Divisional Outreach Amid COVID-19
The Salvation Army Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi has been here to help our neighbors in need throughout 2020. Due to back-to-back hurricanes and the global COVID-19 pandemic, added hardships have left many in a much greater need than ever before, and The Salvation Army was blessed and happy to be available to serve. Here are a few stories from throughout the ALM Division.
A client lost their job at a daycare center due to COVID-19 restrictions. The daycare closed and has not yet re-opened. The client has been looking for a new job for four months and has not found anything yet. In May, the Vicksburg Corps has been able to assist her with utility payments. Her water had been turned off, so The Salvation Army provided the client with drinking water and contacted the water company to help sort through her bill. The water company agreed to turn her water on the day the invoice was paid in full, so the Army paid the balance. Vicksburg Corps Officer, Major Janna Torgerson, hand-delivered the water bill, so the water was restored before the weekend.
A young mother of four was laid off from work and had recently experienced a house fire that resulted in losing all of her belongings. The Salvation Army of Greenwood gave her a clothing voucher to provide clothes for her and her children. The Greenwood Corps doesn’t have a shelter, so the Army covered a week’s stay in a hotel and helped the client to contact other local resources that could help. Corps Officers, Captains Jason and Keisha McMullin ended the time with the client in prayer and invited her to participate in the Pathway of Hope Program Ministry. The Army will assist in furnishing her new home.
The Salvation Army in Tuscaloosa made a difference in a family with 13 children. As school approached this August, after a tough summer of layoffs and other stressors of COVID-19, the family needed everything. The Salvation Army provided clothes, backpacks, school supplies, snacks, and spiritual reassurance for a positive school year for all the children.
The Salvation Army of Huntsville has had the opportunity to assist several individuals who have never been in a position where they needed assistance. As first-time clients, they were nervous, embarrassed, and stressed. Huntsville Corps officers and staff were able to minister to them, share love and understanding instead of judgment.
The Salvation Army of Monroe has provided meals, financial assistance, utility assistance, and housing throughout the Northeast Louisiana community to those affected by COVID-19 and back-to-back Hurricanes Laura and Delta. During a community feeding, a hungry woman stopped by the canteen for food for both her soul and physical being. After learning about The Salvation Army, she began to cry hysterically to be a blessing to her and others in the community. “This encounter was an emotional one for not only myself but others who were there,” Monroe Corps Officer, Captain Jerry Casey shared.
A deaf woman visited The Salvation Army of Gadsden shelter and could only communicate through sign language. Luckily, a corps staff member was fluent in sign language. This person was a Canadian citizen and did not have any family in the United States. In addition to serving her through shelter, the staff worked with the Canadian Embassy in Atlanta, Georgia, to contact her family back in Canada. The embassy provided an airplane ticket back to Canada and provided a temporary passport for the client to cross the border and be near home.