The Salvation Army has been engaged in a dead-lock fight against the damage wrecked by three hurricanes in Southeastern United States. But in order to declare victory, the organization is calling out for more supplies--an estimated $40 million in funds to support emergency and long-term recovery efforts.
In its largest disaster relief effort, the Salvation Army has reached out to more than 78,000 families, providing over 2 million meals from more than 100 mobile kitchens. Through the help of its 2,500-strong team of officers (pastors), staff and volunteers, the Christian social service organization has been able to supply on an 24-hour daily basis meals, water, clean-up kits, social services, and spiritual counseling to the hurricanes’ victims.
But it is still not enough, according to Commissioner Todd Bassett, national commander of The Salvation Army.
"Our work is done only when we know the last family has been fed, clothed and sheltered, and is on a path back to self-sufficiency. This will be weeks and weeks of outreach," he said.
Around $10 million in individual and corporate donations has already helped the Army in its disaster relief efforts but the Army estimates another $40 million is needed to adequately support emergency and long-term recovery efforts.
Many organizations have donated food and non-food supplies to aid The Salvation Army’s response to the crisis. In addition, CruiseFYI, an online cruise-booking service, has announced that it will donate $100 for every online seven-day or longer cruise booking and $50 for every call-in seven-day or longer booking now through Dec. 31.
"We deeply value the partnerships of the many who have provided so much in the way of prayer and financial assistance to date,” Bassett said. “The Salvation Army can respond to a crisis of this magnitude only with the wonderful support of the American public.”
However, “the need grows virtually by the hour,” he noted.
Hurricane Jeanne was the most recent hurricane to pose a threat to United States Southeastern region, forcing North and South Carolina Salvation Army teams working in Florida to return home and respond to possible flooding problems.
“There are many who are now experiencing dire conditions,” Commissioner Bassett said “The Salvation Army is greatly appreciative to be that critical link for those who want to make a difference, and those seeking someone to make a difference in their lives."
The recovery effort for the three hurricanes is one of the largest operations in over 100 years of Salvation Army Disaster Service, reported the Army.
"There is a time when the mission of an organization like ours is heightened,” said Basset, “when our stewardship of the Lord's guidance is placed even more directly in our hands. One of those times, it seems, is now, when the need is greatest for hundreds of thousands of people."
Donations can be made over the phone by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY or via the Internet at http://www.1800SALARMY.org.