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September is Disaster Preparedness Month

September is disaster preparedness month. Is your family ready?

Governor Rick Perry has declared September as Disaster Preparedness Month in Texas. This coincides with National Preparedness Month across the United States.

Disasters in Texas

The Lone Star State encounters at least one major disaster nearly every calendar year. Texans regularly face floods, wildfires, tornadoes, hurricanes and other severe weather. September is traditionally dangerous hurricane season along the Gulf Coast. It is time to get prepared.

We encourage everyone to assemble a disaster supply kit of important emergency supplies including a first aid kit, a NOAA Weather Radio or battery-operated radio, flashlight, medication, non-perishable food items, and bottled water. Be aware of where the nearest storm shelter is located, know where you and loved ones will go if an evacuation is necessary, and develop an emergency plan for communicating with family and friends.

The Salvation Army in Times of Disaster

The Salvation Army of Austin has an active emergency disaster services team in Williamson County – the only fully volunteer-led team in the State of Texas. We are working to build an active team in Travis County. We are currently recruiting volunteers for this team. Click here to learn how you can join our active disaster response team and make a difference for others during times of disaster. Join our team today.

For the latest emergency disaster services news, please visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org and follow latest updates on Twitter @SalArmyEDS. Interested parties may also visit www.salvationarmyAUSTIN.org, Facebook at www.facebook.com/SalvationArmyAustin, and follow us on Twitter @SalArmyAustin

For more information about Disaster Preparedness Month, please visit the following websites:

DoD Plays Key Role in Disaster Response, Official Says

TDEM website

 

The Salvation Army Family Store sign

Behind the scenes of the Family Stores

The Salvation Army Family Store sign

by Rebecca Reap, Intern
Photos by Teodora Pogonot

You’ve probably seen or heard of The Salvation Army Family Stores. You may have even shopped there to find pieces for a do-it-yourself project or costume. However, I doubt you know all that goes on behind the scenes of the Family Stores and the impact you have when you shop there!

As an intern here at The Salvation Army this summer, I toured the Family Store Warehouse and Adult Rehabilitation Center. It was an eye opening experience that showed me not only all the work that goes into each item being sold at the Family Stores but also the lives that are shaped and changed by every purchase.

Our tour began at the Adult Rehabilitation Center. Prior to this visit, I had no knowledge this Center existed let alone had anything to do with The Salvation Army and its Family Stores. I quickly learned it has everything to do with it! The Adult Rehabilitation Center is a center for men who have chosen to seek help in overcoming their addictions. On our tour we visited the dorm-like rooms where the men live during their treatment.

The men at the Adult Rehabilitation Center sleep in dorm-like rooms.

The men at the Adult Rehabilitation Center sleep in dorm-like rooms.

We stopped by classrooms where clients attend life skills classes and the library filled with a variety of books and a supply of blank greeting cards for them to write to their loved ones. Our tour guide planned to introduce us to a social worker, counselor, and chaplain who worked at the center but all three were in the midst of their duties, providing guidance to their clients.

Dining room of the Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) in Austin

Dining room of the Adult Rehabilitation Center (ARC) in Austin

Along the tour we visited the recreation room and dining area where we saw men busy at work, cleaning and cooking. Our guide explained to us that part of the program includes work therapy and these clients’ duties are to maintain these areas within the center. Outside, we saw where most clients are assigned to participate in work therapy – The Family Store Warehouse.

The Salvation Army Family Store Warehouse on South Congress in Austin.

The Salvation Army Family Store Warehouse on South Congress in Austin

Some load and unload items, sort and divide by “good condition, poor condition, needs repairs” and others inside the warehouse actually clean and refurbish items that are delivered.

I had assumed that when the community dropped off items, they were just sent to the nearest store but in fact, each item goes through a series of processes to make it as new and improved as possible. Some of the men working there rebuild chairs and furniture as well as polish and upholster it. Others repair bikes, electronics and jewelry, sorting and prioritizing sale of these items.

It was amazing to see all the people here, working together to build a better life for themselves and taking pride in their work, knowing that every item sold will go to helping them and others conquer their addictions. We ended our tour in a Salvation Army Family Store on South Congress Avenue.

 

Clothing in the Salvation Army Family Store on South Congress Avenue in Austin

Clothing in the Salvation Army Family Store on South Congress Avenue in Austin

It was quiet, shoppers strolling by, their eyes scanning the shelves and racks. The shoppers were unaware that every one of these items and their purchases are saving another person from a life of addiction.

My passion for The Salvation Army and my own work here has grown immensely since my visit. Not only will I be shopping at the Family Stores now that I know about the treasures inside, but, like the men at the ARC, I will take pride in what I do and remember that it is about more than just a store or a sale. It’s about helping another person and making a better life.

kaylabanner

Learning to Give at a Young Age

Since the age of six, Kayla has been utilizing her birthday celebrations to collect gifts for charity.

Kayla is a part of the “small but growing group of children and teenagers who are engaging in charitable giving… at a time when most children their age are focused on sports, music or just themselves.” (Sullivan, The New York Times).

A few weeks ago Kayla Rogers celebrated her 12th birthday. Just like most kids her age, Kayla threw a party with friends, games, and gifts. However, the gifts her friends brought were not for her.

Kayla chose to collect and donate items to The Salvation Army Summer Camp Supply Drive. After hearing about the drive to help local children of homelessness and poverty from a family friend, Kayla prepared her party invitations, including a description of The Salvation Army, the purpose of the supply drive, and a list of items to be donated. Kayla, with the help of her friends, collected a number of sleeping bags, blankets, washcloths, toothbrushes, shampoo and deodorant, all to be donated to The Salvation Army. In the past, Kayla has donated items to the Williamson County Animal Shelter and a medical mission trip to Honduras in which her father and sister participated.

kayla

According to Paul Sullivan‘s article, “Learning Young the Gift of Helping Others,” most times, the desire to give stems from family and parents as is the case with Kayla.

Kayla’s inspiration to serve others began with her sister, who, as well as participating in the aforementioned mission trip, was a volunteer for the Georgetown Ride On Center for Kids (R.O.C.K.) which provides therapies and activities for disabled persons through interaction with horses. Kayla learned that there are others who do not have the same things as her and she wanted them to make a difference for them. This idea led to Kayla’s decision to forego birthday presents for the past six years in order to support others in need.

As well as being active in the community, Kayla enjoys participating in the Gateway College Preparatory Volleyball team, Honor Society, and UIL Oral Reading. In addition to collecting items for The Salvation Army, Kayla celebrated her 12th birthday by the pool with friends and playing kickball and volleyball. Kayla plans to maintain her birthday tradition in the years to come and continue serving both animals and humans alike, just like The Salvation Army’s mission to serve without discrimination.

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The items Kayla donated are with the kids at summer camp right now! Thanks to her donations, they are able to have a fun camp experience this summer and from the looks of it they taking full advantage of the opportunity! Thank you Kayla for your help and we hope you continue Doing the Most Good.

Sullivan, Paul. “Learning Young the Gift of Helping Others.” The New York Times. The New York Times, 04 July 2014. Web. 14 July 2014.
http://www.nytimes.com/2014/07/05/your-money/teaching-children-philanthropy.html?_r=0

Jill with Colonel Dorris Banner

Volunteer of the Month Jill Harrison

Jill with Colonel Dorris

Jill Harrison has led the Operation Facelift effort with dedication and is committed to making our shelter a more comforting place for those we serve.

Our July volunteer of the month, Jill Harrison, stepped right up when she saw a call for volunteers to help with Operation Facelift at The Salvation Army’s downtown Social Service Center.  Operation Facelift is an on-going project to refresh and update our emergency shelter which houses close to 5,000 men, women, and children annually. Jill quickly saw that the dining room which serves almost 350,000 meals a year was in need of a makeover. She took the dining room along with our Chapel on as a personal project.

We interviewed Jill about why she volunteers. Click this link to watch the video.

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Thanks to Jill, the dining room and Chapel now have a fresh coat of paint, artwork, decor, new lighting, and a home-like feel. Our clients, along with staff, love the uplifting change and appreciate Jill’s hard work! She continues to act as an interior design consultant for us on other Operation Facelift projects, all while juggling her very busy career at Jill Harrison Interior Designs.

If you are interested in becoming involved with Operation Facelift, click here for more information.

Salvation Army volunteer Cindy-Wells-with-Catholic-Charities-worker

Local Volunteers Minister as Salvation Army Services Requested on Texas Border

Salvation Army volunteer Cindy-Wells-with-Catholic-Charities-worker on Texas border

Salvation Army volunteer Cindy Wells serves alongside Catholic Charities worker

Randy-O'Dell-serving-soup on Texas border

Randy O’Dell serves hot, nutritious soup to immigrant families

Meeting Human Needs in His Name on the Texas Border

The mission statement of The Salvation Army clearly states the organization’s commitment to “meet human needs in His name without discrimination.” This practical ministry of The Salvation Army is in operation as volunteers and staff work to provide emergency assistance to immigrants who have crossed the Texas border.

At the request of Border Patrol and several other public agencies, The Salvation Army is working closely with a number of VOAD partners (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster) to ensure that humanitarian needs are being addressed for families and individuals who have been processed by the Border Patrol and are awaiting transportation to their various destinations. Food, clean clothing, hygiene products, showers, and other services are being made available in the towns of Brownsville, Harlingen, McAllen, Laredo and El Paso, communities where The Salvation Army has historically served for decades.

Williamson County disaster volunteer Sharon O'Dell dishes up fruit for immigrant families in McAllen, on the Texas border.

Williamson County disaster volunteer Sharon O’Dell dishes up fruit for immigrant families in McAllen.

It is estimated that up to 500 individuals are being served daily on the Texas border with the greatest concentration being in McAllen, Laredo and El Paso. The Austin disaster services team out of Williamson County, which is active in local and state disasters, has been deployed to serve in McAllen. Salvation Army volunteers from the Austin area are serving alongside volunteers and staff from other relief agencies, feeding nutritious soup to 160 to 200 individuals each day.

“The Salvation Army is working with both government and partner agencies to provide emergency support, basic necessities, and relief in South West Texas to immigrant children and families,” said Major Richard McConniel, Divisional Secretary of The Salvation Army, Texas Division. “All around the world people come to The Salvation Army at their times of greatest need for help. The dynamic crisis along our country’s border is yet another call for our staff and volunteers to live out our mission, to meet human needs in the name of Christ without discrimination.”

Donations supporting the work of The Salvation Army on the Texas border can be made by mailing a check to PO Box 1000, Austin, TX, 78767, with the notation “Disaster – TX Border Assistance” or by credit card at www.donate.salvationarmyusa.org/uss/texas-border-assistance. For information on how to join volunteer disaster services team in Austin, visit SalvationArmyAustin.org.

The Salvation Army in Austin serves more than 20,000 men, women and children a year through its twelve locations in Travis and Williamson Counties, providing basic needs, shelter, employment services and rehabilitation. Find us at Facebook.com/SalvationArmyAustin or @SalArmyAustin.

 

The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Logo

The Salvation Army Services Requested on Texas Border

Emergency Disaster Logo

The Salvation Army is serving those in need on the Texas border

The mission statement of The Salvation Army clearly states the organization’s commitment to “meet human needs in His name without discrimination.” This practical ministry of The Salvation Army is in operation as volunteers and staff work to provide emergency assistance to immigrants who have crossed the Texas border.

At the request of Border Patrol and several other public agencies, The Salvation Army is working closely with a number of VOAD partners (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster) to ensure that humanitarian needs are being addressed for unaccompanied children and families being cared for by the Department of Health and Human Services. Food, clean clothing, hygiene products, showers, and other services are being made available in the towns of Brownsville, Harlingen, McAllen, Laredo and El Paso, communities where The Salvation Army has historically served for decades.

It is estimated that up to 500 individuals along the Texas border are being served daily with the greatest concentration being in McAllen, Laredo and El Paso.

“The Salvation Army is working with both government and partner agencies to provide emergency support, basic necessities, and relief in South West Texas to immigrant children and families,” said Major Richard McConniel, Divisional Secretary of The Salvation Army, Texas Division. “All around the world people come to The Salvation Army at their times of greatest need for help. The dynamic crisis along our country’s border is yet another call for our staff and volunteers to live out our mission, to meet human needs in the name of Christ without discrimination.”

Donations supporting the work of The Salvation Army on the Texas border can be made by mailing a check to 6500 Harry Hines Blvd, Dallas, TX 75235, with the notation “Disaster – Texas Border Assistance” or by credit card at https://donate.salvationarmyusa.org/uss/texas-border-assistance

Salvation Army Today, June 26, 2014

Salvation Army Today, June 26, 2014

General André Cox has set the “Mind the Gap” challenge

General André Cox has set the “Mind the Gap” challenge, which Salvationists and friends can raise funds to send people from developing world to The Salvation Army’s 150th anniversary celebration in London next year!

sar.my/givemtg

Mix Morning Show Says Yes

Say YES! And share your story with us

Be a part of the trend! The Salvation Army wants to share your stories.

The Salvation Army wants to know how you said YES! Did you volunteer, serve your community, or donate to a cause? If so, we think that’s wonderful and want to share your good deeds with our online community! To let us know how you said YES! print your own “I said YES!” sign, write in what you said yes to, and snap a picture of yourself. Then post your picture to our Facebook page or tweet us.

A few of the people who have shared with us so far are Mix 94.7 Radio DJs Booker, Alex, and Sara and Country Music Artist Cory Morrow.

Mix Morning Show Says Yes

“We said YES! to Doing the Most Good for kids!”

Cory Morrow Says Yes

“I said YES! to teaching guitar lessons!!”

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Currently The Salvation Army is saying yes to doing everything we can to provide shelter, food, clothing, and hope to families experiencing homelessness and addiction. When you say “YES” you are helping support these families as well. The Salvation Army thanks you for Doing the Most Good in your community for those in need.

To reach us via Facebook, find us at Facebook.com/SalvationArmyAustin. To reach us via Twitter, tweet us at @SalArmyAustin.

Click the sign to get your own, printable "I Said Yes! Sign."

Click above image for a printable “I Said Yes! Sign.”

Vision Plan

The Salvation Army Founders’ Day Thunderclap

On 2 July 1865, in poverty-stricken east London, William and Catherine Booth began what would later become The Salvation Army. The international church and charity now serves in 126 countries worldwide, meeting human needs in Jesus’ name without discrimination. Join us as we mark 149 years of faithful service. We’re not asking for money – simply encouraging people to join our thunderclap!

Join Salvation Army IHQ in sharing this message together at the same time – automatically.

Happy 149th birthday Salvation Army! Meeting needs in 126 countries worldwide: thanks for being there. #SAFoundersDay http://thndr.it/1hQXbYX

Sharon Morrison

Volunteer of the Month Sharon Morrison

Volunteer of the Month Sharon Morrison

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every month, The Salvation Army honors a dedicated volunteer for their hard work and for supporting our mission in helping those who need it most. It’s June, and we are proud to announce Sharon Morrison as our Volunteer of the Month. You can join Sharon as a Salvation Army volunteer here.

Sharon Morrison works for an agency that provides mental health services and outreach for people who are experiencing homelessness.

For the past 10 years, she has volunteered with The Salvation Army and leads a Bible Study every Wednesday evening at the social services center downtown. The residents are invited to be a part of a Bible study, join in worship music, and share their story. Sharon helps them use their faith to deal with issues they are faced with. She sees the importance of how they are strengthened by their faith in dealing with the challenges in their lives.
We could tell you about Sharon, but we thought you’d like to hear it from Sharon herself:

“What inspired me to volunteer at The Salvation Army lies within the scriptures and to be as Jesus was on Earth. To be a part of helping those who are at a disadvantage. To be a part of those who have been hurt and to be a part of their healing. To allow God to use us to demonstrate his love, healing, and whatever is needed to live a better life. I saw the opportunity and embraced it.

“One particular moment that touched me as a volunteer is that, you know as Christians, we rely on the supernatural power of God to help with situations we really don’t know what to do about. There was a lady who came into the Chapel and she was crying because she had become so dis-engaged with her family. She was also looking for work and everything it took to get her life back together. So, we prayed upon everything that she presented and a week later she came back to see me shouting with joy. She got a job as a Telemarketer and the first caller happened to be her sister. That is nothing but supernatural.

“Volunteering at The Salvation Army gives me a sense of purpose. It helps me feel like my presence is needed. It helps me deal with challenges in my own life and to work harder to overcome the things I need too so I can be present for the residents of The Salvation Army. Others should consider volunteering at The Salvation Army because there is a great need to befriend someone who’s at a disadvantage right now in their lives and be that bridge for them to get back on track, and be a part of the community.” – Sharon

Sharon

Sharon Morrison is doing the most good in our community. We thank you for making a difference in the lives of women and men who are experiencing homelessness by bringing the light of God’s Word to their lives each week.