Operation Teddy Bear Gives The Salvation Army Chance to Help the Least of These

August 30, 2016
Jeff Daniel | jeff.daniel@uss.salvationarmy.org

Lafayette, LA. - During times of disaster many issues get a great amount of attention and coverage. Most stories and articles cover adults, including many elderly. However, one of the great tragedies in disasters are the children. Sometimes they are often overlooked in the grand scheme of things, but they have lost much as well. Most children have few cares in their own world. After all, the parents are the ones who have the “big” things to worry about. Rent, utilities, cars, all the things adults are focused on are not necessarily part of the worries of a child’s world. Most children find their “world” in their toys and their room. But when a family loses everything, quite often the fact that the children have lost their “world” is overlooked.

The Salvation Army is working to “Do the Most Good”, by helping rebuild that “world” for the children. Local Salvation Army volunteers and Disaster Team members are distributing teddy bears in “Operation Teddy Bear” to those children who have been victims of the recent disaster. Bears are being delivered to the local motels whe the displaced families are being temporarily sheltered. “This is a mission of kindness”, said Major Alan Phillips, Incident Commander for The Salvation Army Disaster Response Team serving in the Greater Lafayette Area. “We are glad we are able to help those who have lost so much”, Phillips said. “It’s our opportunity to ‘Do The Most Good’”.

“It’s heartbreaking to see the loss these families have endured from the disaster”, said Major Cheryl Phillips. Major Phillips is the Emotional/Spiritual Care Officer serving on the Incident Command Team for The Salvation Army’s Disaster Response. Major Phillips has been in the community speaking with disaster victims and offering emotional and spiritual support. “It is so sad to see what has happened to the families”, Phillips said. “It breaks my heart. I’ve seen people’s whole lives just stacked out on the curb. All of their possessions and pictures, all of their world just gone like so much trash on a pile”. Major Phillips accompanied The Salvation Army Canteens as they roamed through the communities and neighborhoods that have received so much damage. “You try to comfort people and help them see that although they have lost so much, they need to focus on what they do have, life, health, and family”, Phillips stated. The Salvation Army’s Mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.

The Salvation Army's first major forays into disaster relief resulted from the tragedies of the Galveston Hurricane of 1900 and the 1906 San Francisco earthquake. The Salvationists' nationwide appeals for financial and material donations yielded tremendous support, enabling the Army to provide assistance to thousands.

Over 9,200 meals have been served to those affected by the flooding in Greater Lafayette by The Salvation Army. Disaster Canteens continued to give out hot meals and drinks to victims of the floods as they worked to salvage their homes from the historic devastation. The Salvation Army has been performing disaster relief in the area since Friday, August 19, 2016.

The Salvation Army continues to serve those affected in the Greater Lafayette Area. The Salvation Army in Lafayette operates a homeless shelter with 31 beds, and offers a soup kitchen that feeds about 150 per day. They also operate a Family Thrift Store that helps others in the community by providing gently used items for sale at affordable prices. The Salvation Army also offers a myriad of other services and works with other social service agencies and organizations in the community.

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.

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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