The Salvation Army Offers Ongoing Care to Erskine Fire Survivors

June 30, 2016
Laine Hendricks | laine.hendricks@usw.salvationarmy.org

The Salvation Army Offers Ongoing Care to Erskine Fire Survivors

KERNVILLE, CA (June 30, 2016):  The Salvation Army continues to provide care to the survivors of the massive Erskine Fire, a swift-moving blaze that has destroyed 285 homes and burned 46,684 acres of North Eastern Kern County.

Yesterday was the first day fire suppression was secure enough for The Salvation Army’s canteens (mobile kitchens) to visit some of the burned communities.  Volunteers provided lunches, cold water and emotional care to survivors as they returned to their neighborhoods for the first time to survey damage.  Canteen service will continue tomorrow and into the weekend, as needed.

Since its response began on June 23, The Salvation Army has provided 3,458 meals and 2,245 snacks to evacuees at the two Red Cross –operated shelters & evacuation centers (Kernville Elementary School in Kernville and St. Jude’s Catholic Church in Wofford Heights). More than 600 hours of volunteer support have been contributed to the effort by trained Salvation Army disaster response volunteers from Tehachapi, Lake Isabella, Ridgecrest, Bakersfield, Modesto, Hanford, Hollister, and San Francisco.

A new team of volunteers will arrive on Monday to provide relief to crews that have been serving all week. To date, the shelters are scheduled to remain open until further notice, which continue to host 90+ individuals overnight and 180 survivors during each meal.

“Though the size of the fire is diminishing, the scope of need is not,” said John McKnight, Director of Emergency and Disaster Services for The Salvation Army, Golden State Division.  “The Salvation Army plans to continue its presence to be a source of aid and encouragement as survivors learn the fate of their homes and prepare to rebuild their towns, their neighborhoods, and their lives.”

Photos of The Salvation Army’s Erskine Fire response can be found online: https://flic.kr/s/aHskBEQhbs

How people can help:
Donations to support The Salvation Army’s feeding and relief work in Kern County can be made online at http://salar.my/kerncountyfires, by sending a check earmarked “Kern County Wildfires” to their local Salvation Army office, or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY and designating the donation for the “Kern County Wildfires.”  

Although The Salvation Army is not requesting in-kind goods donations at this time, gifts of gently-used household goods, clothing, etc., are always needed by Salvation Army Family Stores to support their work in the local community. Find out more at www.satruck.com.

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: 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. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to www.SalvationArmyUSA.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS.

Our Mission

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.
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