The Salvation Army Continues Aid to Tornado Victims 12/04/2009
MENA (April 12, 2009) - In the overnight hours of April 9, 2009, a strong line of storms moved across Arkansas and Oklahoma spawning tornadoes in Eastern Oklahoma and Western Arkansas. It is Easter Sunday and the rain is pouring down, the wind is strong and it is cold. However; as the rain pours, The Salvation Army provides not only food for the body, but food and warmth for the soul as well. During this holy Sunday, The Salvation Army is happy to provide assistance, warm meals, and a word of prayer for those affected by the storms in the in the communities of DeQueen and Mena, Arkansas.
Alton Gardner, Emergency Disaster Services Director for The Salvation Army, said "We have three units and several employees and volunteers responding to the area to offer hydration and warm meals, as well as emotional and spiritual care to those affected by the recent storm."
"Our heart goes out to those affected by Thursday evening's storms. The Salvation Army has responded to the area and will provide whatever relief we can to those who have been touched by this disaster," said Captain Ric Swartz of The Salvation Army in McAlester, Oklahoma. "The Army stands ready to serve."
Mobile feeding units are roaming in DeQueen and Mena, Arkansas and have a fixed location at the First Baptist Church of Mena. The Salvation Army is working with several partners and local churches to serve three meals daily. Hundreds of responders, volunteers, and relief organization employees have landed in Western Arkansas to help. Initial estimates indicate over 600 structures are destroyed or have some form of damage.
"We are in close communication with the Emergency operations center in Mena, responding to the needs as quickly as possible Major Harvey Johnson of The Central Arkansas Area Command added. "Additionally, The Salvation Army is prepared to respond to other communities as another round of storms passes through today and this evening."
Anyone wishing to make a donation to support The Salvation Army's relief efforts in these areas may do so by calling 1-800-SAL-ARMY, by visiting www.salvationarmyusa.org or by contacting their nearest Salvation Army Corps.