Partnership Feeding Personnel at MS Plane Crash Site Continuing into Next Week


Partnership Feeding Personnel at MS Plane Crash Site Continuing into Next Week A KC-130 military plane carrying 16 Marines and crew crashed Monday afternoon in Leflore county, Mississippi killing all on board. The United States Marines along with emergency personnel from the Federal, state and local level are investigating and providing security to the crash site.

The Salvation Army, Greenwood, Mississippi Corps is partnering with the Southern Baptist Association to make sure all these responders are fed, hydrated and cared for while they work in the brutally hot temperatures of the Mississippi Delta.

“The Southern Baptist Association is very generous to help in this way,” said Lieutenant Jamaal Ellis, Greenwood, Mississippi Corps Officer. “They are cooking the meals, we load them on our truck, and deliver them.

Mississippi Valley State University is providing an air-conditioned building where the food can be served and those working at the crash site can cool off. Drinks and snacks are also served at the crash site. Local Churches are also providing assistance.

“We will be serving lunch and dinner starting Monday and continuing that as long as we are needed here, but we will continue our lunch service through the weekend,” said Lieutenant Ellis.

To this point, The Salvation Army has served over 1000 meals and 2000 drinks since Tuesday at lunch. and provided emotional and spiritual care to several individuals throughout the week.

“All these groups and organizations coming together to help our military and first responders really shows God’s grace in a time of terrible grief and loss for these families. Our prayers continue to be lifted up for their loss,” said Lieutenant Ellis.

The Salvation Army Serving Following Military Plane Crash in Mississippi


Leflore County, MS – A C-130 military transport plane carrying 16 Marines and crew crashed Monday afternoon in Leflore County, Mississippi near the towns of Moorhead and Itta Bena. Local media is reporting all on board were killed.

The local emergency management director requested The Salvation Army, Greenwood, Mississippi Corps serve 200 meals for lunch to emergency personnel.

“We are so saddened by what took place Monday and our thoughts and prayers go out to the families of the military members on board,” said Lieutenant Jamaal Ellis. “Right now, there are many emergency responders doing all they can to figure out what happened, and we will do our best to support them in this tough, emotional work.”

Federal, state, and local personnel are on site to investigate the crash and provide security to the site which covers a wide area.

“We will also offer emotional and spiritual care to these responders who need a listening ear, support or a simple prayer that God helps them through this task,” said Lieutenant Ellis.

Giving Veterans a Hand up in Shreveport

Perouz Farokhkish is proud of his service in the United States Army. Growing up Christian in Lake Charles, Louisiana to a Middle Eastern father and American mother, he saw no signs of prejudice or hatred. When he returned home after two tours supporting the war in Iraq, he couldn’t help but notice something was different.

“The best I can describe it is like a Vietnam veteran, it was very difficult,” said Farokhkish. “For me, I was a man just like anyone else.”

Following the attack on the Twin Towers and the Pentagon on 9/11, Farokhkish says his Middle Eastern decent made him stand out. He isolated himself, not leaving home very much. Looking back now he says he didn’t trust people especially the Veterans Administration Hospitals he needed to get help. For fifteen years, Farokhkish kept to himself, kept his thoughts and feelings locked inside.

“When you get out, there was nothing there to help you re-balance, so you get out and all you know is to run, and if you can’t run, if something trips you, you are a complete and total failure.”

Then a referral to The Salvation Army in Shreveport changed his life. Perouz says the compassion showed by the staff in the Veteran’s shelter and by the officers helped him open up.

“I always needed to talk but didn’t know who would allow me to let it out,” said Farokhkish. “Being able to talk to other veterans was greatly helpful. For me to be able to help the elderly veterans to navigate simple things like a cell phone, it was therapeutic to think even here I could give back.”

Perouz stayed in the veterans’ shelter for five months. He now is enrolled at Louisiana State University-Shreveport studying Psychology. He is grateful to those who helped him at The Salvation Army and volunteers to this day.

“Finding other veterans who experienced similar situations was really comforting,” said Farokhkish. “And gave me a lot of solace to know that you can come out of that. It doesn’t have to stay that way forever.”

The Salvation Army of Shreveport has worked hand in hand with the Overton Brooks VA Hospital by providing transitional and emergency housing for homeless Veterans both male and female.

The veterans shelter offers 29 beds, 24 for men and five for women.

In 2016, The Salvation Army provided nearly 8,000 nights of lodging for veterans and over 20,000 meals serving 250 veterans overall.

To get more information on how The Salvation Army is helping veterans in Shreveport, please click here.

“God’s going to see us through every bit of this.”

All across the country, Salvation Army officers are slowly beginning to find their footing at new appointments. Majors Ernest (Ernie) and Debra (Debbie) Hull are no different. The Hulls spent the first seventeen years of their officerships in the Arkansas-Oklahoma Division. There they became friends and served under the current ALM Divisional Commanders, Majors Steve and Wendy Morris.

“We are known for getting corps out of debt, so they send us where corps are in debt,” Major Ernie Hull says with a smile.

Their current challenge is bigger than any they’ve faced before in every aspect…bigger city, bigger operation, bigger bills to pay. The Hulls are now leading the New Orleans Area Command. While a bigger challenge, the approach will be the same for the Hulls.

“Everywhere we go we love the community, it becomes our home,” said Major Ernie. “By bettering The Salvation Army, we will better the community at large.”

It’s definitely a team approach. Major Debbie focuses on the finances, and Major Ernie focuses on outreach.

“We’ve learned the goal is to live within our means, streamline the operation,” said Major Ernie. “Get me in front of influential people and we’ll give them the story of the Army. We are going to touch their hearts in order to make the New Orleans Area Command the most efficient command in this Division.”

Major Ernie is also very humbled to now lead the command where his friend, Major Richard Brittle, gave his life helping survivors following Hurricane Katrina.

“I was prepared, but I was humbled walking into the Richard Brittle Center of Hope, knowing my good friend gave his life to save this place. I’m just humbled to carry on a legacy of love he had here.”

New officers complete DHQ staff, celebrate with welcome brunch

The moving trucks are no longer in the driveways, and perhaps a few moving boxes are unpacked. For sure, however, all our officers across the Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi Division are on the job and getting to know their new homes.

At DHQ, the process is no different. Divisional Headquarters lost four officers, and they have now been replaced with three officers new to the Division.

Captains Mark and Lori Hunter are out new Finance Trainee and Community Care Ministries Secretary. Lieutenant Shimei Hewitt is our new Assistant Divisional Youth Secretary.

Together with the Divisional Commanders, Major Steve and Wendy Morris, the staff at Divisional Headquarters welcomed out three new officers who make us whole once again.

Each new officers was welcomed by a member of the staff from the department they will now call home, and the CRD team of Planned Giving Director, Buddy Graves and Resource Development Director, Erica Bradshaw made sure the new arrivals where up to date on all relative ALM topics like the weather, driving in the south, and new words for their vocabulary (fixintoo).

Tables were decorated by state and with must see attractions across the Division like the NASA museum in Huntsville or the race track in Talledega.

Major Wendy brought an encouraging word for the day.

We are so excited to welcome the Captains Hunter and Lieutenant Hewitt to the Division. They are a part of the ALM family already.

Birmingham Salvation Army Serving After Tornado from Remnants of Cindy

storm preparedBirmingham, AL – The Birmingham, Alabama Command of The Salvation Army will serve meals Thursday evening after a tornado tore through several communities in and around Birmingham. This comes as Emergency Disaster Services officials warned residents of the threat of flooding and tornadoes after Cindy was downgraded early Thursday to a tropical depression.

“Emergency officials asked us to serve meals and drinks in Fairfield and at the local EMA center following this storm,” said Major Roger Glick, Commanding Officer, Birmingham Area Command. “We will also provide emotional and spiritual care to those who need someone to talk to, a prayer, or even just a hug.”

The Birmingham Area Command will provide meals and drinks to the Jefferson County Emergency Operations Center and to a mobile command center closer to where the tornado touched down in the city of Fairfield. Disaster workers will be on site until 10pm Thursday night.

“Cindy is still a threat as it moves northeast across the top of our area,” said Terry Lightheart, EDS Director, The Salvation Army of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. “We know with projected rainfall from this storm more flooding could still be a possibility into the weekend. Many areas of the Division are also under a tornado watch or warning.”

With Salvation Army Corps located all across the Gulf Coast from Mobile to Biloxi to New Orleans and Lake Charles in Louisiana, officers will stay in close contact with local emergency management officials to make sure all needs are met. Shelters are also open to receive anyone who needs to escape rising flood waters.

“So far the impact of Cindy has been localized but Divisional disaster relief personnel and assets remain on standby until remnants of the storm have passed.”said Lightheart. “We would rather be prepared and not be needed than be caught off guard.”

Cindy downgraded to tropical depression, The Salvation Army still monitoring need

JACKSON, MS – The Salvation Army of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi is still monitoring the needs across our three-state area even as Cindy is downgraded to a tropical depression. To this point, The Salvation Army has received no requests for assistance.

“Cindy is still a threat as it moves northeast across the top of our area,” said Terry Lightheart, EDS Director, The Salvation Army of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. “We know with projected rainfall from this storm more flooding could still be a possibility into the weekend. Many areas of the Divison are also under a tornado watch or warning.”

With Salvation Army Corps located all across the Gulf Coast from Mobile to Biloxi to New Orleans and Lake Charles in Louisiana, officers will stay in close contact with local emergency management officials to make sure all needs are met. Shelters are also open to receive anyone who needs to escape rising flood waters.

“So far flooding has been localized but Divisional disaster relief personnel  and assets remain on standby until remnants of the storm have passed.”said Lightheart. “We would rather be prepared and not be needed than be caught off guard.”

The Salvation Army ready if needed with tropical storm heading for the Gulf Coast

JACKSON, MS (June 20, 2017) – The Salvation Army of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi is preparing for the potential impact of Invest 93L along the Louisiana and Mississippi Gulf Coast. The Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) of The Salvation Army has asked all 31 Corps and sixteen service centers across the three-state area to ready equipment and disaster personnel for deployment should the need arise.
“The first priority for The Salvation Army is to ensure its Officers, staff and volunteers are safe and that the facilities and equipment are secure,” said Terry Lightheart, EDS Director, The Salvation Army of Alabama, Louisiana, and Mississippi. “However, we are also ready to respond and provide support to those who will potentially be impacted from this storm.
The Salvation Army is working closely with state and local emergency management to monitor where the storm could possibly have the greatest impact. This also helps coordinate where to send out personnel and equipment, such mobile feeding units which provide hot meals, hydration and snacks.
Lightheart continued, “Regardless of where the impact my be, we will be ready to serve with helping hands and a willing heart.”

To keep up to date on all The Salvation Army is doing to help those in need and to donate to help us serve those in need, you can log onto our website at salvationarmyalm.org or on social media at facebook.com/ALMdivision and twitter.com/salarmyalm

June begins tearful good byes, new beginnings for Officers

For most folks, summer ushers in a time of time away from work and school. Many find themselves enjoying time in the mountains or on a sandy beach somewhere. While that is the case too for Salvation Army officers, for some, the summer is about new assignments and tearful good byes.

The ALM Division is no different. Divisional Commanders, Majors Steve and Wendy Morris and the DHQ family say good bye to five officers in June. These officers were given a proper farewell or should I say, “happy trails” with a western hoedown at the Divisional Headquarters.

Financial Secretaries, Majors Ray and Elizabeth Grider will enter a new phase of their lives. While Major Elizabeth will still be seen at DHQ, Major Ray is retiring to oversee the building of their new home in the Central Mississippi area.

Majors Henry and Benita Morris will shift gears from our Divisional Youth Secretary and Divisional Corps Cadet Counselor to Corps officers themselves in Columbia, South Carolina.

Major Lisa Davis is also on the move from Divisional Community Care Ministries Secretary to the Evangline Booth College in Atlanta.

Within Divisional Headquarters, several officers will be taking on new duties, plus the Division will be gaining several new officers who’ve never served here before, and that doesn’t even mention the new lieutenants who were just commissioned on June 4. We are definitely sad to see the Griders, Morris’, and Major Davis go, but make sure you welcome our newest family members with open arms!

Moves and new additions to the ALM family are as follows:

Majors Anthony & Sharon Baso Huntsville, AL from Nashville, TN Citadel Corps
Major Deborah Bowers New Orleans, LA Pathway of Hope Director from Sarasota Florida
Major Roger Glick Birmingham, AL Area Commander Major Dee Ann Glick Birmingham, AL Associate Area Commander from Little Rock, ARK Central Arkansas area command

Major Ernest Hull New Orleans Area Commander / Corps Officer Major Deborah Hull New Orleans Associate Area Commander / Corps Officer from Enid, OK
Major Jacqueline Johnson Divisional Moral & Social Issues Committee Director (Additional Appointment)
Major Melody McClure Finance Secretary
Majors Bret & Susan McElroy Bessemer, AL from Huntsville, AL
Major Neala Owens Older Adult Ministries (Additional Appointment)

Major Tom Richmond Coastal Alabama Area Commander from Charleston, SC
Major Jennifer Richmond Coastal Alabama Associate Area Commander from Charleston, SC
Majors Glen & Teresa Riggs Alexandria, LA from Meridian, MS

Captains Herbert & Rosalinda Frazier Greenville, MS from Washington DC
Captain Lori Hunter Community Care Ministries Secretary from Gastonia, NC
Captain Mark Hunter Finance Trainee from Gastonia, NC
Captains Yong & Young Kim Meridian, MS from Bessemer, AL
Captain Amber Morris Divisional Youth & Candidate’s Secretary
Captains Ray & Whitney Morton Shreveport, LA from the EBC
Lieutenant Julinda Davis Jackson, MS Assistant Corps Officer from Roanoke, VA
Lieutenants Damon & Jennifer Graham Columbus, MS from Greenville, MS
Lieutenant Shimei Hewitt Assistant Divisional Youth Secretary from Ashville, NC
Lieutenant Tamara Robb Mobile Citadel, AL from Jackson, MS

Lieutenants John and Samantha Magee, Lafayette, LA Corps Officers

Lieutenant Christian Smith, Hattiesburg, MS, Assistant Corps Officer

Lieutenant Sonya Smith, Baton Rouge, LA, Assistant Corps Officer

Disaster Services Director, Liason recognized for accomplishment

Our Emergency Disaster Services Director, Terry Lightheart and Disaster Liason, Bill Feist recognized as Certified Emergency Managers. Two of just a handful in The Southern Territory of The Salvation Army.

Terry and Bill have been approved by the International Association of Emergency Managers (IAEM) Certification Commission to receive the Certified Emergency Manager® (CEM®) credential.

The CEM® designation is the highest honor of professional achievement available from IAEM, which has in its membership more than 9,000 emergency managers representing professionals whose goals are saving lives and protecting property and the environment during emergencies and disasters.  Ms. Lightheart qualified as a CEM® by submitting an extensive credentials package giving personal and professional background achievements and successfully completing a Management Essay and a written examination.

Congratulations Terry and Bill!

Kisiah’s Story: “Could you possibly help me, and if not I understand.”

It’s a problem many of the people who enter The Salvation Army face, a tough decision with no good answer. In Kisiah Livingston’s case, she had to work to pay the rent, but couldn’t afford the cost of daycare for her three-year-old. With no one to help, she stopped working to care for her child. She would soon face the likelihood of eviction.

“I came to The Salvation Army,” said Livingston. “They could tell by my demeanor I was just needing some type of help.”

Kisiah says she didn’t know what to expect, but was at the end of her rope.

“I was like, look it’s either a yay or a nay. I was just being honest with myself and the people who could possibly help me. I’m like, ‘could you possibly help me and if not I understand’,” said Livingston.

I wasn’t too long before Kisiah’s prayers were answered.

“They made a phone call and told me yes. I just busted out crying cause I could not believe how much they would just go beyond to help a person like me,” said Livingston. “I will be forever grateful for The Salvation Army.”

The Salvation Army provided Kisiah with rent assistance for six months. She is expecting her second child this summer. Without The Salvation Army’s help, Kisiah’s only other option would have been to stay in the women’s shelter. The Shreveport Salvation Army is also working with Kisiah to find her child care so she can keep her job this time.

Because of the understanding and love shown to her by The Salvation Army in Shreveport, Kisiah now shares her story with “others” who might need assistance as well.

“I point them in the right direction, which is The Salvation Army.”

A Home of Their Own

A place to call home is all Michaela Bustamante wanted for her two children, and she was determined not to let anything get in her way…not an abusive relationship, not the lack of a job, or twice living homeless.

“I was in a domestic violence relationship,” said Bustamante. “We separated and things went downhill from there. I kept trying to get in school to make our life better for us, but it was hard.”

That’s when she heard about a program at her local Salvation Army.

“I needed help. It was hard on my own,” said Bustamante. “You might have someone say, ‘oh, you can come stay with me,’ and they take your money and put you out the next day, but The Salvation Army is not like that. They are actually there to help you.”

The Salvation Army provides solid ground for those looking for more out of life.

“Trying to find someone to keep my son while I go to school, trying to keep a job and once I got into the shelter, the shelter provided all these things I was looking for,” said Bustamante. “Not only just shelter but daycare, tokens to get on the bus to go look for a job.”

Each year, The Salvation Army in the Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi Division is working to end homelessness and poverty and break the cycle that affects generation after generation. Not only did we provide over 350 thousand nights of shelter last year, but also, assistance to pay power bills, job training and counseling sessions as well as transportation to work and job interviews.

But the main thing we offer through these programs is something many who walk in The Salvation Army don’t know they need. Michaela has seen it in her children since moving in her new home.

“Once I got the stability I have now, their grades have gone up, their behavior has changed. They are more settled. They are not all over the place.”

Thirteen year old Adrian, can see the benefits in his mother too.

“She can sit down and help me with my homework and doesn’t have to be worried about everything else,” said Adrian.

Michaela earned her Certified Nursing Assistant’s degree while going through the program as well. She cherishes those who helped her along the way, her children running in after school, and most of all their own place to call home.

“It’s warming. It’s nice to have a place to stay and being able to come in and fix whatever you want to eat, and lay down in your own bed. I love it.”