• Cynthia Fuller

Salvation Army and Southern Baptists: More than a Partnership; It’s a Friendship with a Shared Mission

Little Rock, AR (April 7, 2023) The partnership between The Salvation Army and Southern Baptist Disaster Relief is a shining example of what can be accomplished when organizations work together towards a common goal. The two groups have a long history of collaborating in the aftermath of major disasters, providing aid and assistance to those affected. First joining efforts in New York City during the 9/11 aftermath, their partnership has grown and flourished, leading to successful joint efforts in response to Hurricane Katrina and the 2013 Moore Tornado, among other events.

Shared values and shared mission are 99% of why we partner together - we complement each other immensely – The Baptist have a huge capacity to produce meals but not to distribute the meals. The Salvation Army has a huge distribution ability but not a mass capacity to cook so we complement each other.

One of the most significant benefits to this partnership is the ability to be the best stewards of time, money, and resources, allowing both groups to provide aid to those impacted by natural disasters. This allows both organizations to provide much-needed support to individuals and communities struggling in the aftermath of a disaster, while still maintaining the necessary infrastructure and resources to respond to emergencies effectively. The partnership between The Salvation Army and the Baptist Disaster Response Teams serves as an inspiration to other organizations looking to make a difference in the world by working collaboratively towards a shared goal.

The Salvation Army and the Baptists both have a yearning to serve their communities and a desire to take care of people who are hurting.  When disaster happens, and even before, together the organizations are hard at work planning ahead to serve those affected by disaster.

“Our relationship with Baptist Disaster Relief is more than a partnership, it’s a friendship,” states Laurie Fried, Divisional Director for The Salvation Army of Arkansas-Oklahoma’s Emergency Disaster Services. “It’s an ongoing relationship.  We communicate before, during, and after storms to see how we can best serve those affected.  They are truly a blessing to work with even if the circumstances that bring us together is a disaster.”

Randy Garrett, Arkansas Baptist Disaster Relief Director says, “We're very appreciative to partner with like-minded groups, like Salvation Army, with a heart to serve the community. Arkansas Baptist Disaster Relief is here to bring help, healing and hope to those in need. We’re here until the end. We don't pull out early. We stay until the last person that needs help gets help. The Salvation Army, they do the same thing too. They’re a blessing to work with.” 

Since a tornado tore through parts of Arkansas, in collaboration with the Baptists, The Salvation Army has 12,589 meals served to first responders, and other crews working to restore services to those impacted by the tornadoes.

Financial donations can be made at www.helpsalvationarmyusa.org or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY to support response efforts. The Salvation Army is encouraging monetary donations in lieu of in-kind donations currently. For the latest Salvation Army disaster information please go
to www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org. Future updates can be found on our social media pages www.facebook.com/SalArmyAOK and www.twitter.com/SalArmyAOKEDS.