OKLAHOMA CITY (January 7, 2015) – The Arkansas-Oklahoma Division of The Salvation Army is continuing to respond to those affected by the December 26/27 storm that brought severe winter weather and flooding across the two states. Most communities have power fully restored in the areas affected by the ice, yet flooding continues along the Arkansas River.
Oklahoma Severe Winter Weather
Salvation Army Units in Altus, Enid, Muskogee, Norman and Oklahoma City all provided assistance during the severe cold weather and ice storms that affected Oklahoma. From hot meals to snacks, hydration and shelter from the cold, officers, employees and volunteers met the needs of those seeking refuge from the storm.
Eastern Oklahoma / Arkansas Flooding
The Salvation Army of Pine Bluff continues to coordinate with the American Red Cross by supplying two evacuation centers, Swan Lake and Wright/Pastoria, with food and other essential items. Fort Smith and Conway Arkansas Salvation Army units have also been providing assistance to those affected by flooding in the areas they serve.
Captain David Leonard, Corps Officer in Pine Bluff, Arkansas shared that while delivering dinner to the people in Wright/Pastoria, an older lady came up to him and grabbed both his hands, looked him in the eye and said, "I don't know what we'd have done if it weren't for The Salvation Army. "You're a good man." Leonard states “I just made it outside as the tears came. What a privilege and honor it is to serve others in Jesus' name.” Captain Leonard also reports many more families were affected with this round of flooding compared to the flooding experienced in June 2015.
To date, service delivery for the winter storm and flooding includes 2,458 meals, 3,367drinks and 792 snacks. Officers, employees and volunteers have provided over 771 hours of service. Close to 900 flood bucket clean up kits have been issued from the divisional EDS department for distribution in affected areas.
The Emergency Disaster Services department of the Arkansas-Oklahoma Division continues to assist the local Salvation Army units with resources necessary to support their communities along with monitoring current and future flooding along the Arkansas and Mississippi rivers. Coordination is taking place with the Oklahoma and Arkansas Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) for feeding and bulk distribution of flood bucket clean up kits.
How to Help:
Monetary donations are always needed to offset the costs of services to storm victims. There are various ways in which to donate to help those affected in Arkansas and Oklahoma:
• Checks can be mailed to the following with “Arkansas-Oklahoma Severe Winter Weather / Flooding” in the memo:
The Salvation Army
PO Box 53068
Oklahoma City, OK 73152
The Salvation Army
PO Box 738
North Little Rock, AR 72115
• Online: https://donate.salvationarmyusa.org/uss/arkansas-and-oklahoma-severe-winter-weather--flooding
• By Phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY (1-800-725-2769)
• Donations of Household Good and Clothing:
Due to the emergency situation, The Salvation Army cannot guarantee that any individual donations of household goods or clothing (gifts-in-kind) will be sent to the disaster area. In times of disaster, our stores fill these needs from existing, pre-sorted stock. PLEASE continue to donate gently-used household goods to your local Salvation Army store. You will help your community and help us prepare for future disaster relief needs. To find your nearest drop-off location, please go to www.satruck.org.
Additional updates will be posted as additional information is forthcoming at www.twitter.com/SalArmyAOk, www.facebook.com/SalArmyAOK, and www.twitter.com/SalArmy AOKEDS and www.salvationarmyaok.org.
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About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army, 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. Approximately 30 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. 82 cents of every dollar donated to The Salvation Army is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). For more information, go to salvationarmyusa.org or follow on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS