Springfield & Canton, MA - June 2, 2011 – The Salvation Army is assisting tornado victims and first responders from western and central Massachusetts including in Westfield, Springfield, Monson, Brimfield and Sturbridge. Beginning yesterday afternoon, The Salvation Army deployed four mobile feeding units to provide a continuous supply of food and water to residents and first responders who are affected by the storms. These units will remain in operation for the near future.
Major Thomas Perks, Commanding Officer of The Greater Springfield Salvation Army says they are currently assessing the damage and evaluating what is needed to help local residents. “Right now, the main goal is to provide food and water to those who are unable to get out of their homes or neighborhoods. We are in this for the long haul, we will help folks until it’s over,” says Major Perks.
Last night, according to Chris Farrand, Director of The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services in Massachusetts, the Army provided over 1,800 hot meals and 200 cots to victims and first responders throughout the hardest hit areas.
The Salvation Army Officers and Emergency Disaster Services professionals and volunteers continue to serve first responders with hot meals and water at the State’s command centers located in the highly impacted areas of Springfield, Westfield and Monson/Brimfield. Also in Springfield, a team is mobilizing to provide food, water and emotional and spiritual support to those in need. Throughout the region, The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services’ teams are poised to continue providing services including food, shelter, clothing, a listening ear and essential supplies.
“We remain in constant contact with federal, state and local officials to ensure we are continuing to provide the critical disaster support services and responses that are needed throughout the state – just as our fellow Salvation Army divisions are doing in other tornado ravaged areas across the country” continued Chris Farrand.
In the coming days, there will be a request for non-perishable food and water donations. The Salvation Army will make an announcement as soon as a drop off location is determined.
The Salvation Army is asking for monetary donations toward tornado relief in Massachusetts, which can be made on-line at www.salvationarmy-ma.org or through the Salvation Army’s Text to Give number. A $10 minimum donation can be made by texting the word TSAMA10 to 85944. In addition, The Salvation Army is looking for volunteers to assist with future duties that may include distribution of meals and necessities. Anyone interested in volunteering or to make a donation can call 339-502-5900.
For interview requests and video opportunities in the Springfield area, please contact Alison Podworski or Michelle Abdow at 413.787.1133 or 413.478.4481. For any other media requests for the Massachusetts Division for The Salvation Army please contact Danielle Degnan, Director of Community Relations at 617-756-7236.
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 130 years in the United States. Nearly 30 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. 82 cents of every dollar spent is used to carry out those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.About The Salvation Army