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Salvation Army of Augusta sends four people to help Tropical Storm Lee flood victims Four Augustans are north of the Mason-Dixon Line this month helping victims of Tropical Storm Lee. The Salvation Army of Augusta sent four people to Pennsylvania ... Continue reading →
WETM 18 (Northeast Pennsylvania NBC Affiliate) Reports on The Salvation Army of Georgia's Response to Flooding
Sayre, Pa. - It's just after daybreak and inside the Salvation Army's canteen, the grill is on, the stove is hot and the spirits are high. The canteen is a traveling kitchen and it's made it's way to the valley, from Atlanta, Georgia. Continue Reading-->
The Salvation Army of Augusta Deploys Four Augustans to Northeast Pennsylvania for Disaster Relief
The Salvation Army of Augusta announced the deployment of four Augustans to northeast Pennsylvania to assist with disaster relief as part of The Salvation Army's Emergency Disaster Services (EDS). On Saturday, September 17, Captain Todd Mason (Kroc Center Administrator), Rebecca Sullivan (Salvation Army Mission Specialist for Seniors Ministry & Kroc Outreach), Leia Eubanks (Salvation Army of Augusta Development Associate), and Thomas Watkins (Salvation Army of Augusta volunteer) flew from Georgia to Pennsylvania to assist those affected by flooding caused by Tropical Storm Lee. Continue Reading -->
The Augusta Chronicle Reports on Disaster Relief Team's Return Home
Disaster relief team returns from Alabama
By Lynn Davidson
They thought they'd seen it all. But experience taught them a new lesson.
Three representatives of the Salvation Army of Greater Augusta returned Wednesday from spending 10 days in Alabama serving meals to tornado victims and rescue workers.
"We saw pictures of the devastation before we got there. But there, you could feel the devastation. You could feel the grief through the expressions on their faces and the look in their eyes," said Debra McKenzie, development manager of Augusta's Salvation Army.
Augusta's Disaster Services Coordinator Katie Atkinson and Corps member John Gillam were with McKenzie. They said they'd never before been through such a disaster.
Atkinson described it as "an eye-opening experience."
"I got a good understanding of how important a community is," she said. "Those people really depended on their neighbors. We were there serving food, but a lot of emotional support came from their neighbors."
The Augusta team took a small mobile kitchen to Alabama, where they joined three other Salvation Army canteens from Savannah, Atlanta and Vidalia, Ga. The Augusta canteen served about 1,000 meals three times each day in Section, Pisgah and Flat Hills, Ala. That was how they learned the importance of their support.
McKenzie said one image that remains in her mind is of their first few days there, when tornado victims would drive up, get out and pick up a plate of food, then rush back to their car and scarf it down inside their car.
"You could tell they were starving," she said. "I'll never forget that."
Sometimes, the teams joined efforts and shared facilities. The Savannah canteen was a large, fully equipped kitchen with six stove burners and two ovens. McKenzie said they could cook meatloaf or fry fish in the big canteen and cook and serve vegetables out of the smaller one. They spent $15,000 on food their first four days there.
"Feeding that many people would have been impossible without the donations of money people gave to the Salvation Army," Atkinson said. "It allowed us to buy large quantities of food - like 140 dozen eggs - at one time."
By the time they left, McKenzie, Atkinson and Gillam were considered neighbors. The people of Flat Rock asked them to hang around another hour because they had a gift coming. They gave them gray T-shirts bearing the words "Flat Rock, Ala. Disaster Service Team."
"You could tell that meant a lot to them to give something back to us," McKenzie said.
As electricity was restored, the number of meals served decreased slightly. And even though the small canteen is back in Augusta, other Salvation Army canteens have gone to take their place and will continue to do so as long as the need is there. Others are being dispatched to Mississippi to help flood victims, Atkinson said.
Recap of Daily Updates
On Saturday, April 30, Debra McKenzie, Development Manager for The Salvation Army of Greater Augusta, Katie Atkinson, Volunteer and Disaster Services Coordinator for The Salvation Army of Greater Augusta, and John Gillam, member of The Salvation Army of Greater Augusta Corps (the church) left Augusta, Georgia in a canteen (mobile kitchen) to serve tornado survivors in Alabama. These are their daily dispatches from the field.
Day One: Saturday, April 30
Arrived in Ft. Payne, AL.
We are leaving Ft. Payne. We are with Major Craddock from Lake Charles, LA. We will be working in Section, AL. We will continue to keep you all updated as best we can.
Today we served 100 meals.
Day Two: Sunday, May 1
We've met with Major David E. Craddock and are headed back to Section Church of God.
Reports are that power will take longer to restore, maybe 2 weeks or longer in our area. Goal today is to keep our canteen moving with as much food distribution as possible.
A supply truck is due this morning to help us get paper products and toiletries to our church.
We just saw a demolished 3 story brick home. It housed a family with parents and 3 teen children. They saw the tornado coming, ran out the back door through the woods down to a creek. The family survived but their home and its contents are gone. Their surrounding neighborhood has lost 39 people.
Our church cook site is in Section, AL. However, the names of the two towns we are taking food to on the canteen are Henagar and Sylvania. These are two towns of vast destruction. Please pray specifically for the people of these communities.
Today we served 100 breakfasts, 270 lunches and 100 dinners.
Day Three: Monday, May 2
Today we will be again based out of Section, AL working to distribute food prepared by the Section Church of God congregation and volunteers.
Major Craddock will be coming to Section, AL to do an assessment and report back to Salvation Army Divisional Headquarters. The assessment will result in us either remaining in this same area or mobilizing to another area that is in greater need. We should know more late this afternoon on their decision.
Yesterday 3 men from the church worked on the canteen's air conditioning cover and have re-secured it. What a blessing they were to jump in an take care of it for us.
We have said goodbye to the leadership and volunteers at Section Church of God. We are needed in Pisgah and Flat Rock where they are serving 1,000 or more at every meal.
Today we served 200 juices and 210 plates of hamburgers, hotdogs, nuggets, and chips. Our team also prayed with 11 individuals today.
Day 4: Tuesday, May 3
We are in Flat Rock, AL today serving 1,000 or more at each meal in collaboration with The Salvation Army canteens from Savannah and Vidalia, GA. It's cold and very rainy but not storming. The power has been out now for 6 ½ days. The people here are hard at work trying to help out their neighbors. This is an awesome community! Please lift them up in your prayers as well as the other communities we've served in.
Today we provide over 1,000 hamburgers, hot dogs, and sandwiches for lunch and dinner. We also prepared 18 bags of soup and each bag provides at least 25 servings. For breakfast, we cooked 140 dozen eggs, 70 dozen biscuits, and 4 cases of bacon. Food came from individuals, groups, and businesses. Just when we thought we'd run out, someone brought more.
Late in the morning, someone brought in a trash bag full of items from their freezer that was not working any longer. They wanted us to do something with it before it thawed and couldn't be used. It was a few bags of this and that but not enough to serve a large quantity of anything. Just when we all were about to give up, I mentioned how good it would be to throw all these vegetables in together and make soup. One of the older lady's eyes perked up. She made a list of just a few more ingredients she would need and with that they made 3 large commercial size pots of vegetable soup that was ready just in time for the dinner rush! What a blessing that trash bag of thawing vegetables were today! All praise and glory to the Lord for the many blessings we see unfolding everyday in Alabama.
Day 5: Wednesday, May 4
Today is Day 5 and we are headed back to Flat Rock, AL with the Vidalia and Savannah crews.
Day 6: Thursday, May 5
We are still serving the community of Flat Rock, AL. The canteens helped with cooking breakfast and lunch and supplied 544 compete meals for dinner. The Augusta canteen ran supplies from Pisgah to Flat Rock and then on to Higdon where the Atlanta canteen is stationed. Atlanta canteen workers are stationed at Higdon Baptist Church. The church volunteers prep and serve, while the Atlanta canteen does all of the cooking. They are doing about 1,000 meals a day.
Last night in Flat Rock, I agreed to finish grilling the chicken and hamburgers while Dwayne and Greg entertained us with their guitars and singing. I burned a few hamburgers but the music was fantastic!
Day 7: Friday, May 6
Another good, productive day in Flat Rock, AL. The weather is a bit chilly in the mornings up here and today we didn't make it out of the 60s. When the wind blows, you know it instantly by the cool breeze. If you slow down, you notice the cold. So we make sure to stay busy.
Today we loaded and unloaded our canteen, the cooler truck, freezer truck, and water truck. We bring in as many supplies as necessary and we help the volunteers keep it organized and easy to get.
Today I had the pleasure of praying with 2 families. Everyone in the families survived the tornados and they feel overwhelmingly blessed. The mother completely lost her home yet she insisted on giving a $400 gift to The Salvation Army.
I also met and prayed with a pair of people that have completely lost their home. They are trying to fix up their son's old trailer that has been vacant for a while. They said it needs a lot of work, but eventually they'll call it home and start over again.
Many of the volunteers are telling us how much our constant presence means to them. Many of them are working just as hard as and as long hours as we are. We have been thanking them for their faithfulness and commitment to helping their neighbors in need.
Power is beginning to return to more and more homes. We are hearing that power may be restored 100% by May 12th. The townspeople here sure hope that is so. Please continue to lift up Jackson and DeKalb county residents in prayer.
Day 8: Saturday, May 7
We returned to Flat Rock this morning to serve breakfast out of the Savannah canteen. We served scrambled eggs, bacon, sausage, grits, biscuits, and gravy. The Savannah, GA canteen workers are great cooks! For lunch we had so much food donated from the community. Then for dinner we fried fish and everyone loved it!
The Flat Rock community center received a surprise visit by a recently promoted 2 star General as well as United State Congressman Moe Brooks today. Later, the local newspaper came by and photographed The Salvation Army hard at work.
At lunch, we delivered 4 meals to a guy working at his home with 3 helpers. His home sits on 7 acres. He told us about his experience in the storm and how he watched all the trees closest to his home fall one by one, but not a single tree landed on his home. His workshop and truck were destroyed but his home was untouched. Tree debris was everywhere and we were all amazed by his experience. Clean up will take him months. He has seen the destruction all around him and knows that he received a blessing from God on April 27th.
Later in the day, we received a blessing. After dinner, Jeff pulled out his banjo, Greg pulled out his guitar, and they were joined in song by Earlene. As they began singing gospel songs, everyone joined in. We must have had 15 to 20 people at one time singing along. What a fabulous way to end the evening!
Day 9: Sunday, May 8
This morning we began serving breakfast at 6am. We served scrambled eggs, sausage, grits, biscuits and gravy.
At 10am, the volunteers and townspeople were blessed by a local church who chose to have their Sunday service at the Flat Rock community center. The presence of the Lord was surely with us today as we stopped our work and took an hour to praise and worship together. What an overwhelming experience!
For lunch we served roast. Lunch attendance was way down again so the homemade chicken and dumplings that were planned for supper were cancelled. We made plenty of roast and lots of leftovers, so we chose to serve it again for dinner.
Power has been restored in a large majority of this area. Reports of restored power were being reported to us by many of the townspeople on Saturday and again today.
We left Flat Rock about 6pm and met up at Ryan's in Fort Payne to have dinner with all the crews (Atlanta, Savannah, and Vidalia) and Major Craddock. There were 13 of us in all. We shared lots of stories and laughs and had a Ryan's employee take several photos of us in the parking lot.
Day 10: Monday, May 9
Because of yesterday's very low turnout of people looking for meals, the Augusta canteen along with the Atlanta and Vidalia canteens have been released, and are going home today. It is anticipated that the Savannah canteen will return home on Tuesday.
We returned to Flat Rock this morning to pick up one of our cooking pots from the Savannah canteen. Susan begged us to stay just one more hour because she had something for us - T-shirts! What a nice gift. She made grey t-shirts that read "Flat Rock, AL Disaster Relief Team 2011" and gave one to each of us.
We said goodbye to as many of the Flat Rock Community Club volunteers as we could. Several volunteers went back to school and work today. We exchanged big, strong hugs and a few tears. We arrived in Flat Rock as strangers but we are leaving as friends for life!
Even though The Salvation Army is leaving, the community still has a lot of clean-up and rebuilding to do. Please continue to pray for the Alabama tornado victims, their families, and all Sand Mountain area residents. May God bless them all!
Disaster Relief Fast Facts
The Salvation Army responded immediately following major tornado activity in the southern United States, serving the immediate needs of survivors by providing food, beverages, emotional/spiritual care, and other necessities. The following information represents the Southern Territory's fifteen states and the District of Columbia.
- The Salvation Army has served 165,500+ hot meals, 398,000+ sandwiches, snacks & drinks.
- The Salvation Army has provided 54 Mobile Feeding Units (Canteens), 1 Field Kitchen, capable of producing 20,000 hot meals per day, 1 Shower Unit, and 2 Satellite Communications trailers.
- The Salvation Army has ministered through its Pastoral Care to 6,500+ individuals.
- The Salvation Army has begun helping with emergency Social Services in several locations.
- Salvation Army officers, employees and volunteers have served a total of 40,371 hours.
To donate to support our tornado relief efforts, please visit www.salvationarmyaugusta.org and click the "Donate" banner at the top of the page.
WJBF 6 Interviews With Disaster Relief Team
Augusta Salvation Army Sends Team to Tornado Damaged AL
By Jennie Montgomery, News Anchor WJBF 6
Last Saturday, Katie Atkinson and two others from the Salvation Army of Augusta, stocked the command's canteen with basic supplies and headed for a two week deployment to northeast Alabama.
They were first dispatched to the small town of Section, where they rode with police officers to distribute meals door-to-door.
Katie explains, "We rode out into Sylvania, Alabama, which was hard hit and saw a lot of homes that were just leveled. There are no words to describe that type of devastation we saw in those areas."
They also provided food to power company representatives, FEMA workers, and of course, the victims.
"They say, I'm the lucky one, they lost everything but they say ‘I'm the lucky one.' It's shocking to me, but everybody here has been incredible."
In Pisgah Monday, the team distributed 200 plates of food and hundreds of water bottles and juice boxes.
Then on Wednesday, they teamed up with the Salvation Army of Savannah in Flat Rock. They're serving up to 700 people per meal, starting with breakfast at 5:30am and working straight through dinner, which wraps up around 7pm.
"We're all pretty tired and as soon as we put out head on the pillow we're out, but it's good work and everybody here has been incredibly grateful."
In the meantime, Katie and the other volunteers grow more appreciative everyday as they minister to people who are starting over.
"This is a very strong reminder of how blessed we are. These people are a testament to how strong the human spirit is.
The best way to help tornado survivors and rescue workers is to make a financial contribution. Monetary donations allow disaster responders to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors.
You can donate by going to the Salvation Army website, in the box above. Or, mail a check to The Salvation Army of Greater Augusta, 1384 Greene St. Augusta, GA 30901. Be sure to write "Disaster Services" in the "for" line.
You can also donate over the phone at 1-800-SAL-ARMY ... or text "GIVE" to 80888.
Follow The Salvation Army of Augusta Online as We Serve in Alabama
The Salvation Army of Augusta is harnessing the power of the Internet and social media to keep Augustans up to date on our disaster relief efforts in Alabama. Currently, The Salvation Army of Augusta has two employees and a church member helping serve food out of our canteen (mobile kitchen) to tornado survivors in northeast Alabama. The Salvation Army of Augusta delegation serving in northeast Alabama are Katie Atkinson, Volunteer and Disaster Services Coordinator, Debra McKenzie, Development Manager, and John Gillam, a member of The Salvation Army Corps (the church).
For those wishing to follow our disaster relief efforts in northeast Alabama, we have created a number of Internet and social media sites to keep Augustans informed up to the minute. For instantaneous updates, we have created a Twitter feed at @TSAAugusta and a Facebook page at www.facebook.com/salvationarmyaugusta. Updates are also available several times a day at KrocAugusta.org under the "Disaster Relief Updates" tab and at SalvationArmyAugusta.org under the "News" tab.
Those who wish to see current photos of The Salvation Army of Augusta delegation serving in Alabama can visit www.facebook.com/salvationarmyaugusta and click "Photos." This page of photos is constantly updated as we receive new photos from the field. Those who wish to support The Salvation Army's disaster relief work through a monetary contribution can visit SalvationArmyAugusta.org and click the banner at the top of the page. Donations can also be made by mailing a check to The Salvation Army of Greater Augusta 1384 Greene St. Augusta, GA 30901 and put "Disaster Services" in the "for" line of the check. Those that want to donate can also call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or text "GIVE" to 80888.
The Augusta Chronicle Reports on Disaster Relief Efforts
Local volunteers help in storm cleanup
By Lynn Davidson, Staff Reporter
About 20 members of Stevens Creek Church headed out Saturday morning to Rome, Ga., to see what they could do to help. Kaitlynn Lehman said she wasn't prepared for what she saw when they arrived:
"It was very overwhelming at first. When we got there and saw all the damage, I thought ‘I don't know where to start, or if I'll even be able to help, because it's so much.' But the fire chief had a map drawn out of the places that needed cleaning up.
"One family had a hay field that we had to clean up. It had everything - sticks, pictures, insulation, shingles - it was just everywhere. It seemed like it was never ending. I'd think I got it all, then I'd look down, and there was a whole lot more.
"Then, we repaired fence lines so they could put their cows back in the pastures. Then, the men helped them cut trees.
"We also got to meet the families as we helped them. It was intimidating, because we were going through their stuff, so it was kind of weird. But they knew we were there to help and they were so appreciative.
"We took our donated items to a distribution center, and I think we tripled what they had in there. The lady there, we could see on her face how happy she was to see it all. At the same time, she was stressed because she had to organize it, so we helped her stack it.
"While we were there, a family came by that needed diapers and formula for their baby. That touched me, because I have a 9-month-old, and I can't imagine having to go somewhere to look for that stuff.
"The fire chief's house didn't get destroyed, and he and his wife were taking in all their neighbors. That brought tears to my eyes to see their compassion for their neighbors. They let them sleep there and bring their stuff in and store it.
"They let us come in their house and use their bathroom and wash our hands. There were over 20 of us, and we were all dirty, so their compassion was overwhelming."
Augusta-area fans of rivals Alabama and Auburn have joined to assist victims. Members of Toomer's for Tuscaloosa have joined with Roll Tide Augusta and set up donation sites around Augusta to collect items which they will deliver to a distribution center in Peachtree City.
Items needed include: adult diapers, baby diapers, baby wipes, baby food, feminine hygiene products, hand sanitizer, shampoo, unused and unopened underwear and socks, clothes, first-aid supplies, water, sunscreen, tents, flashlights with batteries, hammers, nails, work-gloves, rope, tarps and dog food.
"And the clean-up workers have asked for Chapstick," said Alan Thornton. "Apparently, they really need it."
Drop-off locations are:
- Scrubs 2 Go, 123 Davis Road, Martinez, 10 a.m. to 6 p.m. Monday-Friday; 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday.
- Allstate Insurance Co., 585 E. Robinson Ave., Grovetown, 8:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Monday-Friday.
- Marshal Family YMCA, 1202 Town Park Lane, Evans, 5 a.m. to 10 p.m., Monday-Thursday; 5-9 p.m. Friday; 7 a.m. to 4 p.m. Saturday; and 1-5 p.m. Sunday.
The group also is in need of anyone with trucks or trailers who can help haul supplies to distribution locations. For more information, contact Amanda Meigs at email@example.com.
‘TO US, IT'S WORK'
Brent Willis, of Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue, which sent seven people and several vehicles and other equipment to Catoosa County, Ga., on Thursday:
"We were dispatched at eight o'clock that morning, and it took us four hours to get there. When we got there, they told us to just be on standby. Then, a couple of hours later, they said their people were exhausted and asked if we would cover the fire watch all night. So, from 7 p.m. until 7 a.m. we patrolled the streets, looking for fires and special hazards.
"There were no power lines up, they were all down on the ground and all over the place, so the potential for hazards was real. We did it in 11/2-hour increments, and we set up in the parking lot of Advance Auto Parts, and took turns sleeping in the vehicles. The whole time, we had our radios on so we could be dispatched if needed. We did that all night.
"At eight the next morning, we helped clear roads and helped any citizens that needed help with their property. One of our crews came across where a tree fell across a propane tank, so we had to stabilize that. There was so much going on everywhere.
"They were very thankful we were there. The citizens thanked us, too, but, to us, it's work. We didn't look at is as we're here to be heroes. We were just there because they needed help."
Debra McKenzie, of the Salvation Army of Greater Augusta, which has three representatives who have been serving food out of a mobile canteen in Section, Ala., and Pisgah, Ala.
"Everyone is extremely grateful. They are thanking us for what we're doing and thanking us without hesitation.
"Whether they lost their entire home or lost family members, they are grateful we are giving them the meals.
"We have seen parts of cars in trees. We have seen a house that only had its porch remaining. Clothes are in trees and there is insulation everywhere. But, from the tornado victims to the FEMA workers, everyone is very appreciative of the help we are able to provide."
The Salvation Army of Greater Augusta on the Ground in Alabama Helping Survivors
The Salvation Army of Greater Augusta continues to serve on the ground in northeast Alabama to help both survivors of last week's deadly tornados as well as other relief agencies. On Saturday, April 30, two Salvation Army of Greater Augusta employees and one Salvation Army of Greater Augusta Corps Member (church member) left Augusta in the Augusta Command's canteen (mobile kitchen). The canteen was loaded with basic supplies and was directed to northeast Alabama.
Once in the tornado disaster zone, the canteen and the three members of the Augusta delegation were directed to the small town of Section, Alabama. In Section, they worked with the Section Church of God to distribute food to those that needed it. Members of the Section Church of God would cook meals from 6am to 6pm and the three members of the Augusta delegation would distribute the meals to the needy in a door-to-door fashion utilizing the Augusta canteen. The Augusta delegation also provided food to power company representatives and Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) workers that were in town trying to help the tornado victims. On Saturday, April 30 the Augusta delegation was able to distribute 100 meals and on Sunday, May 1 they were able to distribute 600 meals.
On Monday, May 2, the three members of the Augusta delegation were sent to another nearby needy area, Pisgah, Alabama. On Monday in Pisgah, the Augusta delegation distributed 210 plates of food, 128 bottles of water, and 200 juice boxes. The Augusta delegation was also paired with The Salvation Army of Vidalia delegation to help distribute food to the needy.
On Wednesday, May 3 the Augusta delegation is expected to move again, this time to Flat Rock, Alabama and Higdon, Alabama where they will be paired with members of The Salvation Army of Savannah.
"Everyone is extremely grateful. They are thanking us for what we're doing and thanking us without hesitation. Whether they lost their entire home or lost family members, they are grateful we are giving them the meals," says Debra McKenzie, one of the employees of The Salvation Army of Greater Augusta that is serving in northeast Alabama. "We have seen parts of cars in trees. We have seen a house that only had its porch remaining. Clothes are in trees and there is insulation everywhere. But, from the tornado victims to the FEMA workers, everyone is very appreciative of the help we are able to provide."
The Salvation Army is grateful to the public for their continued support. The best way to help tornado survivors and rescue workers is to make a financial contribution. Monetary donations allow disaster responders to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors. The Salvation Army of Greater Augusta asks those who want to help to visit www.SalvationArmyAugusta.org or mail a check to The Salvation Army of Greater Augusta 1384 Greene St. Augusta, GA 30901 and put "Disaster Services" in the "for" line of the check. Those that want to donate can also call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or text "GIVE" to 80888.
At this point, in-kind donations are not being accepted outside the disaster area. Please consider giving these items to your local Salvation Army Thrift Store or dial 1-800-SA-TRUCK.
Latest Update on The Salvation Army's Efforts to Provide Relief to Tornado Victims
The Salvation Army continues to assist the victims of last week's deadly tornados. In Georgia, Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) teams have served 8,596 meals and 4,195 drinks in Spalding County, 720 meals and 1,490 drinks in Rome, and 120 meals and 350 drinks in Cartersville. At the request of the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA), a mobile feeding until will remain in Spalding County, as will a social service representative in Harold County. Additionally, operations will continue in Catoosa and Walker counties through the end of the week.
Currently, 40 Salvation Army EDS feeding units and one shower trailer are actively serving in Mississippi and Alabama. Over the last five days, tens of thousands of meals and drinks have been distributed. On Friday and Saturday alone, EDS teams served 30,820 meals and 51,072 drinks. 1,314 people received emotional and spiritual care so crucial to Salvation Army disaster response.
The Salvation Army is grateful to the public for their continued support. The best way to help tornado survivors and rescue workers is to make a financial contribution. Monetary donations allow disaster responders to immediately meet the specific needs of disaster survivors. The Salvation Army of Greater Augusta asks those who want to help to visit www.SalvationArmyAugusta.org or mail a check to The Salvation Army of Greater Augusta 1384 Greene St. Augusta, GA 30901 and put "Disaster Services" in the "for" line of the check.
At this point, in-kind donations are not being accepted outside the disaster area. Please consider giving these items to your local Salvation Army Thrift Store or dial 1-800-SA-TRUCK.
WRDW 12 Reports on Disaster Relief Efforts
Local churches and agencies leave town to help destructed Southern cities
By Ryan Calhoun, Reporter for WRDW 12
Rome, Ga. wasn't built in a day, but now after a tornado rips through the town it needs to be rebuilt. The mercy workers of Stevens Creek Church are going to help answer the call.
Local churches and agencies across the area have teamed up to help the destructed areas of Alabama and Georgia.
"We're taking about 70 cases of bottled water," Stevens Creek Church Executive Pastor Kevin Lloyd said. "We're taking boxes of diapers, potato chips, towels, paper towels and even socks."
The list goes on and on of the supplies the local church is rolling out and hauling to Rome, Ga.
"We're just going there to try and help out man," Lloyd said. "We feel like church should be a first responder when tragedy happens."
Rebuilding Rome was the first priority for Lloyd because it's his hometown.
"For me personally it's going into areas that I grew up around as a kid that are gone now," Lloyd said.
But whatever is gone, their group of 25 is going to work with the city's government to help restore the city.
"We can be on the ground and we can be a little more agile with the way we're able to help people because I know the area the way that I do," Lloyd said.
Across town, the Salvation Army is packing up their canteen to go to the small town of Fort Payne, Ala.
"It's a tragedy so the first thing that came to my mind was, how can we help these people," Katie Atkinson of the Salvation Army said.
One way, they say is packing up truckloads of meals.
"These people are hurting. They need food," Debra McKenzie said. "They've lost everything and that's what we do. We respond by providing food so we they don't have to worry about that."
But for these volunteers, these trips are about more than the trailer full of supplies.
"We feel like the best thing we can bring is probably not water and probably not manpower, it's hope," Lloyd said. "It's hope that they're going to be OK even if that's in another location another home that life is going to be OK."
Stevens Creek Church will be in Rome, Ga. working all weekend with the city's leaders. As for the Salvation Army they say they could be helping from a command post for up to two weeks.
Other churches that are helping destructed cities are New Passion Church in Grovetown who is going to Ringgold, Ga., members of the Georgia Baptist Disaster Relief team are headed to Sunny Side, Ga.
The Georgia 2F Feeding Unit has been dispatched. Trinity on the Hill United Methodist Church is sending a team to Alabama or Georgia and Columbia County Coroner Vernon Collins went to help Ringgold, Ga.
GPB News Reports on Disaster Relief Efforts
Aid Groups Help Storm Victims
By Noel Brown, Reporter for GPB News
Aid groups in Augusta are preparing to send relief to tornado-ravaged areas across the southeast.
At the local Salvation Army workers prepare a mobile kitchen resembling a large motor home. They stock the cabinets with supplies like prepackaged coffee, plastic cutlery and metal cookware
Debra McKenzie will be among the workers heading to one of the worst hit areas in Tuscaloosa, Alabama this week.
"Our plan is to be on site to provide food assistance," says McKenzie. "We'll be serving breakfast, lunch, dinner, snacks, [and] anything we can, out of our canteen."
Nick Carnes with the New Passion Church, says he's rounding up equipment like chainsaws, flashlights and generators to help north Georgia residents deal with the wreckage there.
"We're trying to get together supplies that will help families be able to get in and get their possessions or get into their homes [through] fallen trees [and] fallen tree limbs," says Carnes.
The local Red Cross is sending volunteers to provide food and shelter in tornado-stricken parts of Georgia, Alabama and Missouri.
Government officials are also pitching in. This week, Columbia County sent a group of firefighters, a fire tuck and several emergency vehicles to help residents in Georgia's Catoosa County.
WAGT26 News Story on Disaster Relief Efforts
Georgia-Carolina Sends Crews, Volunteers To Help Tornado Victims
By Ashley Campbell, Reporter for WAGT26
Thursday night, dozens of Emergency Management workers and volunteers from Georgia-Carolina area are making their way to cities devastated by storms and tornadoes, to help victims and on be standby. EMA crews have been monitoring the tornados in Alabama and Georgia and the severe weather here overnight. Crews say thankfully the damage here wasn't severe. Now, they've hit the road, helping those who need them the most.
Parts of our area saw its share of storm damage. The concrete wall of Hargrove Pools in Augusta was leveled. A mobile unit was sent flying through the air - smashing into a tree. But the damage is nothing compared to the devastation Alabama and Georgia endured when tornadoes roared through the southeast.
Now, local agencies are gearing up to help their neighbors.
The Salvation Army received a call from its division headquarters in Atlanta.
"They said we want people from Augusta to mobilize our canteen, which is our mobile kitchen," says Anthony Esposito with The Salvation Army of Augusta.
Crews stocked the mobile unit with supplies, ready to go where needed if the call for help comes in. "Traditionally, we give out food and water. We can also give out counseling services; we can give out hygiene kits. We can give out supplies," says Esposito.
In Columbia County, several Martinez-Columbia Fire Rescue firefighters and support vehicles have already hit the road to parts of Georgia worst hit.
"We were very fortunate and we were able to send help because of that to Catoosa County for body search, rescues where they can still find people in the rubble," says Columbia County Emergency Management Director Pam Tucker.
In addition to help from firefighters, "Our coroner was called out early this morning to bring the body transport van because of the mass fatalities that they have"
We're told crews will be on hand as long as their needed during a time when no words can describe the aftermath of Mother Nature.