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Columbus, Mississippi Corps Helping Neighbors In Need Throughout 2020’s Disasters

The Salvation Army of Columbus has provided utility and food assistance throughout their community amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Many families have leaned on the Army for assistance during this time due to job loss and health issues leading to unexpected financial responsibilities. Here are just a few of the many testimonials of Columbus residents.

A family of four visited the Social Services office for assistance with their electric bill. The father, the sole provider for the family, had just received a text message from his employer stating that his services were no longer needed.  He’d held this position for four years and didn’t receive an explanation for losing his job.  His unemployment application had been on hold for months due to the pandemic, leaving him and his family in dire need of financial assistance. The Salvation Army was able to fully pay the families’ utility bill through the CARES Act. Food from the pantry and diapers that were donated via the Walmart Salvation Army Registry were also provided.

 

A mother of two contacted the Columbus Corps concerning her need for utility assistance. She worked full time for a factory and was laid off amid the COVID-19 pandemic.  She’d never asked for assistance prior to the pandemic and hadn’t anticipated needing it.  She’d been relying on her weekly $235.00 unemployment check for a while, barely getting by. When the government increased the allowance to $600 she thought things would turn around for her family, but she quickly lost control of her expenses after that allowance was reduced again. Between household upkeep, bills, and food she just could not keep up. The Salvation Army was able to provide groceries for the family as well as cover their utility bills through assistance from the CARES Act.

 

An elderly woman visited the Columbus Corps Social Services office for assistance with her electric bill.  She’d recently moved into a new apartment and could not afford the rent due to her fixed income. She’d originally planned to split rent payments with her daughter but was abandoned with the burden when her daughter made arrangements to get a place of her own. She only receives $613.00 per month in Social Security and the rent is $400. She had nowhere else to go. This apartment was the cheapest she could find in her area.  The Salvation Army was able to assist with her utility bills with funds provided by The Emergency Food and Shelter Program and provided her with food from the pantry.

 

For more information on how The Salvation Army is assisting the Columbus, Mississippi Community, visit https://salvationarmyalm.org/columbus/.

 

 

 

A Christmas Miracle: Homeless Woman’s Life Turned Around in 24 Hours

The Salvation Army of the Mississippi Gulf Coast Command Officers, Majors Bradley and Anita Caldwell, watched shelter one night. Only one woman came to stay at the shelter that night. She settled in and got to sleep, and the next morning she came to Major Anita Caldwell for a coat. It was frigid out, and she did not have one. On top of a pile of black bags filled with donations sat one coat. The coat was the only item that wasn’t bagged, and it fit her perfectly.

“It was just for her. I loved that. It was like a miracle,” Major Anita Caldwell explained.

The woman left the building with her new coat and all of her belongings and sat on the sidewalk because she had nowhere else to go. It was obvious that she had mental health concerns of some kind because she began talking to people around her and called for a dog or child to follow her, although there was no one around. The Officers had a scheduled food distribution first thing that morning and did not feel comfortable leaving the woman alone on the sidewalk. Concerned for her safety, Majors Caldwell contacted the Open Doors Homeless Coalition. By 3:00 PM that afternoon, the woman was in her own room in her own apartment, and the Open Doors Homeless Coalition had ordered a bed for her.

A Salvation Army social worker transported the woman to her new apartment, and Major Anita Caldwell made arrangements for the power to be turned on. The more incredible blessing in this story of miracles is that the woman was connected with the CHOICE Program to receive assistance for a year. The CHOICE Program works collaboratively with the Mississippi Department of Health, Mississippi’s Community Mental Health Centers, and Mississippi Home Cooperation to provide intensive case management and temporary rental assistance to make housing affordable throughout Mississippi for individuals with serious mental illness.

“To me, that is my Christmas miracle. I just love that. I couldn’t have put those pieces together in 24 hours if I tried to,” Major Anita Caldwell shared.
“Any other day, no one would know about her, but now someone can knock on her door and check on her,” Major Anita Caldwell added.

To learn more about how The Salvation Army Mississippi Gulf Coast Area Command, visit https://salvationarmyalm.org/msgulfcoast/.

 

 

 

The Salvation Army Helping Mississippians Throughout COVID-19

The Salvation Army has been there for our neighbors in need throughout the COVID-19 pandemic. Here are a few highlights from Mississippi Corps.

Jackson

A disproportionate number of lower-income Mississippians have been impacted by COVID-19. The Salvation Army Jackson has canceled all community programs in their facilities, with the desire to keep their community safe and to follow CDC recommendations.  However, they are delivering boxes of food and supplies to the homes of 70 seniors who have come to rely on hot, nutritious meals at their facilities. The Corps social worker also checks in with the seniors on a regular basis and holds Sunday school via telephone a few times a month so that seniors are able to keep in touch with one another and maintain a sense of community with The Salvation Army.

Hattiesburg

No story sticks more than any other except serving the 425+ who came to The Salvation Army of Hattiesburg every Thursday this summer during for Food Distribution day. This day was made possible with the help of the Farmers to Families program and E&B Grocery in Hattiesburg. Through this program, clients received meat, vegetable, and dairy boxes from E&B Grocery.  Donations have included bags of potatoes, onions, milk, Lunchables, tortillas, bleach, and several other things. This program would not be possible without the help of the incredible Hattiesburg community partners.

Vicksburg

A client was laid off from work at the daycare because of the COVID-19 restrictions. The daycare closed and has not yet re-opened. The client looked for a new job for four months without any luck. In May, The Salvation Army of Vicksburg was able to help with her electric bill. In July, she returned for assistance with her water bill. Her water had been shut off for a few weeks, and she was making due. The Vicksburg Corps supplied her with drinking water and spoke with the water company about paying the bill. An agreement was made so that the water would be turned back on the very day the Salvation Army paid the bill. There was a delay in writing the check, and it wasn’t ready until Friday. Since we wanted her water turned on as soon as possible, the corps officer hand-delivered the water bill, so her water was turned on before the weekend.

Greenwood

A young lady with four children was just laid off from work and just had a house fire that took all she had. We gave her a clothing voucher so she could have clothes for herself and her children. The Salvation Army of Greenwood agreed to furnish her new home once ararngements were made. Since the Greenwood Corps doesn’t have a shelter, corps officers supplied the young woman with a week’s stay in a hotel and helped her make arrangements to stay in a nearby local shelter. We ended our time together with a word of prayer. We are hoping that she would be willing to participate in our pathway of hope program ministry.

Salvation Army Laurel Helps Families Through COVID-19, Bankruptcy, and Hard Times

The Salvation Army of Laurel’s Emergency Food Assistance program has dramatically increased amid the COVID-19 pandemic. Bankruptcy, health conditions, and lack of government assistance left a Laurel, Mississippi family strapped for money and food during the pandemic. Grandparents have become caregivers so that parents can work during the pandemic, resulting in a need for more food to keep children fed. The family turned to The Salvation Army for assistance and received weekly food boxes to aid them during financial recovery.

“We have been able to do weekly distributions due to community support and local food assistance programs. The family has since shared how this food has kept them from going hungry and how The Salvation Army’s outreach to this family has encouraged them during a difficult time in their lives. This is why we exist; to help our neighbors in need,” shared Major Raymond Pruitt, Laurel Corps Officer.

Another family applied through the Angel Tree program and needed bedroom furniture for their children. Laurel Corps Officers informed the community of the need to help this family. A donor saw news coverage of the need and purchased beautiful new beds for the family right away. The Salvation Army delivery truck needed repair and was unable to deliver beds to the family, so the donor also donated an additional $600 to pay for our vehicle to get out of the shop. The Salvation Army delivered the new furniture to the family, thanks to this giving individual.

“Our neighbors help us just as much as we help them. It’s a community effort to make sure everyone is well taken care of. We are so appreciative of our donors, and we’re blessed and thankful to be here to serve the Laurel community,” Major Pruitt shared.

A Miracle Birthday Cake

The pandemic has been hard on many. Grocery delivery service needs have increased tremendously for The Salvation Army of Meridian, averaging at serving 100 people through the drive-thru food pantry a week. Although fighting the good fight can weigh heavy on officers and volunteers, there are always small miracles that serve as a reminder for why we do what we do here at The Salvation Army.

A woman came by the Meridian Corps Social Services to pick up a produce/pastry box. She came back to the door sobbing, explaining that her son’s birthday was the coming weekend and she didn’t know what she was going to do.  Miraculously, the only birthday cake that the Army had was inside the box she received.

“I didn’t know her need, but the Holy Spirit did! God blessed her and my heart that day,” The Salvation Army of Meridian Corps Officer, Lieutenant Tamara Robb, shared.

“It’s always such a blessing to see how the Holy Spirit works,” Lieutenant Robb added.

 

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.

 

Vicksburg

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.

 

Greenwood

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.

 

Tuscaloosa

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.

 

Huntsville

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.

 

Monroe

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.

 

Gadsden

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.

 

Salvation Army Continuing Zeta Relief Efforts Along Gulf Coast

Jackson, MS (10/30/2020) — Thousands are still without power after Hurricane Zeta ripped through the Gulf Coast as a Category 2 hurricane Wednesday evening. The Salvation Army units on the MS Gulf Coast and in Citronelle, AL, Houma, LA, Thomasville, AL, and Hattiesburg, MS, are all currently providing disaster relief services to those affected by Hurricane Zeta.

The most extensive of these relief efforts are occurring on the MS Gulf Coast. The MS Gulf Coast Area Command is serving hot meals from their canteen in front of The Salvation Army Family Store in Gulfport again this evening, as well as serving in Hancock County at the Bayside Fire Department, and will have a mobile feeding unit roaming in Waveland. The Salvation Army Pascagoula Corps is providing hot meals to residents of a flooded community in St. Martin. They will be handing out the meals from the parking lot of the St. Martin Community Center.

“We are so blessed to be able to serve this community and provide not only a hot meal but also comfort and hope during this trying time,” said Lt. Carla Lawson, Pascagoula Corps Officer. “Our community is strong and resilient; we will get through this together,” she continued.

The Salvation Army will sustain ongoing communication with emergency management officials regarding ongoing needs throughout the recovery period following hurricane Zeta.

Donations to support the disaster relief work of The Salvation Army can be made at www.helpsalvationarmy.org, or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.

For the latest information on The Salvation Army’s response to Hurricane Zeta and other 2020 hurricanes, please visit www.disaster.salvationarmy.org.

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.

Gulf Coast Salvation Army Units Responding To Needs After Hurricane Zeta

Jackson, MS (October 29, 2020) — Hurricane Zeta tore through the storm-weary Gulf Coast last night, leaving millions without power in its wake. Salvation Army personnel are working closely with state and local emergency management officials to assess and meet needs throughout the affected areas. The Salvation Army Mississippi Gulf Coast Area Command is responding to local needs by serving hot meals tonight from their canteen (mobile feeding unit) at the Gulfport Salvation Army Family Store. The Salvation Army in Jackson County, MS, will be serving in conjunction with their local Sheriff’s office. The Salvation Army of Coastal Alabama is serving meals this evening in Citronelle, AL.

“The Salvation Army is thankful for the chance to serve those in need in cooperation with local authorities. We are blessed with such a helping and supportive community where we can share the challenge of meeting human needs,” said Major Bradley Caldwell, Salvation Army MS Gulf Coast Area Commander.

The Salvation Army will sustain ongoing communication with emergency management officials regarding ongoing needs throughout the recovery period following hurricane Zeta.

Donations to support the disaster relief work of The Salvation Army can be made at www.helpsalvationarmy.org, or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.

For the latest information on The Salvation Army’s response to Hurricane Zeta and other 2020 hurricanes, please visit www.disaster.salvationarmy.org.

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 Stands Ready To Respond To Hurricane Zeta

Jackson, MS (10/28/2020) —The Salvation Army Alabama, Louisiana, Mississippi (ALM) Division is monitoring the storm and preparing for a rapid local response to Hurricane Zeta as needed, with 19 mobile feeding units on standby throughout the division. After strengthening throughout the day, Hurricane Zeta is expected to make landfall along the southeastern Louisiana coast on Wednesday afternoon, according to the National Hurricane Center.

The New Orleans area has had more than its share of hurricane threats in this extra busy hurricane season, but until now has managed to avoid each one. It looks like that is changing now, with Zeta poised to make landfall very near The Crescent City. “The Salvation Army is prepared and stands ready to serve our New Orleans community and surrounding areas as needed in the wake of Hurricane Zeta,” said Major Christopher Thornhill, Area Commander for the New Orleans Salvation Army.

Donations to support the disaster relief work of The Salvation Army can be made at www.helpsalvationarmy.org, or by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY.

For the latest information on The Salvation Army’s response to Hurricane Zeta, and other 2020 hurricanes, please visit www.disaster.salvationarmy.org.

 

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.

Hurricane Delta Weakens to Tropical Storm | The Salvation Army Moves in to Serve Neighbors in Need

JACKSON, Miss. (October 10, 2020) – Hurricane Delta made landfall overnight near Creole, Louisiana, a city in Cameron Parish with 660 residents, as a Category 2 hurricane. Creole is approximately 12 miles east of where Category 4 Hurricane Laura made landfall only six weeks ago.

As of 7 AM CDT today, Delta is a tropical storm moving north/northeast near 16 mph and is expected to continue to weaken into a tropical depression later today. A motion toward the northeast is expected to begin later today and continue through Sunday night. On the forecast track, Delta’s center should move across northeastern Louisiana this morning and then across northern Mississippi and into the Tennessee Valley later today and Sunday.

There 593,308 power outages throughout Louisiana and 90,852 power outages in Mississippi. Delta has produced a vast amount of rainfall in Louisiana, with one location reporting up to 17 inches of rain. It is expected to create an additional 2-5 inches of rain, with isolated storm totals of 10 inches. These rainfall amounts will lead to flash flooding. Delta is forecast to exit the ALM Division in the northwest corner of Alabama Sunday morning.

Thirty-two mobile feeding units are on standby to respond throughout the ALM Division. Approximately 70,000 meals are ready or being prepared for initial distribution in southwest Louisiana and other affected areas. An Incident Management Team with disaster relief equipment is now heading to Lake Charles from Beaumont, Texas, and has prepped 12,000 meals to fill immediate requests. The Salvation Army ALM Division monitors tropical storm Delta closely as we prepare to serve our neighbors in need.

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.

For the latest emergency disaster services news from The Salvation Army, follow the social feed on Twitter at @salarmyeds or visit disaster.salvationarmyusa.org. To donate to The Salvation Army’s disaster relief efforts, visit HelpSalvationArmy.org.

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.

Meals and Mobile Feeding Units Are Prepped to Serve Throughout Louisiana for Hurricane Delta Relief

JACKSON, Miss. (October 9, 2020) As of 7 AM CDT, Hurricane Delta is a Category 3 Hurricane. Louisiana and Mississippi experienced tornado warnings overnight. No damage has been reported. Slow weakening is expected to begin as Delta approaches the northern Gulf Coast later today, with rapid decline expected after the center moves inland. Landfall is expected along the southwest Louisiana coast later this afternoon or evening. Hurricane-force winds and dangerous storm surge flooding are expected Friday afternoon and evening along the southwest and south-central Louisiana coast. Hurricane Delta is expected to produce 5 to 10 inches of rain, with isolated maximum totals of 15 inches, southwest into south-central Louisiana. The system is expected to move north, north-east crossing Mississippi, and then exiting the ALM Division in the northwest corner of Alabama early Sunday morning.

Thirty-two mobile feeding units are on standby to respond throughout the ALM Division. Approximately 70,000 meals are ready or being prepared for initial distribution in southwest Louisiana and other affected areas. An Incident Management Team with disaster relief equipment is staging in Beaumont, Texas, Friday evening for rapid deployment to Lake Charles, Louisiana, on Saturday, October 10, 2020. There are 12,000 meals on standby in Beaumont to fill immediate requests. The Salvation Army ALM Division monitors Hurricane Delta closely as we prepare to serve our neighbors in need.

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.
For the latest emergency disaster services news from The Salvation Army, follow the social feed on Twitter at @salarmyeds or visit disaster.salvationarmyusa.org. To donate to The Salvation Army’s disaster relief efforts, visit HelpSalvationArmy.org.

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.

Boots on the Ground, Preparing for Hurricane Delta | The Salvation Army Prepared and Ready to Respond to Disaster

Jackson, MS (October 6, 2020) – As Category 4 Hurricane Delta makes its way into the Gulf of Mexico, life-threatening storm surge and heavy rainfall is possible anywhere from Southeast Louisiana to the Florida Panhandle Thursday night through Saturday morning. The Salvation Army is monitoring the situation closely and preparing to respond as needed by placing disaster relief equipment and personnel on standby.

“The Salvation Army is prepared for Hurricane Delta,” stated Terry Lightheart, Emergency Disaster Services Director of The Salvation Army Alabama, Louisiana and Mississippi Division. “We are monitoring the system in conjunction with local and state emergency management partners and national weather service agencies. We currently have seven (7) mobile feeding units ready to go and another seven (7) units on standby to provide food and hydration to those in the potentially affected areas,” Terry Lightheart added.

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.

For the latest emergency disaster services news from The Salvation Army, follow the social feed on Twitter at @salarmyeds or visit disaster.salvationarmyusa.org. To donate to The Salvation Army’s disaster relief efforts, visit HelpSalvationArmy.org.

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.