facebook page. “I have done it! Mary’s Project is up and running,” she writes in an email to Major Maldonado dated that same day. Within six days, Mary gained 49 Facebook supporters and pledges totaling 10 pounds for each pound she loses. Mary has also created a Yahoo Group (http://health.groups.yahoo.com/group/marysproject/) and, through that group, has already received a 3-to-1 pledge (three pounds of food will be donated for each pound she loses).

If you would like to support The Salvation Army Food Pantry in Freeport, you can pledge your support through Mary’s Project on Facebook or Yahoo Groups. Direct donations of nonperishable food, canned items, and baby and hygiene items may also be dropped of at 1618 Avenue J, Freeport, Texas 77541, Monday through Friday. Monetary donations may be mailed to: The Salvation Army Food Pantry, 1618 Avenue J, Freeport, Texas 77541.

If you are in need of basic food items from The Salvation Army Food Pantry, please call 979-233-5420 to make an appointment.

The Salvation Army Food Pantry Location: 1618 Avenue J Freeport, Texas 77541

Office Hours: Monday – Friday, 9 a.m. to noon and 1 to 4 p.m.

Phone: 979-233-5420

Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services Respond To Flooding In Texas Communities, Continue To Monitor The Situation Across Texas

The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) office has released the following update on the effects of TS Hermine’s trek across Texas as of 11 a.m., 9/8/2010:

  • Temple, Texas: Flooding has been reported in the area, and The Salvation Army mobile feeding unit (canteen) has responded flooding in Belton, which has affected approximately 25 homes. The unit and personnel are currently serving meals to victims and first responders and providing clean-up kits; further details of services provided and numbers served will be released later in the day.
  • Corpus Christi, Texas: The mobile feeding unit and EDS personnel traversed local flooded areas yesterday evening, but found no one in need of emergency service. No major damage has been reported in the wake of local flooding. Salvation Army EDS personnel and the mobile feeding unit are monitoring the situation, maintaining contact with local Emergency Management (EM) personnel, and remain on standby.
  • Killeen, Texas: Locally, a trailer park was evacuated and two shelters were open. The Salvation Army administrator, Lt. Jason Moore, contacted Emergency Management and offered assistance; EM personnel reported assistance was not needed at the present time.
  • Freeport, Texas: Reports of local flooding, but no reports of damage. Salvation Army EDS personnel are maintaining contact with the local Emergency Management office. The Salvation Army mobile feeding unit, staff, and volunteers remain on standby.
  • Kerrville, Texas: Local flooding has not caused major damage. Salvation Army EDS staff, volunteers, and the mobile feeding unit remain on standby and are ready to serve in any area, as needed. Maintaining contact with local Emergency Management office.
  • McAllen: No major damage caused by local incidents of flooding. In contact with local Emergency Management, and Salvation Army mobile feeding unit and EDS personnel are maintaining standby status.
  • Waco, Texas: Completed morning conference call with local Emergency Management personnel. Local flooding has been reported, but there are no reports of damage or a need for EDS assistance. Highway 35 was closed due to flooding and high winds on Sept. 7th; vehicles were reported to have been blown off of the highway (no reported injuries).
  • San Antonio, Texas: There have been reports of local flooding, trees downed by high winds, and power outages to homes in the area, but the Emergency Management office has not requested EDS response at this time. Salvation Army personnel and equipment are maintaining standby status.

Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services personnel are monitoring the weather conditions across Texas. Widespread, sustained rain and high winds in some areas are concerns, as they may lead to flash floods, power outages, downed trees, property damage or loss, and injury.

Salvation Army EDS personnel and mobile feeding units stationed across Texas  stand ready to deploy within minutes of a request for assistance from their local Emergency Management office and will remain on standby as long as necessary. Additional Salvation Army EDS units and personnel can be called in from neighboring states, if necessary.

The Salvation Army will continue to monitor the situation and respond with Emergency Disaster Services as necessary.

For more information about The Salvation Army emergency disaster services program or to support The Salvation Army’s emergency relief efforts please visit www.salvationarmyusa.org, 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 Food Pantry Providing Record Numbers of Meals, Supplies Running Low

Over the last three months, The Salvation Army Food Pantry has provided 711 bags of nonperishable food items and baked goods to feed 1,600 Grayson County residents in need.

The Salvation Army Food Pantry, which is located at 5700 Texoma Parkway in Sherman, operates Monday, Wednesday, and Friday from 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m., year-round and relies heavily on donated food items to meet the community’s increasing need for basic groceries.

Captain Don New, the administrator of The Salvation Army in Grayson County, reports that the majority of the 700-plus cases served in the last 90 days were first-time clients. “We are seeing an increase in requests for assistance across the board,” he explains, “not just in our Food Pantry. But we feel this lack of basic necessities is especially troubling; too many of our Grayson County children, seniors, and families are going hungry because there’s just not enough money to cover all of their needs.”

Captain New explains that individuals and families in need of grocery assistance can visit the Salvation Army Food Pantry once every 90 days. “Individuals and families with two to four members receive one bag of nonperishable food items and baked goods, such as pasta, soup, canned meats and vegetables, cereal, and dried milk and juices, and, when we have them, donated baked goods,” Captain New says. “Families with more than five members receive two bags of food.”

To stock the Food Pantry, The Salvation Army accepts donations of funds as well as nonperishable food items (pasta, cereal, soups, canned meats and vegetables), breads and baked goods, and baby and hygiene items such as diapers, formula, and wipes. “We are reaching out to the Grayson community for donations to restock Food Pantry at this time,” says Captain New, “because we have seen time and time again that Grayson County cares for its own. We know that when we share the need, the good people of Grayson County respond. This community has an incredible heart, demonstrating true compassion and generosity toward our neighbors in need.”

If you would like to support The Salvation Army Food Pantry, monetary donations can be mailed to The Salvation Army Food Pantry, 5700 Texoma Parkway, Sherman, Texas 75090. Monetary support and food and baby items may also be dropped off at The Salvation Army at 5700 Texoma Parkway during office hours.

If you are in need of basic food items from The Salvation Army Food Pantry, please call 903-868-9602 to make an appointment.

Salvation Army Food Pantry Location: 5700 Texoma Parkway, Sherman, Texas 75090
Phone: 903-868-9602
Hours: Monday, Wednesday, and Friday, 9-11 a.m. and 1-3 p.m.

The Salvation Army Responds To Flooding Caused By TS Hermine In Corpus Christi

Dallas, TX: – Due to flooding, The Salvation Army mobile feeding unit (canteen) and emergency disaster response personnel based in Corpus Christi, Texas, have been called into service. Once contacted by local emergency management personnel, The Corpus Christi feeding unit was deployed within minutes.

“The Corpus Christi-based emergency disaster response team is the first to be called into service and is equipped to provide food and clean-up kits to those affected by flooding, as well as food and drinks to first responders,” says Major Terry Israel, Divisional Secretary in Texas. “Four other fully stocked and staffed mobile feeding units (canteens) remain on stand-by in communities along Hermine’s path.” Those units, located in Kerrville, San Antonio, Harlingen, and McAllen, will remain on alert for three days. A satellite communications van and other emergency disaster response staff and volunteers also remain on-call.

With recent reports indicating that the eye of the storm is approaching Kerrville, The Salvation Army continues to monitor Hermine’s path and effects.

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