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Army provided array of aid after September 11

Since the terrorist attacks that killed thousands of people at the World Trade Center and the Pentagon, The Salvation Army has been closely involved with the recovery process of survivors in New York, Pennsylvania and Washington.

Arriving within a half-hour of the first plane hitting the World Trade Center, The Salvation Army was the first relief organization to arrive on the scene at Ground Zero and provided extensive support for relief workers and volunteers. The Army continued to support the recovery effort throughout the months-long cleanup process and helped thousands of people with practical assistance as well as spiritual and emotional care.

The American public donated $86 million to The Salvation Army to respond to the attacks, and the entire amount was spent on 9/11 services, the majority of it during the first year. Donations were primarily used for practical items and services including food for rescue workers and volunteers, steel-toed boots, socks, eye drops, rest stations and other items related to the cleanup effort at Ground Zero.

The Army also continued to assist people displaced following the attacks, providing rent and utility assistance, job placement and referrals for health care needs, among other things. Resources were also allocated toward long-term assistance programs, including an extensive $4 million crisis counseling program for people affected by 9/11 that served 5,670 people. The program will continue to operate in the Greater New York Division through the end of this year.

The GNY Division served more than 59,000 people through 9/11-related, long-term assistance programs, including clothing and food, crisis counseling/group therapy, child care, employment training and placement, funeral/burial expenses and assistance with issues relating to FEMA filing, finance and counseling, healthcare referral, housing/utilities, immigration, legal concerns, spiritual life and other matters.

In response to the 9/11 attack on the Pentagon, the National Capital-Virginia Division provided aid and comfort to workers and survivors and helped over 17,000 survivors and their families with direct social service aid.

Following the crash of United flight 93 in Pennsylvania, The Salvation Army served nearly 20,000 meals and provided some 13,000 volunteer hours.

Community outreach paying off

in Tupelo, Miss., after busy summer

The Salvation Army of Tupelo, Miss., recently held its Back-to-School Bash for area children, winding down summer vacation with one last "hoorah." After a summer filled with parties, movies, bowling, skating and a trip to a water park, Shelley Futrelle, SAMS (Salvation Army mission specialist), decided to make going back to school fun for the kids.

After several generous donations, 75 backpacks were filled with school supplies for each child specified in the program. Some children received a full backpack; other children filled their backpacks by playing games such as bowling, a cake walk, tic-tac-toe, etc. The prizes awarded were school supplies that included notebook paper, pencils, glue, crayons and other back-to-school materials.

"We decided to provide supplies to all of the children from the corps and from our community outreach group because there was such a need," Futrelle said. "We gathered school lists, combined what was needed onto one piece of paper, and we went and shopped for the supplies." Attending the bash were 162 people - the majority brought in through the outreach program.

The duties of a SAMS involve venturing out into the local communities and determining underlying needs while raising awareness of the programs offered at The Salvation Army. The SAMS also plans special events to get the communities involved and nurtures those relationships that are developed in order to increase program participation at the corps.

"We increased in number because part of my job is to get out into the community and do evangelism," Futrelle said. "We visited all of the major apartment buildings this summer to talk about our programs, and we attended two fun festivals for two different apartment complexes to try to set up outreach programs. Because we have done a lot of leg work this summer, we are reaping the benefits now. Our programs have almost doubled, and we have 10 new families attending all corps functions, including Sunday services."

Each Thursday evening, the Tupelo facility receives about 75 kids. "This is an outreach function, but it includes a few of our corps kids," Futrelle said. "We are trying to change that. This fall, on Thursday evenings, we will be having "Fun with Futrelle," which is a weekly Sunday school, but the kids don't know that. Afterwards, we will have Sunbeams, Girl Guards and SAAC. We are trying to bridge the gap between Thursday community outreach and Sunday programs."

"The SAMS position has been a blessing to the Tupelo Corps," said Major Sue Dorman, corps officer. "It has opened doors in our community for services to all walks of life. Through the leadership of Shelley in this area and the involvement of corps locals, the Tupelo Corps is definitely on the move in advancing God's Kingdom."Tammy Craft


Garden provides more than groceries at Center of Hope

Lake Charles, La., facility is growing new form of therapeutic release

Nearly one year after Hurricane Rita devastated the area, things are up and coming - literally - at The Salvation Army's Center of Hope in Lake Charles, La. While disaster relief is still being provided to hurricane victims, Captain David Sams has come up with a relatively simple, yet creative, way to help people seeking treatment in the center's drug and alcohol rehabilitation program. It keeps a little extra money in the bank as well.

In the spring, Sams planted a garden - a big one. And when the Lord giveth, He giveth a lot. The garden produces heaps of vegetables - among them are banana peppers, jalapenos, pumpkins, tomatoes, cucumbers, watermelons and three kinds of beans. "The vegetables have to be picked every other day," Sams said. "We have more produce than we can even eat at the Center of Hope. We have had to give vegetables to corps members, employees and friends. That's a big garden."

The garden saves the Center of Hope about $1,500 a month. "We were spending $2,000 a month on food, and the majority of that was for produce," Sams said. "Now we only have to spend $500 a month, and that's for the meat." The cost of starting the garden, purchasing fertilizer, supplies, etc., was only $300. The money saved is used to support the programs at the Center of Hope.

Although the additional money is a bonus, Sams decided to plant the garden as an alternative method of treatment at the Center of Hope. "It's therapeutic to see that God grows things for us. It's relatively inexpensive to have, and we only have to weed and maintain it. God does the rest. It's been an all-around good thing," he said. "It has been therapeutic for me, too."

"I am thrilled that Captain Sams has taken something very practical and made it therapeutic for the men in recovery," said Major Dalton Cunningham, Alabama-Louisiana-Mississippi divisional commander. "It gives them something constructive to do with their time and energy."

Sams plans to plant winter crops soon. "We are going to plant potatoes, greens, onions - things that can grow in the fall and winter. We'll use the garden year-round," he said.

In addition to the garden, the men at the Center of Hope have planted flower beds around the facility, further beautifying the property. "We're trying to make the Center of Hope the Center of Hope," Sams said. "Not the Center of Despair."

Tammy Craft















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