CALIFORNIA (SEPTEMBER 26, 2015): The Salvation Army is sending additional specialized disaster response volunteers to help assist first responders and survivors of the Valley Fire, which has consumed over 76,000 acres of Northern California, destroying nearly 2,000 structures in its path. The Salvation Army's Golden State Division will provide seven volunteers – sourced from Monterey, Modesto, San Francisco, Santa Clara, Hanford and Merced -- and a canteen to Lake County to provide mass feeding, emotional care and counseling, case work, and other forms support in Middletown and other areas set-up to serve survivors.
The role of providing emotional and spiritual care [ESC] is crucial at this point in the response. As the Valley Fire is contained and evacuees are allowed to return to their neighborhoods, many rely on the emotional counseling of trained Salvation Army ESC personnel, to help grieve the loss of their home or cope with devastation of their community. Meals are critical as hundreds of survivors are still in organized shelters, unable to return to their homes.
The Salvation Army has been engaged in response since the fire broke on September 12, providing fresh meals, snacks, water, drinks, as emotional care to both first responders and the hundreds of individuals displaced by this massive fire. Multiple disaster services canteens -- mobile kitchens, about the size of a parcel delivery truck – were deployed throughout the effort, providing meal services to locations in Middletown, Kelseyville, Clearlake, and Calistoga. So far, approximately 9,800 meals have been served by Salvation Army staff and volunteers in Lake County.
Currently, The Salvation Army is one of multiple agencies stationed at the Lake Local Assistance Center (LAC) in Middletown (21256 Washington Street). Since the LAC opened on September 19, The Salvation Army has provided case workers to assist local residents access basic needs such clothing, food, cleaning supplies, hygiene products, basic housing essentials, as well as assistance with food vouchers, utilities, etc.
Current Salvation Army food and meal service locations within Lake County include:
The latest team of volunteers will remain in place through October 3, giving local volunteers a much-needed break. To date, the majority of volunteers providing support for Valley Fire response efforts have come from Northern California, including Auburn, Napa, San Rafael and Santa Rosa.
The best way to help fire survivors and rescue workers is to make a financial contribution. Monetary donations allow disaster responders to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors as the need continues to be assessed.
Those who wish to support The Salvation Army’s disaster response may do so by sending a check earmarked “Northern California Wildfires” to The Salvation Army, P.O. Box 193465, San Francisco, CA. Credit Card donations can be made online at tsagoldenstate.org or by calling (415) 503-2748 and designate “Northern California Wildfires.”
At this point, in-kind donations are not being accepted outside the disaster area. Used clothing and used furniture are seldom required during an incident. However, these gifts are vitally important in supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army. Please consider giving these items to your local Salvation Army Thrift Store or dial 1-800-SA-TRUCK.
For the latest emergency disaster services news for The Salvation Army across the United States, please visit www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org and follow the EDS team on Twitter @SalArmyEDS.
The Salvation Army is grateful to the public for their continued support.
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