Always prepared to serve

Submitted by Karen Yoho, National Capital & Virginia Division
April 15, 2019

The motto “Be Prepared” took on a new meaning for Salvation Army Lieutenant Alphonso Hughes this past weekend. Most days you will find Lt. Hughes in northern Virginia, where he serves as an assistant at The Salvation Army Alexandria Corps, but last week a family emergency called him home to Columbus, Mississippi. Late Saturday evening, April 13, as tornadoes hit a couple of towns over in Monroe County, Lt. Hughes was in contact with the Columbus Corps to see what help he could provide to their staff and volunteers. “I knew their lieutenant was at women’s retreat, so I wanted to help. It happened really fast and we were told to ‘just go!’” explained Lt. Hughes.

While he and youth evangelism and outreach director, Melvin Franklin, could not get the mobile feeding unit into storm ravaged neighborhoods, they were able to set up a distribution site. They selected a location that was easily accessible to first responders and members of the community. In addition to providing water and snacks, neighbors came by with donations such as tarps that could be distributed to those in need.

By Monday morning, all local officers were back on the job and an EOC was established. Even though Lt. Hughes was not needed on the front lines, he came back to the Corps to help make sandwiches and pack supplies. “You never know when you are going to be called to God’s service. This reminds me to always be ready,” shared Lt. Hughes. “Even when I was going through personal worries for the issues my family is facing unrelated to the storm, God provided me an opportunity to step outside of that and share his love with other people.”

More than $100k raised at second Diamond Gala

The Salvation Army hosted their 2nd Annual Diamond Gala on March 9 at the Fairmont Hotel in Washington. More than 200 people attended the signature fundraising event. Thanks to donations, over $100,000 was raised in much-needed funds to help those in need through a variety of programs.

A video produced by Washington dentist Dr. Edward K. Brown, D.D.S. of Brown Prosthodontics highlighting his work with The Salvation Army. Dr. Brown, who recently joined the National Capital Area Advisory Board, began partnering with The Salvation Army to provide his services to guests of the Anti-Human Trafficking shelter.

National Capital Area Commander Major James Hall said, “We are so thankful for Dr. Brown and everything his office has done for our Anti-Human Trafficking program. The support shown by Brown Prosthodontics has allowed us to help hundreds of women impacted by human trafficking.”

Human Trafficking Survivor Stacy Jewell was the evening’s guest speaker. Stacey, who was forced into sex slavery when she was only 19 years old, is a survivor and leader in the movement against human trafficking. Stacy Jewell is working to increase awareness among the community and she spoke about her personal experience as a victim and survivor in hopes of inspiring the community to support efforts that work toward combatting the problem of human trafficking.

In a joint statement, Salvation Army Area Commanders Major James and Leisa Hall said “We were so happy with the words spoken by Stacy Jewell during the Diamond Gala. We could not have asked for a better guest speaker to show that human trafficking is a real problem that happens in our communities.”

Majors Hall expressed sincere gratitude for Saturday night’s gala turnout. Among the guests at the event were former NFL players Matthew Lawrence, who delivered the invocation, Santana Moss, and Brian Mitchell.

The 2019 Diamond Gala Honorary Committee included U.S. Senators Benjamin Cardin and Chris Van Hollen from Maryland; D.C. Representative to Congress Delegate Eleanor Holmes Norton; U.S. Senator Mark Warner of Virginia; Jacques and Rakel Cohen of the Watergate Hotel; Mrs. J.W. Marriott, Cindy McCain, widow of the late Arizona Senator John McCain; Lyn and Mark McFadden; and Sean and Rebecca Spicer.

In total of $113,000 was raised at this year’s Diamond Gala. The proceeds will benefit Salvation Army programs, including our Anti-human Trafficking shelter, Harbor Light Center addiction recovery center, Grate Patrol homeless nutrition and outreach, and Turning Point Center, which offers supportive independent living for young women with children.

The Salvation Army thanks all Diamond Gala sponsors and attendees for their support, especially our Sapphire and Emerald sponsors,  as well as our two beverage sponsors. Without the generosity of these organizations many things would not have been possible to make the night such a success. “We are so happy with the turnout of the second Diamond Gala and we can’t wait for next year!” said Major Leisa Hall.

2nd Annual Diamond Gala Major Announcement

YEAR-END DONATIONS NEEDED TO CLOSE THE GAP

 

The National Capital Area Commander urges the community to make one last tax-deductible contribution before midnight on December 31 to help feed and shelter people in need.

Washington, DC (December 31, 2018) – Donations from the recently concluded 2018 Red Kettle Campaign, which ended on Christmas Eve, came up short of its target and The Salvation Army is asking for the public’s help during these final hours of 2018. Kettles were down roughly 13% in the days before the $1.5 million ended a week ago.

National Capital Area Commander Major James Hall said, “We were hoping to reach this year’s Red Kettle goal.” Major Hall continued by saying, “The Salvation Army depends on donations to keep up with the need and growing demand for services across the region.”

The Red Kettle campaign began on November 9 and ended on December 24.

Major Hall is reminding everyone the tough winter months present challenges to financially struggling families, “Many of the families we serve are barely surviving. These winter months will create an even bigger challenge for them – many will have to decide if they’ll pay the rent or mortgage (to maintain shelter over the family’s heads) but not pay their full utility bill or even buy enough groceries to put on the table.”

The Salvation Army experiences an uptick in requests for help during cold weather months. Families seek assistance for a variety of reasons – including rent, utility, and food assistance. The Salvation Army helped more than 33,000 households last year throughout the District of Columbia, Maryland suburbs, and Northern Virginia.

Major Hall said The Salvation Army has no plans to cut services, but emphasized more financial help is needed to continue meeting the increased needs of the community. “We are asking our supporters to consider making one more tax-deductible donation during these final hours of 2018. It would help us tremendously to fill in the gap left in our kettle fundraising.”

All contributions must be received by no later than 12:00 Midnight on December 31, 2018 to be counted for the 2018 tax year.

Below are ways to donate to The Salvation Army during these final hours of 2018:

 Online / Phone

Most major credit cards accepted.

Amazon Alexa

Donations can be made using any Amazon Alexa device by simply saying, “Alexa, make a donation to The Salvation Army.”

Local Officer and Volunteers deployed to help Hurricane Michael victims

The Salvation Army deployed a local emergency disaster teams and equipment in response to Hurricane Michael, which roared through Florida’s panhandle and southeast Georgia earlier this week leaving behind a trail of destruction. Lieutenant Shane Owens of The Salvation Army Montgomery County Corps departed the Washington, DC region yesterday. Owens is joined by two local volunteers, both from Northern Virginia. The team will serve emergency responders and residents affected by Hurricane Michael from The Salvation Army’s FedEx disaster canteen.

Trained emergency disaster personnel provide food, hydration, and emotional and spiritual support to survivors and emergency first responders. The Salvation Army mobile feeding disaster canteens can serve 1,500 meals per day. The canteens carried food, water, and snacks.
How to help

The best way to support the survivors of Hurricane Michael is by making a financial contribution. This gives relief organizations flexibility to quickly and efficiently meet the immediate needs of disaster survivors without incurring many of the costs associated with sorting, packing, transporting and distributing donated goods.

You can support the ongoing relief work of The Salvation Army by making a financial donation:

  • Online: helpsalvationarmy.org
  • Donate by phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY
  • Text to Give: To receive a donation link via text: Text STORM to 51555
  • Mail checksto: The Salvation Army, P.O. BOX 1959, Atlanta, GA 30301
  • Please designate ‘2018 Hurricane Season – Michael’ on all checks.
  • Amazon’s ALEXA can now help to donate to The Salvation Army Hurricane Michael Relief. Simply say, “Hey Alexa, make a donation to The Salvation Army!

 

We will provide additional updates as they are made available.

Local Officers, Equipment Deployed to Assist Relief Effort

The Salvation Army deployed two local emergency disaster teams and equipment to assist with the ongoing relief efforts for Hurricane Florence. Major Donald Wilson of The Salvation Army Fairfax Corps and Captain Srikant Bhatnagar of The Salvation Army Sherman Avenue Corps were dispatched to Goldsboro, North Carolina, where they will serve first responders and residents from one of The Salvation Army’s emergency disaster canteens. Captain Bobby Carr of The Salvation Army Solomon G. Brown Corps and The Salvation Army FedEx disaster canteen also arrived in Goldsboro, NC, over the weekend. Captain Carr, along with Lt. Alfonso Hughes of The Salvation Army Alexandria Corps, and an emergency disaster volunteer, will serve those affected by Hurricane Florence.

Trained emergency disaster personnel are prepared to provide food, hydration, and emotional and spiritual support to survivors and first responders. The Salvation Army disaster canteens can serve 1,500 meals per day. The canteens are stocked with food, water, and snacks.

In response to Hurricane Florence, The Salvation Army has provided:

25,699 Meals
23,194 Drinks
10,566 Snacks
82 assigned Mobile Feeding Units (Canteens) and 52 in service.
250 Comfort Kits
14,222 hours of employee and volunteer service
The above update is as of September 16, 2018.

How to help
The best way to support the survivors of Hurricane Florence is by making a financial contribution. This gives relief organizations flexibility to quickly and efficiently meet the immediate needs of disaster survivors without incurring many of the costs associated with sorting, packing, transporting and distributing donated goods.

You can support the ongoing relief work of The Salvation Army by making a financial donation:

  • Online: helpsalvationarmy.org
  • Donate by phone: 1-800-SAL-ARMY
  • To receive a donation link via text: Text STORM to 51555
  • Mail checks to: The Salvation Army, P.O. BOX 1959, Atlanta, GA 30301
    Please designate ‘2018 Hurricane Season – Florence’ on all checks.You can now use ALEXA to donate to The Salvation Army Hurricane Florence Relief.

About The Salvation Army

The Salvation Army, established in London in 1865, has been supporting those in need without discrimination for more than 135 years in the U.S. More than 25 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through a range of social services: food for the hungry, relief for disaster victims, assistance for the disabled, outreach to the elderly and ill, clothing and shelter to the homeless, and opportunities for underprivileged children. The Salvation Army tracks the level of need across the country with the Human Needs Index (HumanNeedsIndex.org). The Salvation Army has served survivors of every major national disaster since 1900. The Salvation Army does not place an administrative fee on disaster donations. During emergency disasters, 100 percent of designated gifts are used to support specific relief efforts. For more information, go to disaster.salvationarmy.org.

Hurricane Florence Quick Facts

EDS teams preparing for Hurricane Florence

The Salvation Army National Capital and Virginia Division is closely monitoring weather conditions as Hurricane Florence continues its path in the Atlantic Ocean. Most recent reports indicate it may build to a Category 3-4 storm and make landfall on the North Carolina and South Carolina coast on Thursday. Coastal areas may see high winds and heavy rainfall late Wednesday. In anticipation of the potential impact of Hurricane Florence, Virginia Governor Ralph Northam declared a state of emergency on Saturday.

“Together with our emergency response team in the Carolinas and our national disaster teams, we are closely monitoring the storm. We will be ready to respond locally in coastal areas and beyond, where heavy rainfall and potential flooding may impact wide areas in Virginia,” said Major Chris Flanagan for The Salvation Army National Capital and Virginia Division. “We pray that the impact will be light, but we are ready to provide relief and support our emergency management partners.”

The Salvation Army coordinates with community agencies and emergency management officials to strategically provide meals, drinks, and spiritual and emotional care to first responders and disaster survivors. The Salvation Army National Capital and Virginia Division has 8-10 mobile feeding units ready for disaster response throughout Virginia and those units and personnel can move to the most impacted areas.

The Salvation Army encourages individuals in the mid-Atlantic region to monitor the weather and storm alerts and be prepared for evacuation and the aftermath of the storm. Visit https://www.ready.gov/make-a-plan for more information.

September 10, 2018

Distributed by 

Karen Yoho, Divisional Communications Director
The Salvation Army National Capital and Virginia Division

Salvation Army Day at the Nats