As Tornadoes Interrupt Christmas, Salvation Army Rolls With The Punches

Jackson, MS (December 26, 2012)—After serving Christmas dinner to over one thousand residents of Mobile on Tuesday, no one could blame The Salvation Army for wanting to pack it in for the night. But Mother Nature had other plans for the Christian Mission located along live oak lined streets in the Mobile’s Historic Dauphin neighborhood. Less than a mile away, rain, lightning and a tornado tore through neighborhoods and a medical district leaving in its path toppled trees, snapped power lines and property damage.

In Mississippi, a small tornado interrupted Christmas celebrations in Monticello while in Troy, Alabama residents felt the rumble of tornadic activity just in time for Christmas dinner.

As morning dawned in Mobile, Alabama residents emerged from their refuge to begin evaluating the damage left behind from the Christmas Day tornado. Besides being greeted by blustery cold conditions, they were also met with coffee, biscuits and donuts from The Salvation Army.

The scene was similar across portions of south Mississippi and south Alabama. Volunteers and staff from Troy, Alabama and McComb, Mississippi began responding to tornado impacted areas with compassion, comfort and hot meals/coffee.

Feeding units will continue to work throughout the day in Mobile, Troy and Monticello, Mississippi providing physical and emotional support, as well as spiritual comfort.

“Christmas is a time of celebrating the Prince of Peace and Wonderful Counselor, but these storms interrupted that peace,” stated Bill Feist of The Salvation Army. “Our desire is to provide a ministry of presence to impacted areas and hopefully the peace and counsel that The Salvation Army cares.”

Donations are always needed to offset the costs of services to storm victims. Please visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY to donate. All donations for disaster services will be used for the designated purpose. For additional updates please follow us at www.twitter.com/salarmyalm.

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 33 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year. The Salvation Army provides food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, and outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing, shelter and opportunities for underprivileged children. About 83 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in nearly 9,000 communities nationwide. For more information go to http://www.salvationarmyusa.org, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY, or send a check to your local Salvation Army earmarked for disaster relief.

The Salvation Army Responds to Christmas Day Storms

Mobile, AL (December 25, 2012)—For the second time in less than a week, The Salvation Army of Coastal Alabama is preparing to deploy its mobile feeding unit to neighborhoods affected by tornadic activity. Throughout Christmas Day a line of severe weather moved steadily throughout the Gulf South. Around Five O’Clock this evening, a tornado was reported in central portions of Mobile, Ala. Initial reports indicate that a “wedge” tornado struck neighborhoods near Murphy High School and the Medical District.

One mobile feeding unit from The Salvation Army of Coastal Alabama has been prepared to provide mass feeding, hydration, and pastoral care to affected areas once storms pass. With more storms expected in the area until around 3 A.M. on Wednesday, The Salvation Army will continue to monitor the need for additional disaster response units on Wednesday morning.

Additionally, The Salvation Army will staff a desk at the Alabama Emergency Operations Center beginning at 4 A.M. on Wednesday.

Due to reports of widespread damage and power outages coupled with the continuing severe weather throughout the evening, The Salvation Army’s Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi Division has placed all disaster units on alert for possible response. All units in the three states are prepared to respond as needed throughout the evening and into the morning.

“This Christmas will find The Salvation Army providing care and compassion to Mississippi residents just as we do each day of the year. We will continue to provide an act of God in serving those affected by these storms,” stated Bill Feist, Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army. “ Our hope is that through the love of Christ the emotional and physical scars can begin to heal.”

Donations are always needed to offset the costs of services to storm victims. Please visit www.salvationarmyalm.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY to donate. All donations for disaster services will be used for the designated purpose. For additional updates please follow us at mwww.twitter.com/salarmyalm.

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 33 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year. The Salvation Army provides food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, and outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing, shelter and opportunities for underprivileged children. About 83 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in nearly 9,000 communities nationwide. For more information go to http://www.salvationarmyusa.org, call 1-800-SAL-ARMY, or send a check to your local Salvation Army earmarked for disaster relief.

Salvation Army in Connecticut Responds to School Shooting Tragedy

The Salvation Army, being part of the community, has provided food and support to the people of Newtown, Connecticut, after 26 people – including 20 children – lost their lives in a gun attack at Sandy Hook Elementary School.

Southern New England divisional leaders, Majors Dave and Eunice Champlin, supported people who had lost loved ones at the evening vigil on Friday 14 December – the night of the shooting – along with divisional headquarters officers Majors Steven and Valerie Lopes, and Captain Todd Hughes (corps officer from neighbouring Danbury). Through the Newtown Service Unit, The Salvation Army offered food and emotional and spiritual care. Local agencies are currently providing counselling.

On Saturday a canteen (mobile feeding unit) from the New London Corps – about 80 miles east of Newtown – arrived to serve meals at the Sandy Hook Fire Department. The canteen was no longer required after Sunday but remains on stand-by, pending further need.

On Sunday evening Majors Champlin, representing The Salvation Army, joined other members of the clergy at a vigil attended by President Barack Obama.

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