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Salvation Army Constantly Assessing & Meeting Needs in Lake Charles

Lake Charles, Lousiana (September 10, 2020)—Today marks two full weeks since Hurricane Laura made landfall as a category 4 hurricane that nearly devastated Lake Charles, Louisiana. With the majority of the area still without electricity and a city-wide boil water advisory in place, the extreme heat and dehydration are a major concern. Add to that the fact that people can’t cook for themselves in homes that lack power and drinkable water, and most homes in the area are in some state of ruin, with or without electricity. Ensuring that everyone is well fed, hydrated, and cared for is The Salvation Army’s primary mission here.

 

The Salvation Army has 24 mobile feeding units (canteens) serving two meals a day to the Lake Charles area every day. Every morning, the canteen location list is posted to the Lake Charles Salvation Army Facebook page and shared with partner agencies and local news stations, so people know where they can go to receive a free hot meal. In addition to these static locations, there are also canteens roving through neighborhoods to serve people where they are. Assessing the latest information to determine which areas need the most service is a daily task that is taken very seriously.

 

“With power coming back on to different areas, we’ve had to shift the places where we’re feeding. But power is still out in much of the city, so we’ve shifted dynamics on where we are serving to keep meeting the most need and doing the most good,” said Lt. Bryan Farrington, Operations Chief for The Salvation Army’s Hurricane Laura relief efforts in Lake Charles. “The need is still extremely great here. We’ll keep adjusting and filling needs, making sure the people have plenty of food and proper hydration to keep going,” Farrington added.

 

The best way to support the disaster work of The Salvation Army is by making a financial donation at www.helpsalvationarmy.org or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY. For the latest emergency disaster services news from The Salvation Army, please go to www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org and watch for regular updates on our social media pages at www.facebook.com/LakeCharlesCorps, www.facebook.com/salarmyalm/ and www.twitter.com/salarmyalm.

 

As natural disasters can increase mental stress, The Salvation Army’s Emotional & Spiritual Care HOPEline remains available. Anyone needing a caring listener – whether because of natural disaster, COVID-19, or the stress of life in general – can call 844-458-HOPE (4673) for support. HOPEline hours are 8 AM to 11 PM CDT, 7 days a week.

 

About The Salvation Army
The Salvation Army annually helps more than 23 million Americans overcome poverty, addiction, and economic hardships through a range of social services. By providing food for the hungry, emergency relief for disaster survivors, rehabilitation for those suffering from drug and alcohol abuse, and clothing and shelter for people in need, The Salvation Army is doing the most good at 7,600 centers of operation around the country. In the first-ever listing of “America’s Favorite Charities” by The Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Salvation Army ranked as the country’s largest privately funded, direct-service nonprofit. For more information, visit www.SalvationArmyUSA.org. Follow us on Twitter @SalvationArmyUS and #DoingTheMostGood.

The Salvation Army Providing Hurricane Laura Disaster Relief Throughout Louisiana

Lake Charles, LA (September 2, 2020)—The Salvation Army is serving throughout the state of Louisiana in the aftermath of Hurricane Laura. Disaster relief services are ongoing in Alexandria, Monroe, and Lake Charles, as official Salvation Army crews are manning mobile feeding units providing meals, drinks, snacks, personal hygiene kits, and cleaning supplies to anyone in need.

The largest effort is in the Lake Charles area, where The Salvation Army has set up a full IMAT team and currently has a total of 21 mobile feeding units [canteens] serving the area. The feeding operations in Lake Charles are supported by Southern Baptist Disaster Relief, who have volunteered 20 personnel from Mississippi for 14 days to serve by preparing hot meals on The Salvation Army’s Field Kitchen which are then distributed by the canteens. Canteen service locations are posted every day on the Salvation Army Lake Charles Facebook page as well as on The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services website at www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org. In addition to the canteens at set locations, the feeding units are also roving the neighborhoods, finding people in need where they are, and offering much-needed help and hope.

Emotional and spiritual care is also a large aspect of The Salvation Army’s disaster relief services. Canteen workers in Lake Charles are actively taking prayer requests from the people they serve and handing them over to the Emotional and Spiritual Care [ESC] Officer, Major Robert Lyle, who ensures that every request is prayed for. The Salvation Army’s Emotional & Spiritual Care HOPEline (844-458-HOPE) is also available every day between 8 AM to 11 PM CDT to anyone needing a caring listener.

To date, The Salvation Army has provided the following disaster relief in response to Hurricane Laura throughout the state of Louisiana:

• 35,556 Meals

• 33,030 Drinks

• 21,438 Snacks

• 99 Cleanup kits (per kit)

• 45 Cleaning Supplies / Tools (per order)

• 471 Personal Hygiene Kits

• 109 Food Boxes

• Emotional and Spiritual Care to 521 Individuals

The best way to support the disaster work of The Salvation Army by making a financial donation at www.helpsalvationarmy.org or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY. For the latest emergency disaster services news from The Salvation Army, please go to www.disaster.salvationarmyusa.org and watch for regular updates on our social media pages at www.facebook.com/salarmyalm/ and www.twitter.com/salarmyalm.

As natural disasters can increase mental stress, The Salvation Army’s Emotional & Spiritual Care HOPEline remains available. Anyone needing a caring listener – whether because of natural disaster, COVID-19, or the stress of life in general – can call 844-458-HOPE (4673) for support. HOPEline hours are 8 AM to 11 PM CDT, 7 days a week.

Salvation Army Actively Serving/Preparing in New Orleans & Baton Rouge Over Weekend

The Salvation Army’s preparations for Tropical Storm Barry have been in full swing over the weekend, as staff and volunteers worked hard to get ready for the impact of the storm. Barry made landfall as a hurricane early Saturday afternoon near Intracoastal City, Louisiana, and quickly weakened back to tropical storm status. It’s still too early to breathe a collective sigh of relief, however, as the storm system is moving very slowly there is still the possibility of severe flooding. Tropical Storm Barry could potentially dump a tremendous amount of rain on already strained waterways. The Salvation Army Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi (ALM) Division stands ready and prepared to serve as needed, with the bulk of activity so far being in New Orleans and Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Terry Lightheart, the ALM Division Emergency Disaster Services Director stated, “Preparedness and partnerships are key to an effective disaster relief response and recovery. The Salvation Army seeks to “Do the Most Good” which includes providing much-needed resources to the communities where we serve in a time of need.”

Beginning on Friday, The Salvation Army of Greater New Orleans has been serving three meals a day from their mobile feeding unit (canteen) to local Department of Transportation employees who are stationed at Baby Cakes Field to inspect a fleet of buses on standby for evacuations. Lunch on Friday included sandwiches donated by Subway. The Salvation Army New Orleans Area Command also spent much of the day preparing their Center of Hope shelter for an expected increase of shelter residents as a result of the storm. Employees unloaded pallets of drinks donated by PepsiCo and moved them, along with water and other supplies, to the fourth floor of the shelter to prepare for the possibility of flooding.

The Baton Rouge Corps of The Salvation Army has also been busy in the community and at their shelter, taking full advantage of the lead-time that an event like this gives for preparation. “The good thing about hurricanes is you know they’re coming. You do get to prepare at least,” said Major Donald Tekautz, Baton Rouge Salvation Army Corps Officer. At the request of the Cajun Navy on Thursday, the Baton Rouge Salvation Army provided hydration at one of the main sandbagging locations in town. They also helped to fill sandbags and even sent Salvation Army volunteers to drop off sandbags to elderly residents who otherwise would not have been able to get them. The Baton Rouge Corps continued to help with sandbagging efforts on Friday and Saturday. The Salvation Army shelter in Baton Rouge was also a hub of storm prep over the weekend, with employees stocking the warehouse with disaster relief items such as bottled water, clean up kits, cots, and personal hygiene kits. Extra food was also put in place in the shelter kitchen in anticipation of a storm-related surge in shelter occupancy.

Preparing to Respond to Tropical Storm Barry

Disaster personnel from across The Salvation Army Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi (ALM) Division are gearing up to respond to the effects of what is predicted to be the first hurricane of the season. The National Hurricane Center has reported the tropical system is expected to make landfall in the next 48 hours producing heavy rainfall and flooding.

Preparation for this event began days ago when the ALM Division placed as many as 28 Salvation Army units on standby. These units are prepared, as needed, to provide disaster relief equipment and personnel to affected areas along the Gulf Coast and affected areas inland.  Service delivery will include the deployment of canteens stocked with meals, snacks and hydration and trained personnel to provide emotional and spiritual care. Each mobile feeding unit (canteen) has the capacity to provide anywhere from 500 to 1,000 meals per day.

To maintain situational awareness, The Salvation Army disaster personnel are working in close coordination with local and state emergency management partners which aids in the identification of the most affected areas and determination of entering that area when it is deemed safe to do so.

Terry Lightheart, the ALM Division Emergency Disaster Services Director stated, “Preparedness and partnerships are key to an effective disaster relief response and recovery. The Salvation Army seeks to “Do the Most Good” which includes providing much-needed resources to the communities where we serve in a time of need.”

For additional information, go to https://disaster.salvationarmyusa.org/news/

If anyone wants to help, we are not accepting in-kind donations at this time. To make a financial contribution please go to helpsalvationarmy.org.

Father/Son Team Delivers Food and Hope in Baton Rouge Flood

la floods, ketcham, volunteers

The Ketchams make a great team when it comes to disaster response. The father, son duo are one of the most experienced crews working in Baton Rouge this week following historic flooding throughout many parts of Southern Louisiana.

“I know how he wants things…I can anticipate what he wants,” said Ike Ketcham.

Dan drives and Ike navigates. They have worked as a team since Hurricane Gustav.

The pair moved to New Orleans shortly after Hurricane Katrina hit looking for work in construction. What they found was a way to help those in desperate need.

“We’ve had people try to pay us for the meals we give them off the canteen,” said Dan Ketcham. “I tell them I will only accept a handshake. You can see their surprise first, then the gratitude.”

Despite how “fluid” things seem to go on their canteen, their relationship hasn’t always been so smooth. Not too long ago, Dan was asked to read the bible scripture during church services at the New Orleans Salvation Army. He read from Luke 15…the story of the prodigal son.

“It took me a long time to read that cause my son was lost. I got choked up,” said Ketcham.

Ike saw what that scripture did to his father. Dan says he can’t explain what happened after that but Ike did a one eighty.

At one time, caught up in drugs and alcohol, Ike says The Salvation Army changed his life.

“The Salvation Army gave me the opportunity to change my life,” said Ike Ketcham. “I feel like I’m the luckiest person ever.”

Now, the Ketchams run their “ministry” out of a canteen each time they are called upon.

“I see how people are grateful, and the community is changed. It blows my mind every time we go out,” said Ike.

“The Salvation Army is a family, they welcomed me with open arms, and that’s what I do from the canteen,” says Dan.


To help those in these flooded areas across Southeast Louisiana, you can donate by going to http://give.salvationarmyusa.org/gulf_coast_floods.

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church 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. Nearly 30 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing 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 The Salvation Army spends is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide.