Bruce Peterson serving during Hurricane Harvey

On Hurricane Harvey One Year Anniversary The Salvation Army Pays Tribute to Volunteers and Corporate Partners

AUSTIN, TX (August 13, 2018) – The Salvation Army continues to provide long-term recovery services to residents whose lives were forever changed after Hurricane Harvey. Making landfall as a Category 4 Hurricane in late August 2017, Harvey devastated much of the Texas coastline. The storm initially hit the Coastal Bend area causing widespread damage and flooding in Corpus Christi, Rockport, Port Aransas and the surrounding communities. The following days saw similar impact along more than 300 miles of coastline before Harvey stalled over Houston, causing widespread flooding in the city and in the Beaumont area.

Trained Emergency Disaster volunteers and corporate partners played a key part in the massive response efforts of The Salvation Army after Hurricane Harvey. At the peak of service, hundreds of Salvation Army staff and volunteers tirelessly prepared and served meals each day from more than 100 mobile kitchens active in affected communities along the Texas coastline. For many survivors and response teams, the hot food and snacks provided by The Salvation Army’s committed volunteers were the only meals they could count on each day for several weeks.

Bruce Peterson serving during Hurricane Harvey

Bruce Peterson – Disaster Services Volunteer from Williamson County

“We left Austin on Saturday, August 25, right after the storm made landfall and spent the first few days serving meals in Victoria and Seadrift, before moving to La Grange,” said Bruce Peterson, a longtime EDS volunteer from Williamson County. “Victoria was devastated. There was no power at all. All six of our team were able to stay with a friend of mine just outside the city. Incredibly, her house was the only one in the entire neighborhood that had power. We were able to cook 150 breakfast tacos in the morning and delivered breakfast to the entire street,” said Bruce.

Bruce and the EDS volunteer teams from Williamson County were deployed for four weeks. “We typically are out there for 14 days at a time and then our second team will rotate in,” said Bruce. “I got home after about a month and then got a call asking me to help set up a Salvation Army warehouse in Houston. I ended up being gone another 17 days.”

Bruce’s dedication is typical of The Salvation Army trained disaster volunteers who are crucial to the success of our emergency relief efforts. The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) operates a robust and comprehensive volunteer training program. Trained and certified Salvation Army volunteers are the first to be deployed during times of disaster. Available courses include classes in incident management, mobile kitchen operations, food service, emotional and spiritual care and basic first aid and CPR training, among others.

Another volunteer team, all members of The Salvation Army Women’s Service League in Granbury, served in Victoria for a month. “I was part of the second team deployed. By the time I arrived in Victoria, the power was back on and people were beginning to start recovery efforts,” said Linda Dowell, EDS volunteer. “Our team was a praying team. We would pray in the truck that God would guide us, pray as we prepared the food, and were always ready to pray with those who came to us for help. We would deliver food, speak with the survivors for a few moments and then our Emotional and Spiritual Care team would meet with the families,” said Linda. “It was a beautiful thing.”

Beyond the delivery of meals, Emotional and Spiritual Care is a unique aspect of The Salvation Army EDS. Motivated by Christian faith, The Salvation Army deploys specially trained individuals, often ordained Salvation Army Officers (pastors), to offer emotional and spiritual care to rescue workers and disaster survivors.

“Our emergency disaster services volunteers are among some of the most hardworking and committed people I have ever served with,” said Alvin Migues, EDS Director for The Salvation Army in Texas. “This was never more evident than during Hurricane Harvey response. Our registered volunteers know that there is a good chance they’ll be deployed to support relief efforts and, true to form, our people were prepared, available and ready to answer the call when we needed them. The Salvation Army simply couldn’t have responded on the scale that we did, and help so many people, without our volunteers.”

Corporate partnerships also are important to the success of The Salvation Army disaster response efforts. With established long-term relationships with many community-minded businesses, The Salvation Army can count on these partners to step up and support our work in times of disaster.

“The Salvation Army is grateful for our corporate partners who come alongside us in times of need. Whether it be through financial support, gifts in-kind, or perhaps donation of infrastructure and volunteers, they make it possible for us to respond effectively and efficiently on a large scale,” said Migues. “Even today, ongoing partnerships with J.C. Penney, Ashley Furniture, Good360, Rooms To Go, Mattress Firm and many others are making it possible for The Salvation Army to deliver very practical help to individuals and families still working to put their homes and lives back together.”

To support the ongoing work of The Salvation Army in Hurricane Harvey recovery or for more information go to www.salvationarmytexas.org/harvey/

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About The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services

“The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.” While every disaster is unique and creates its own special needs, the core of The Salvation Army’s disaster program consists of several basic services. And while these services address many of the typical needs of a disaster survivor, Salvation Army disaster relief is also flexible. Our services are adapted to the specific needs of individuals and communities and scalable according to the magnitude of the disaster.

 

About The Salvation Army

 

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 129 years in the Austin area. Locally thousands of people receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, to relief for disaster victims, rehabilitation for the addicted, clothing and shelter to those experiencing homelessness and case management to help people move from crisis to self-sufficiency. Eighty-three cents of every dollar The Salvation Army Austin spends is used to support those services in Travis and Williamson counties. For more information, go to SalvationArmyAUSTIN.org, Facebook.com/SalvationArmyAustin, Twitter.com/SalArmyAustin or Instagram.com/SalArmyAustin/

The Salvation Army Marks Hurricane Harvey One-Year Anniversary Pic sm

The Salvation Army Marks One-Year Anniversary of Hurricane Harvey

Long-term recovery to continue for years to come in affected communities along Texas coastline

AUSTIN, TX (August 13, 2018) – The Salvation Army continues to provide long-term recovery services to residents whose lives were forever changed after Hurricane Harvey. Making landfall as a Category 4 Hurricane in late August 2017, Harvey devastated much of the Texas coastline. The storm initially hit the Coastal Bend area causing widespread damage and flooding in Corpus Christi, Rockport, Port Aransas and the surrounding communities. The following days saw similar impact along more than 300 miles of coastline before Harvey stalled over Houston, causing widespread flooding in the city and in the Beaumont area.

The Salvation Army Marks Hurricane Harvey One-Year Anniversary Pic sm

The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) immediately responded on August 25 providing food, hydration, and emotional and spiritual care to survivors and first responders. In addition to local units in the path of the hurricane, trained disaster teams from throughout Texas and beyond staged in San Antonio and deployed in the aftermath of the storm. At the peak of service, 103 Salvation Army mobile feeding units were working in affected areas delivering almost 1 million meals, 33,000 food boxes, 92,000 comfort kits and 15,000 cleanup kits in the months after the storm.

Thanks to the generous support of the American public, corporate donors, and philanthropic organizations, The Salvation Army raised more than $30 million for Hurricane Harvey response and recovery efforts. The Austin area alone raised more than $2.2 million from individuals, foundations, organizations and corporations. The long-term recovery of storm survivors, with their many and varied needs, is an ongoing focus for the Army, and is where the bulk of donated funding is allocated.

“Hurricane Harvey required a response and ongoing recovery efforts from The Salvation Army not seen in Texas since Hurricane Katrina,” said Lt. Colonel Ronnie Raymer, Commander of the Texas Division of The Salvation Army. “The immediate response of our Emergency Disaster teams was swift and effective. We were able to provide practical assistance in the form of a hot meal, a drink, perhaps a cleanup kit, and an encouraging word and prayer to many thousands of people who overnight found themselves in crisis. It was such a blessing to be told, ‘Thank you, I knew The Salvation Army would come’ by those in affected communities. However, though the flood water has long receded and much of the debris is gone, the recovery for many is going to take a long time.”

Initial Response
Of the total donated, The Salvation Army has spent more than $12 million on emergency response operations, including the deployment of 103 mobile kitchens and EDS teams for up to eight weeks. During response operations, The Salvation Army provided:

  • Almost 1 million meals, drinks and snacks
  • 92,000 comfort/hygiene kits
  • More than 15,000 cleanup kits.
  • 140,000 hours of employee and volunteer service
  • Emotional and spiritual care to 57,000 individuals
  • Emergency financial aid to thousands of families with assistance such as gift cards, vouchers to Salvation Army Family Stores and referrals for a variety of services.

All the while, The Salvation Army continued to operate its regular programs and services, providing meals, emergency shelter, clothing and energy assistance to residents in need who were not affected by the disaster.

“Salvation Army disaster teams from as far as Hawaii, Canada and California were deployed to serve in Texas, along with units from our neighboring states. Teams served for 14 days at a time and worked tirelessly to provide much-needed relief to those affected. This is a testament to the dedication and scope of The Salvation Army,” said Lt. Colonel Raymer. “For many of those we helped, this was the worst day of their lives. The Salvation Army works to provide for not only the physical needs of a person, but also the spiritual needs. We will continue to serve our neighbors whenever and wherever there is need.”

Long-term Recovery
As the disaster response has transitioned from immediate response to long-term recovery services, The Salvation Army continues to support families affected by Harvey and to help rebuild communities. The Salvation Army has committed the balance of the total donated, $18 million, to long-term recovery, including the following:

  • Supporting long-term recovery case management and direct aid for disaster survivors
  • Opening and operating eight warehouses to serve as points of distribution in affected area
  • Programs to help disaster survivors replace furnishings, appliances and general household goods
  • Providing building materials to assist homeowners in repairing damage to homes

The Salvation Army caseworkers are meeting with those in affected areas providing financial assistance and referrals to partner agencies and non-governmental organizations. Eight warehouses serving as points of distribution across the affected region have been opened and these facilities are receiving, sorting and distributing a wide range of items that have been donated to The Salvation Army to help survivors.

Special efforts have been made by The Salvation Army to reach into underserved areas of Texas affected by Harvey, working closely with local community advocates and agencies. Four Regional Recovery Program Managers have been hired to oversee these efforts and to network with partner agencies to provide Salvation Army support and assistance.

“The Salvation Army, motivated by the love of God and with a mission to meet human need, provides service in every zip code in Texas and is committed to stand by its brand promise “Doing the Most Good,” as individuals and families continue to put life back together,” said Lt. Colonel Raymer. “We were there long before the hurricane hit, and we’ll be there long after the recovery process is over.”

To support the ongoing work of The Salvation Army or for more information go to www.salvationarmytexas.org/harvey/

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About The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services
“The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.” While every disaster is unique and creates its own special needs, the core of The Salvation Army’s disaster program consists of several basic services. And while these services address many of the typical needs of a disaster survivor, Salvation Army disaster relief is also flexible. Our services are adapted to the specific needs of individuals and communities and scalable according to the magnitude of the disaster.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for more than 129 years in the Austin area. Locally thousands of people receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, to relief for disaster victims, rehabilitation for the addicted, clothing and shelter to those experiencing homelessness and case management to help people move from crisis to self-sufficiency. Eighty-three cents of every dollar The Salvation Army Austin spends is used to support those services in Travis and Williamson counties. For more information, go to SalvationArmyAUSTIN.org, Facebook.com/SalvationArmyAustin, Twitter.com/SalArmyAustin or Instagram.com/SalArmyAustin/

children playing brass instruments

Salvation Army Offers Free Music Conservatory for Local Children and Youth

Salvation Army Offers Free Music Conservatory for Local Children and Youth
Summer program provides performing arts lessons that are open to all

AUSTIN, TX (June 29, 2018) – The Salvation Army is offering a free summer music conservatory July 9 to 27 for children and youth ages 6 to 17, from 10 am to 2 pm Monday through Thursday at The Salvation Army Citadel Corps, temporarily located at 6510 South Congress Avenue. Classes include brass, chorus, music theory and electives such as percussion, timbral, basic piano and guitar. Also included will be Bible classes in a Vacation Bible School format.

Lunch and a snack will be provided each day. Optional field trips on Fridays will be available for a small cost.

The music programs at The Salvation Army Citadel Corps continue to grow under the leadership of Corps Officers, Captains Joe and Maxie DeBlanc who have a passion for sharing the gift of music with the young people in our community. Being part of this music group provides a safe and secure environment for local children and youth to learn and grow. The Austin program is connected to statewide musician showcases.

For more information, please contact Captain Joe DeBlanc at 512-696-5861 or Captain Maxie DeBlanc at 512-696-5803.

Contact:
Jan Gunter, Deputy Development Director
Direct: 512.634.5910 Cell: 512.944.0572

Hurricane Harvey 2017/Emergency Disaster Services Team in Port Lavaca

2018 Hurricane Season Begins June 1 – The Salvation Army Stands Prepared for Active Season

MEDIA RELEASE

6/1/2018

For Immediate Release

Contact: Jan Gunter, Communications Director, 512-634-5910

2018 Hurricane Season Begins June 1 – The Salvation Army Stands Prepared for Active Season

The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services is preparing for the possibility of an active 2018 hurricane season, officially beginning on June 1 and running through November 30.

The 2017 Atlantic hurricane season was a hyperactive and catastrophic season, featuring 17 named storms, 10 hurricanes and 6 major hurricanes – ranking it alongside 1936 as the fifth-most active season since records began in 1851. The first disaster response by The Salvation Army took place in 1900 when a devastating hurricane destroyed Galveston, Texas, killing more than 5,000 people. The devastation was so significant that the National Commander at the time, Frederick Booth-Tucker, ordered Salvation Army Officers from across the country to proceed to the disaster site to provide spiritual and practical assistance. At that time, there were no mobile kitchens, so the officers walked the streets giving people water and coffee.

Hurricane Harvey, which made landfall along the Texas coastline on the evening of August 24, 2017, prompted the largest Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) relief efforts seen since Hurricane Katrina in 2005. The Salvation Army EDS teams responded immediately providing food, hydration, and emotional and spiritual care to survivors and first responders. At the peak of service 103 Salvation Army mobile feeding units were working in affected areas delivering more than 950,000 meals, 33,000 food boxes, 92,000 comfort kits and 15,000 cleanup kits in the months that followed. Relief efforts continue in affected areas and have transitioned from response to recovery with families and individuals meeting with regional Salvation Army case workers in the effort to put their lives back together.

Salvation Army EDS teams throughout Texas stand prepared and ready to respond once again. Statewide, the organization operates a fleet of 31 mobile kitchens, five rapid response vehicles, two field kitchens with the combined capacity to produce 25,000 meals per day, one communications unit, and a command unit. “One of the strengths of The Salvation Army EDS structure is that it is rapidly scalable in times of disaster,” said Alvin Migues, EDS Director for The Salvation Army, Texas Division. “Our mobile kitchens are assigned to Salvation Army units around the state and can be mobilized very quickly to respond to an event. Additionally, The Salvation Army has its own disaster training curriculum and we have fully trained teams ready to deploy literally at a moment’s notice.”

“The work of The Salvation Army touches every zip code in Texas,” said Migues. “With the generous support of donors and committed partners our trained staff and volunteers stand prepared to meet the challenges and resulting needs of the 2018 hurricane season.”

For more information on The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services, visit: www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org

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