The Salvation Army of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi sending aid to areas hit by historic flooding

south carolina supplies 5The Emergency Disaster Services of The Salvation Army of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi (ALM) is joining in the effort to assist residents in South Carolina hit hardest by severe storms and flooding. South Carolina has received a federal disaster declaration to include 11 counties. The ALM Division is supporting the response and recovery efforts by providing 1400 disaster clean-up kits, 78 insulated food distribution containers (cambros) and 9,000 cambro liners. The semi-truckload of supplies is being shipped to South Carolina from our warehouse located in Jackson.

The insulated food containers will be utilized to support bulk distribution of hot food to affected residents.  The clean-up kits will be distributed to local residents to assist in recovery efforts. A clean-up kit consists of household cleaning supplies such as a broom, mop, bleach, all-purpose cleaner, a pair of cleaning and work gloves, face mask, scrub brush and squeegee mop.

Terry Lightheart, ALM Divisional Emergency Services Director, who is currently deployed as a Salvation Army Liaison at the South Carolina State Emergency Operations Center stated, “Supplies are being provided from ALM to South Carolina through a request from The Salvation Army South Carolina Incident Command. Much work has already taken place. However, there is more to be done to help residents affected from this storm, specifically from devastating flooding.”

As part of the mission of The Salvation Army we provide emergency disaster services and relief to those affected without discrimination in the name of Jesus Christ. Currently, The Salvation Army is providing food, drinks, snacks, clean-up kits and emotional and spiritual care. These services will continue throughout the response and recovery efforts.

The Salvation Army asks people who want to help those affected by the storm to please give through one of four channels.

You can donate online at: disaster.salvationarmyusa.org

You can call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or text STORM to 51555.

You can also donate by mailing a check to The Salvation Army, Southern Territorial Headquarters at P.O. Box 1959, Atlanta, GA 30301. Please label checks “East Coast Floods.”

How an alcoholic goes from nothingness to an inspiration

Working in the warehouse of a Salvation Army Family store is anything but glamorous. Working in the warehouse of the Family Store in Lafayette, Louisiana there’s never a dull moment. Fay Portier is the Lafayette Corps warehouse manager.

“Sometimes it’s hectic, but you gotta keep going,” said PortierDSC09319

This week’s highlight is what looks to be an Olympic gold medal…or at least a replica.

With the help of Corps Officers, Majors Mel and Esther James, Portier stopped long enough to share his personal story with me. Portier is always on the go. He starts his pick up route at 7am and returns to the store by ten to begin sorting donations so they can be sold in the front of the store. Portier knows staying busy is better than where he’s been.

Portier will celebrate four years sober November eleventh.DSC09357

“I finally got tired of waking up drunk,” said Portier.

Working his way through The Salvation Army’s adult rehabilitation program, Portier first started out as a bell ringer, then served as the driver going around Lafayette picking up donated items. A year later, his current position came open.

Portier is now a corps soldier and Sunday school teacher, sharing the Word and passing on his experiences to men who need his guidance. It’s a role he never thought he’d be in.

“I would have never thought that, but I just tell them to trust in God, and The Salvation Army. They’ll help you get on your feet, get on track,” said Portier.

Clothes, shoes and other goods are dropped off at The Salvation Army when they’re not wanted anymore. Through our stores, they become repurposed and needed again by someone else.

Fay Portier came to The Salvation Army not knowing if his life would ever be of use to anyone. The Lord has given him a new purpose, and he is definitely needed. He’s needed to provide a positive influence in the lives of the many people he comes in contact with each week.