The Salvation Army Across Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi Activates Response to Dangerous Heat Conditions

Throughout Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi, a region all too familiar with natural disasters, heat is among the deadliest. And those in poverty are among the greatest at risk of succumbing to heat-related illnesses.

When temperatures rise to deadly digits and heat advisories are issued across the country, many of our neighbors won’t have ready access to air-conditioned shelter or protection from the dangerous heat conditions. When heat advisories are issued, our most vulnerable won’t have access to cool water, transportation for medical assistance, a support system for help, or even a device to make an emergency call to 911.


“Exposure to extreme heat threatens the well-being of some of our most vulnerable neighbors,” says Captain Heather Dolby, Salvation Army Officer of Tupelo. “Not only individuals and families experiencing homelessness but also those without the ability to cool the internal temperatures of their homes – seniors, the disabled, and families with young children. This is a crisis, and The Salvation Army is here to help.”


The Salvation Army across Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi is responding by activating heat relief measures to help those in need. This includes providing hydration and shelter for our at-risk neighbors, senior citizens, and other vulnerable populations in danger of suffering from heat stroke and other heat-related conditions.

“The Salvation Army of Greater Baton Rouge stands ready to be the hands and feet of Jesus. You may never know what heat relief and a bottle of water can do for someone in need,” said Captain Brian Hicks.

Below are a few examples of how The Salvation Army is extending services and hours to help those who need it the most.

 Tupelo, MS

The Salvation Army of Northeast Mississippi has opened its Community Center as a cooling station to provide air-conditioned seating, a children’s play space, cold water, lunch and dinner, and emotional and spiritual care. And after hours, when the Community Center is closed, water and air-conditioned seating are available next door at the Red Shield Lodge.

In addition, we have partnered with Alabaster Bag Ministry to distribute water through the Community Center and Red Shield Lodge.

Monroe, LA

The Salvation Army of Monroe provides a cooling shelter with air-conditioned facilities and cold water as long as temperatures remain at dangerous levels.

 Baton Rouge, LA

The Salvation Army of Baton Rouge will open its Center of Hope early on days with a dangerous heat index and issue a free stay with meals included to anyone who signs into the facility. In addition, we are coordinating efforts with other community organizations to ensure heat relief needs are met.

Dekalb County and Jackson County, AL

Dekalb County and Jackson County Service Center provide food in pop-top containers, water, and air-conditioned relief for the community. We are working with local organizations, taking referrals, and using Facebook to spread the word.

Selma Service Center, AL

Selma Service Center and the Demopolis Satellite are working with a donor to purchase and distribute fans to those in need in the community.

Thomasville Service Center, AL

Thomasville Service Center is currently assisting with paying power bills through an awarded grant. Eligibility is income-based and by appointment only. Clients can call the Thomasville location to make an appointment at (334) 636-9840.


 “If I wouldn’t want to be outdoors in these conditions, why would I expect someone else to be out there?” says Captain Jerry Casey, Monroe Corps Officer. “I don’t want people passing out or getting sick.”


Please help us continue to support our neighbors by making a financial contribution, which allows The Salvation Army to meet immediate and long-term needs. To learn more about your local Salvation Army’s services, visit here.

To learn more about staying safe in extreme heat, click here.

Happy National Donut Day!

Salvation Army “Doughnut Lassies” during World War I

National Donut Day started in 1938 in Chicago as a tribute to The Salvation Army “Doughnut Lassies” who supported our troops during World War I. About 250 volunteers traveled overseas and set up small huts located near the front lines where they could give soldiers clothes, supplies and, of course, baked goods.

After discovering that serving baked goods would be difficult considering the conditions of the huts and the limited rations, two volunteers – Ensign Margaret Sheldon and Adjutant Helen Purviance – began frying donuts in soldiers’ helmets. These tasty treats boosted morale and won the hearts of many soldiers.


The Origination of Doughboys


Nicknamed “Donut Lassies,” the women who served donuts to troops are often credited with popularizing the donut in the United States when the troops (nicknamed “Doughboys”) returned home from war. During WWI, Donut Lassies served coffee and donuts to soldiers in the trenches. Salvation Army workers supported our soldiers with spiritual and emotional aid and were a welcoming connection with home and family.

Celebrate National Donut Day by trying out the recipe below!


2 large eggs
5 cups flour
2 cups sugar
5 teaspoons baking powder
1/4 tablespoon salt
1 3/4 cup milk
1 tup lard*
*because it is no longer 1917, you can choose healthier options like butter or vegetable oil

Combine all ingredients (except for lard) to make dough.

Thoroughly knead dough, roll smooth, and cut into rings that are less than 1/4 inch thick.

Drop the rings into the lard, making sure the fat is hot enough to brown the donuts gradually. Turn the donuts slowly several times.

When browned, remove donuts and allow excess fat to drip off.

Dust with powdered sugar. Let cool and enjoy!

Salvation Army Summer Camps Change Lives

A story of hope from Camp Hidden Lake

By Quentarius Ross

“I wish I had known about camp when I was younger. I wish I had known about The Salvation Army. It would have changed my whole background and perspective on life.

I didn’t even know The Salvation Army was a church. I thought it was just an organization that gives clothes and food and helps people when they need it. And I certainly didn’t know there was a camp for kids.

I first learned about Camp Hidden Lake seven years ago. I was walking down the street when the pastor of the local Salvation Army stopped and started talking to me. He asked if I wanted to attend the Tuesday program for children in the neighborhood. I was a shy kid and wasn’t sure about going, but I said yes anyway. Tuesday rolls around, and sure enough, the pastor pulls up in The Salvation Army van to take me, my brothers and sisters to the program. We were greeted by loud music and children having fun and eating snacks, and I thought, hey, this is like a party! So when the pastor later asked if I wanted to get more involved in church activities, I was on board!

Before camp, it was very difficult for me to make friends. I was a shy kid and would get picked on for not talking enough. I got bullied for my skin color, how I looked, and what I did or didn’t do. After a while, I just stopped trying because I didn’t want to feel that rejection anymore.

My very first year of camp changed me. My new friends and camp counselors gave me the confidence to find my voice and helped me learn about God and how He can help you in any situation. Now, I have a lot of friends from all over that come to camp every year. I’ve known them for so long that I consider them family.

Here at camp, I feel like I’m home. You turn around and smile, then turn the corner and smile some more.

This is my first year as an instructor. I’m a ropes course instructor and also assist with music. I never thought I was a good teacher or leader, but this year at camp showed me differently. I discovered I could lead well and that I enjoyed teaching. I was teaching a class one morning when it dawned on me that I could do this, and it felt good. For example, one particular camper didn’t even know how to hold a Trumpet, and by the end of the camp, her playing was incredible. She was so good that I would have believed she had played before. And I was part of making that happen.

I feel like I’ve made an impact on lives, and it’s given me a direction for my future.

I think about the campers long after they are gone. I make the time to get to know them. Some come from broken homes, so it’s hard leaving camp. Before leaving, they told me how much they would miss me and how they couldn’t wait to come back.

I feel like I’ve impacted lives, and it’s given me a direction for my future. After high school, I’m going on to a community college and then a university.”

*Quentarius is currently enrolled in nursing school which he credits to The Salvation Army.

We believe every child should get to experience summer camp—exploring nature, learning new skills, developing confidence and building life-long friendships in a fun and nurturing environment. We provide that experience for campers every summer at The Salvation Army’s Camp Hidden Lake. But we need your help. Camp Hidden Lake is funded through donations so we can make the summer camp experience available to all children. 

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