Weekend Tornadoes Lead to New Partnerships of Service
Charlotte, NC – The tornadoes and wind storms that struck North Carolina on April 16 will forever be remembered for the death and destruction left behind. With 24 confirmed deaths and close to 1,000 properties destroyed or damaged, signs of the storm system will remain as a painful reminder for years to come. However, one need only look to neighbors helping neighbors and the explosion of non-profit, for-profit and municipal partnerships aimed at serving those in need. These collaborations are ensuring the most needs are met with speed, efficiency and impact.
Johnstonand Harnett Counties: The Salvation Army has expanded its roving feeding operations to include the distribution of flyers that provide FEMA contact and service information. Lt. Kevin Justice, Commanding Officer for the two-county area, states “We recognized the need to get the FEMA information into the hands of those in need. Our team produced a short flyer that tells who, what, where, when and how of FEMA assistance and we are driving around the impacted areas to deliver the message.” Today in Harnett County, the Salvation Army will distribute 200 prepared meals through its partnership with Colbreth Memorial Pentecostal Holiness Church. Other notable partnerships for the two-counties are with My Eyes Optometry for help with eye glasses and contacts, Community Hospice and Home Care and First South Bank as donation drop-off sites and locally owned McDonalds.
Washington, NC: The Salvation Army has partnered with the prison system to provide onsite meals and hydration support to inmates that are being utilized for the cleanup and clearing of storm debris. The partnership with Askeville Assembly of God for the collection, staging and distribution of material goods remains strong. With an emphasis on material goods for Bertie County, the Salvation Army has received communications from the US Coast Guard station in Elizabeth City and is discussing the possibility and logistics of a united material goods drive.
Raleigh, NC: In the capital city and county, the residents in need are benefiting from the Salvation Army’s many new and expanding partnerships for service. From Food Lion and Harris Teeter grocery chains and the hunger relief agencies of Feed the Children and Speedway Children’s Charities, to “American Idol” viewing parties and media partners WRAL-TV5 and Curtis Media Group, the Salvation Army is at the forefront of service through partnership. Internally, the Salvation Army’s disaster response team and mobile feeding unit have arrived from Greensboro and are supporting the Wake County effort by roving the county and serving impacted areas. “Our plan of action is really quite simple, we are following the path of the tornado as it came through Wake County.”, stated Major Pete Costas, Commanding Officer for the Salvation Army Wake County unit. Thursday will see the return of 5 Community Impact teams throughout the County, each led by 1 Salvation Army staff member accompanied by 3-4 community volunteers. As a follow up to the field assessment work from Tuesday, the teams will be going door-to-door providing food boxes, water, toys for children, FEMA information, case management and spiritual care.
Fayetteville, NC: Salvation Army response teams using mobile feeding units have converted from hot meals to sack lunches and snacks and are focusing on service to impacted residents and cleanup crews. In the last 24 hours 900 meals and snacks have been distributed across the area. Through its partnership with the Red Cross, the Salvation Army is assisting with clothing, furniture and household items through its Family Store. Following Wednesdays’ radiothon with Beasley Broadcasting and Cumulus Radio, 6 semi-trailers of material goods have been collected and will be sorted for distribution to those impacted by the weekend storms.
Bladen County, NC: Another hard hit area, Bladen County and Elizabethtown are receiving Salvation Army services and support from its Wilmington unit. Major Richard Watts, Commanding Officer for the Wilmington unit, shares “We [Salvation Army] will now assist Elizabethtown in setting up a ‘one-stop’ Center and will provide staffing and snacks via our mobile feeding unit.” The Salvation Army has partnered with Sunrise Broadcasting for the collection of monetary gifts and gift cards to be distributed to those in need. The storm response has also seen a new partnership with Bladen County Manager and Elizabethtown Manager in order to serve the community. “The Town and County Manager’s were very appreciative of the Salvation Army for being there to provide for those in need.”, Major Richard Watts.
Salvation Army units throughout the Carolinas are partnering with local other local agencies like the American Red Cross, Baptist Men and United Way to reduce duplication and maximize availability and impact of response and recovery resources. To date, with its partnerships, the Salvation Army has provided nearly 18,000 meals, snacks and drinks to residents, first responders and cleanup crews.
The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those affected by the April 16 Tornadoes and Severe Weather to visit http://www.salvationarmycarolinas.org/ or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY. Monetary and material donations will be used to meet immediate needs of those impacted locally. The Salvation Army encourages you to continue to support your local Salvation Army Family Store and the much needed local programs your in-kind gifts support.
About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 128 years in the United States. Nearly 29 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless and opportunities for underprivileged children. About 83 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmycarolinas.org.