Cumberland, MD (October 30, 2012) – Garrett County, Maryland’s westernmost county, received 20 inches of snow due to Super Storm Sandy. More than three quarters of county residents have lost power according to the State Emergency Operations Center.
One hundred of those victims reside in a local nursing home in the picturesque Appalachian town of Oakland, Maryland. The residents were evacuated to the Oakland Volunteer Fire Department facility which serves as an emergency shelter in times of disaster. The shelter is stocked with "shelf stable meals," known as MRE’s. But the high sodium content of the MRE’s was judged to be unsafe for such an elderly population.
The Maryland Department of Human Resources reached out to The Salvation Army to help. Lieutenant Jim Dillingham, Salvation Army Corps Officer in Cumberland, Maryland, mobilized his congregation of 35 volunteers. One hundred twenty-five dinners were soon prepared and ready for the trip to Oakland.
On a beautiful, autumn afternoon, it’s a good hour-long trip from Cumberland to Oakland. Twenty inches of wet snow, however, will discourage just about anyone from making that trip. Then came the National Guard. Ten heroes in uniform, armed with two Humvees, a Deuce and a Half truck, and 125 hot dinners, made the 60-mile journey to Oakland, and 125 senior citizens and staff did NOT go hungry.
Lt. Dillingham explains, “The nursing home may have a generator installed by this evening (Oct. 30). If so, our mission there is completed. However, we are prepared, with the National Guard’s help, to provide meals to these senior citizens for the next four days, if necessary.”
In addition to these efforts, Lt. Dillingham and the Cumberland Salvation Army provided 35 breakfasts and dinners to emergency personnel and citizens at the Cresaptown, Maryland, Fire Station emergency shelter. Also, The Salvation Army in Cumberland was opened as a warming station for those without power, and hot drinks and snacks were provided for 75 persons.
The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those affected by this disaster to visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769).
Donors may also contribute $10 via their phone bill by text messaging the word STORM to 80888, and confirming the donation with the word, “Yes.”*
Checks may be made out to The Salvation Army Disaster Services Center, PO BOX 1959 Atlanta, GA 30301. Please designate “2012 Hurricane Season” on all checks.
At this point, in-kind donations, such as used clothing and used furniture, are not being accepted for hurricane relief. However, these items are vital to supporting the day-to-day work of your local Salvation Army. Please consider giving these items to your local Salvation Army Family Store or dial 1-800-SA-TRUCK (1-800-728-7825).
For more information on The Salvation Army’s preparation and response to Hurricane Sandy, please visit http://blog.salvationarmyusa.org/, www.facebook.com/salvationarmyusa or www.twitter.com/salvationarmyus.
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 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 The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.