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Where and how you can drop off food donations

A food barrel all filled up at the Compton & Olive BP

A food barrel all filled up at the Compton & Olive BP

We are thrilled with the response we have received from our friends in this community! I had an opportunity to be at our O’Fallon food pantry this morning and the number of grateful people I saw at the pantry for assistance alongside the donors stopping by with this priceless food was extremely moving.

But we have a great distance to go before we can ensure that all those who need food can get it. Here’s where you can go to drop off dry goods and canned items for O’Fallon and our other pantries in need:

  • The O’Fallon Corps Community Center: Accepting donations 8 a.m. -7 p.m. every day. If there are donations you would like to deliver after-hours, please contact the corps directly at 636-240-4969 and the staff will do their best to accommodate.
  • Any of our other food pantries in the region.  Call ahead to ensure that they will be open to accept your donation.
  • Mobil Gas Station 1051 Hampton Ave: This is located just south of I-64/40 on Hampton Avenue on the west side of the street. Collections at all gas stations listed will continue through Labor Day weekend.
  • BP Amoco Gas Station 1104 Hampton Ave: This is located just south of 1-64/40 on Hampton Avenue on the east side of the street.
  • BPAmoco Gas Station 3140 Olive Street: Located on the corner of Compton Avenue and Olive Street in Midtown.
  • Museum of Transportation: TODAY AND FRIDAY ONLY–bring in non-perishable food items, and receive one free admission per group/family to the museum. They are located at 3015 Barrett Station Rd. Hours are 9 a.m.  – 4 p.m.

 

Can’t drop off food but still want to help? Make a monetary donation to support our pantries.

We are hearing of more places and companies that are accepting food on our behalf, so if you or your business would like to be added to this list, please email me at dana_biermann@usc.salvationarmy.org and we would be delighted to add you here.

Acts 24:3 “In every way and everywhere we accept this with all gratitude.” Thank you, friends.

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You Tweeted WHAT?!

#tweetthemostgoodIf you’re going to spend your free time on social media anyway, why not tweet for good? Come out to the Rooftop Terrace Bar at the Moonrise Hotel on May 21, from 6:00 – 9:00 p.m., #TweetTheMostGood alongside Social Media Club St. Louis, and hear Don Hutcheson from Panera Bread talk about the Meal of Shared Responsibility. Learn how St. Louis-area bakery-cafes are helping to fight local food insecurity one Turkey Chili Sourdough Bread Bowl at a time! Tickets are only $5.00, fully donated to Salvation Army of St. Louis, and free appetizers will be served until 7:00 p.m.

For tickets and more information, visit http://tweetthemostgood2013.eventbrite.com/#

Can’t make it but would still like to help? Visit our page to make a donation but we’d love to see you there!

Midtown Salon offering special rates for military servicemen and women

100% of Proceeds to Salvation Army Veterans Programs

Starting Monday, May 28, from 10-2 p.m., 212 Salon in Midtown will be hosting “Military Mondays” for men and women of the Armed Services. Military personal and veterans will be able to get a haircut for $10. The salon is partnering with The Salvation Army to raise money for its Veterans Program.

The last Monday of every month the Salon will open just for the armed services from 10 a.m. until 2 p.m. with 100 percent of all proceeds benefiting the charities that impact and aid our military personal and families.

“It is through partnerships like this that makes it possible to Do the Most Good in the St. Louis region,” said Major Lonneal Richardson, Divisional Commander of The Salvation Army. “It is great that we are able to start such a great program on Memorial Day that will benefit our men and women of the Armed Services.”

Contact Corey James at (314) 534-4247 or info@212salon.net to schedule an appointment or acquire more information. 212 Salon is located at 511 North Garrison Ave., St. Louis, MO 63103.

Day of Unity Video – Joplin

One year ago this week, a tornado changed the lives of thousands in Joplin, and thousands more who gave of their time and heart to work toward rebuilding. It was a wonderful experience this week to take a break from the work and reflect on how far the community has come. We continue to be a driving force in the recovery there daily.

We hold this community in our hearts and prayers, and look forward to another year of even greater strides and impressive improvements.

A Reason to Hope: One Year after the Joplin Tornado

By: Danni Eickenhorst, Midland Division

Every morning since the storm, Doug has gone out to sit on his old concrete porch, all that remains of his former home. “I don’t think I’ve missed a morning. It’s where I can be by myself, gather my thoughts, plan for my day,” he says.

Doug Keeney was uninsured and unemployed when the tornado struck. A construction worker in a down economy, he had long struggled to find reliable work.

Keeney lived in a house he planned to retire in. “It was an old house, but it was paid for,” he remarks. “It was surrounded by a dozen beautiful old trees that I just loved, but because of those trees, I was unable to get insurance for the home. We’d had two ice storms a few years previous and the insurance company required that I had to cut back all trees hanging over the house. At a cost of $300-$400 per tree, I just couldn’t afford to cut them back without a job.”

On May 22, when the sirens sounded, Keeney wasn’t unusually concerned.

“We always get weather alerts, and everybody just goes out on their front porch and looks. I saw there was a tornado north of my house and I wasn’t overly concerned,” recalls Keeney, “but I remembered the employees at the Arby’s near my home didn’t have a TV or radio and probably didn’t know to take cover. I walked across the street and told them to get in their cooler to take cover. They invited me to take cover with them and I told them I’d run home to get my wallet and keys and would return shortly.”

As Keeney arrived home, the wind increased to a dangerous pace and before he knew it, he was unable to take cover. Doug became pinned between his front door and the nearest wall, a lucky place it turned out, as very little else was left when the storm passed.

“When the storm was over, the second story on my home was gone, as was half of the story I was standing on. I dug around and found a few things I needed, then headed out to find my neighbors and friends. That’s when I saw the only thing that was left standing at Arby’s was the cooler where the employees had taken cover.”

Keeney brushes off the thought he might be a hero saying, “I think I just did what everyone else would have done.”

For the next three weeks, Doug came to his home every day to clear debris and find his belongings. “I dug through all of the debris and found every little thing I could. The volunteers were amazing. They helped a lot. They got down in there and dug with me and helped me move what I could.”

Since the storm, Keeney has worked closely with The Salvation Army case managers. “As far as I’m concerned, Dana and her team have really gone above and beyond. When I needed work clothes for my debris clean-up job, they were there. They’re working to help me get a vehicle, and thanks to her team, I’ve been connected with Convoy of Hope, and they are building me my new home.”

Every morning since the storm, Doug has gone out to sit on his old concrete porch, all that remains of his former home. “I don’t think I’ve missed a morning. It’s where I can be by myself, gather my thoughts, plan for my day,” he says.

Around the one-year anniversary, Keeney will move into his new home, built on the same lot.

“I’m gonna miss my trees,” he says a little wistfully, “but this has turned out to be such a blessing, none of which would have been possible without The Salvation Army.”

Joplin: One Year Later

The Crossleys stand on their newly poured foundation, anticipating the day when they can move into their new home.

By: Danni Eickenhorst, Midland Division

Nearly one year after a historic tornado destroyed more than 7,500 homes and 500 businesses, Joplin residents are still finding their way back to normal.

“The mess has been cleaned up,” says David Crossley, manager of The Salvation Army’s homeless shelter in Joplin. “The debris is gone. You see rebuilding going on around town, and people are hopeful.”

Crossley, a 15-year employee of The Salvation Army lost his home when it was badly damaged in the storm. Emerging from a closet where they’d taken shelter, the Crossley family found their roof partially gone, their windows broken, live power lines on their car and no immediate hope for assistance. In the days following the storm, he and his family slept at The Salvation Army Community and Worship Center, at friends’ houses and at a motel.

Today, thanks to the aid of The Salvation Army, his church, family members and friends, Crossley and his family are hopeful their lives will return back to normal.

“We just poured the foundation on a home we are building. We hope to move into it in early June,” he reports.

As Crossley reflects on the long year his family has endured, he is struck by the progress they’ve made. “I was just thinking the other day, our wedding anniversary is coming up and last year we were living in a motel room with no idea where we were going to wind up. Now, we’re living in a comfortable duplex and building a home of our own. In just one year, we’ve lost nearly everything we had, and now we’re almost whole again.”

Just two months after the epic storm, Lieutenants James and Jamie Curry became officers in Joplin. Lieutenant Jamie reflects on life in her new hometown, “Any other place I have ever lived, I’ve never had the experience of stepping out my front door and seeing something different than the day before. Almost an entire year has passed since the tornado, but it still seems like last week to the residents here. While there are significant changes to the landscape as buildings are rebuilt, the emotional toll is still ever present.”

The Currys and their team have been hard at work as part of the Long Term Recovery Committee, a consortium of nonprofits and service agencies working to handle long-term survivor case management. “We have the benefit of seeing first hand how God can work, even in a disaster. There are success stories that come through our doors each day, and when these individuals get helped, it renews their desire to help others.”

Residents of Joplin rebuilding after the storm.

Crossley says that in some ways that storm has been a blessing. “It brought my family closer, and I think it brought many of us in the community closer. Whenever we had a need, The Salvation Army or one of its partners was there to meet it. God’s love has been manifested in so many ways in these days of recovery, and I am so grateful.”

Lt. Curry observes, “There is a greater sense of community among the people of Joplin. As is the case in many catastrophic events, everyone is affected in one form or another which creates in itself a genuine sense of comradeship. Joplin is no different.”

Dana Ross, Case Manager for The Salvation Army Joplin Relief Center, says “We have formed some amazing partnerships. We are one of the primary social service providers for this event, and through these partnerships we can connect our clients with just about anything they need.”

The Salvation Army was recently awarded a contract with Missouri that will allow it to continue long-term case management with residents through May 2013. In the coming weeks, long-term plans will be released detailing The Salvation Army’s strategy for long-term recovery and investment in Joplin.

Social Success & Garbage Bag Gala Sneak Peek with Jess Leitch – Designers Needed!

By: Danni Eickenhorst, Midland Division

Well, thanks to all of you we really hit one out of the ballpark with Tuesday night’s #TweetTheMostGood event on the Moonrise Hotel rooftop! We sold the event out (twice) and had an incredibly engaged group of people captive for our story.

A special thanks to Simone and Jake Bernstein for coming out and encouraging individuals to find time in their busy schedules to give back. The event was truly a Who’s Who of St. Louis social media and gave The Salvation Army in St. Louis more than half a million impressions through the magic of Twitter.

A big THANKS to Social Media Club of St. Louis for showing up in droves and to Vantage Credit Union for their sponsorship and support! – AND OF COURSE: Thanks to Moonrise Hotel & Eclipse Restaurant without whom none of this would be possible. They went above and beyond!

Our next event is Garbage Bag Gala at Moonrise Hotel. #TweetTheMostGood generated such buzz for this event that I know it will surely surpass our tweetup.

This morning, I met with the incomparable Jess Leitch, blogger (@CityJars) and all around great gal and we planned and plotted for Garbage Bag Gala. Check it out and get involved:

I Once Was Lost

By: Danni Eickenhorst, Midland Division

“Her name was Gracie… I love that song. Amazing grace, how sweet the sound, I once was lost but now am found…”

Four years ago, Dr. James Dorman lost his wife Gracie after a prolonged battle with esophageal cancer.

A deeply devoted and adoring husband, the retired college professor nursed his wife through her 13-month battle with cancer, ultimately holding her in his arms as she passed away.

“She was literally given 3 months to live, but through the grace and power of a wonderful God, she never abandoned hope and she went from 3 months, to 4 months, to 5. We started to live our life one week at a time, one month at a time, but finally the inevitable did catch up with her.”

Following her death, Dr. Dorman says, “I was as lost as lost can be… The dear people at the Alton Salvation Army really took me in and made me one of their own, and gave me great comfort during a very dark time.”

The doctor recalled when Captain Randy Tooley and Salvation Army members invited him to The Salvation Army’s Men’s Camp at Camp Mihaska so that he might have a chance for fellowship and healing.

“We really don’t know how or when but when we’re at our darkest moment, our angel will show up,” James said, “Every man no matter what his age should spend a few days at Men’s Camp, because you don’t really realize the true spirit of The Salvation Army until you do. It was one of the most deeply spiritual experiences of my life, and I think I needed that.”

Thus began a lasting relationship with The Salvation Army, which motivated Dr. Dorman to make a planned gift with his estate that would benefit The Salvation Army’s work.

“Gracie’s spirit motivates me today, in terms of the gift I’ve given. Some people might have a hard time understanding why I would donate the equivalent of a year of my salary, which is not that much for St. Charles Community College professors – especially not retired ones, but I thought The Salvation Army was one of the groups that was so encouraging… It’s not that I’m leaving a legacy for me. It’s that I’m leaving a legacy for [Gracie’s] shining example.”

Dorman designated his gift to support The Salvation Army’s financial education programs to break the spirit of poverty, and also to scholarship funds for children and future officers of The Salvation Army.

“My wife loved sixth graders. She would have loved the idea of giving educational aid and scholarships. The Salvation Army is one of the best organizations that makes a real difference.” Of the financial education programs he says, “If you teach a person to fish, they can eat for the rest of their life. They’ll never again be living paycheck to paycheck. We all need hope.”

To learn more about how you can make a difference with your final gifts in life, visit http://tsamidland.giftlegacy.com/.

Motorcycles of a Mission

By: Major K. Kendall Mathews

In the midst of the recovery efforts in Harrisburg, Ill, a group of motorcycle men and women came wheeling into the Harrisburg Thrift Store parking lot ready to give back to this hurting community.  Not just any motor club, but one with a mission in line with The Salvation Army, with their colors being red, yellow and blue,  called, “Soldiers of Truth in God’s Army.”  On the outside they looked just any other motorcycle club, but their inner calling and spiritual mission is to reach the lost for Jesus Christ through worship to God and service to society. This Motorcycle Ministry set them apart from all the others clubs I have ever seen. I quickly came to understand that they indeed been commissioned by God to do His work whenever and wherever needed.  Harrisburg, Ill was their next stop to share the gospel of Jesus Christ with a hand to man and heart to God.

I must say I was moved to see them in action, not just clearing out a trailer full of clothes and household items, but their actions were God-driven and Christ-like. My eyes were opened in different way and my spirit connected to them. No questions were asked beyond “What can we do to help The Salvation Army help the Harrisburg victim’s?” This is just the type of servant-leadership that is so desperately needed during disasters. This group offered themselves as sacrificial servants ready to give to others wholeheartedly.  Their actions scaled my attention to the Bible verse in Romans 12:1, which says, “I beseech you therefore, brethren, by the mercies of God, that ye present your bodies a living sacrifice, holy, acceptable unto God, which is your reasonable service.” Their hands and hearts became those of Jesus Christ through the faithful service. They revealed to me that we must honor others above ourselves with compassionate and serviceable affection to those undergoing a catastrophes event.

The President and Pastor of this ministry said to me, “Everything God gives is a tool to help people.” He called what they were doing a parking lot ministry. Their Bibles were out and their prayers being lifted up to people stopping by to drop off their donations. People welcomed these Christly riders, not night riders, as soldiers of Jesus, and reminded them that we march together with the blood and the fire and to the ends of the earth we will go. What a great blessing it was to see their salvation being lived out through helping others. Their pastor was right when he said, “It takes us all to be the body of Christ to the broken lives of those impacted by this tornado.” At one point, he preached to me of the goodness of God and the love we should have for one another regardless of cultural differences. “Unconditional love for God and sacrificial service for man,” he said “is the key that must bind us together.” I then finished that statement by saying, “with cords that cannot be broken.”

This motorcycle ministry, Soldiers of God’s Truth, has some shady past with drug abuse at the top of the list, but they are like me and you, sinners saved by the grace of God.  “We are hard pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted; but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed.” II Corinthians 4:8. Although they have been knocked down by the world and sin, like all of us, in Christ, they are not knocked out. We serve a God of second chances, who will not give up on us, but who loves us during this journey of life here on earth.  Even during times of hardship and humiliation, God loves us all.

The Pastor, a gospel preacher for sure, told me that their mission Bible verse comes from John 14:6 that says, “Jesus said him, ‘I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man comes the Father, but by me.’”  He pointed out the word “truth” and that it is the Word of God that will set people free.  “Not his words,” he said, “but God’s Word found in the Bible. Since God set his rider free, He indeed has the power to free all people from sin.”

These Soldiers of Truth in God’s Army renewed my hope in the Lord.  As I fellowshipped and served with them that sunny Saturday afternoon, God revealed Himself through this Motorcycle Ministry. I then taught them the song which says, “We are soldiers in the army; we have to fight although we have to die; we have to hold up the blood stained banner, we have to hold it until we die.”  This battle cry became our united theme of service.  I am sure God smiled, or even laughed at us as we sang that song in the parking lot of the Harrisburg, Ill Thrift Store.

These motorcycle soldiers not only ride for righteousness, but they are a church as well, called “Warehouse of Worship.” According to the pastor and the other Christ Riders, they worship Jesus in spirit and in TRUTH through service to others, the gospel of Jesus is preached and part of their daily lifestyle. They not only read the Bible as their manual for Christly living, but they worship together to bring glory to God as a community of believers.  I was very much honored to be in their presence and although I was not a Christly bike rider, we worship the same savior Jesus Christ.  It also helped that we share the same colors, red, yellow and blue, in addition to being SOLDIERS.

So, the next time you see or hear a motorcycle think of, “The Soldiers of Truth in God’s Army,” and remember their ministry of saving the lost, the least, and the last without fear knowing that God will provide for your every need.  “Fear, not, for I am with you; be not dismissed, for I am your God.  I will strengthen you, yes, I will help you, I will uphold you with My righteous right hand.”  Isaiah 41:10

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Serving Survivors: The Salvation Army Brings Food, Comfort and Hope in Henryville, Indiana on Day One

Major Steve Kriger and Governor Daniels

Clark & Washington Counties, IN—The Salvation Army has finished its first full day of operations in response to yesterday’s deadly tornadoes. In Henryville, the Army is serving 800 meals a day to survivors and emergency personnel. It was an emotional day for residents as they got their first clear view of the destruction in their town. “It’s gone. Everything is gone,” one woman said through tears as she walked by The Salvation Army canteen. She and others were comforted by Major Steve Kiger and other trained disaster service personnel from The Salvation Army. Feeding operations in Henryville will continue tomorrow.

The small town of Marysville, IN was nearly completely destroyed by the massive tornadoes. The Army will begin full meal service there tomorrow and will be prepared to serve 600 meals. The Army will also continue to serve meals at the New Pekin, IN Command Center. Today, nearly 600 meals were served to survivors and workers there.

Many area businesses and organizations have made generous contributions to the Army’s food service. Among them: Wick’s Pizza, Texas Road House, Jaycee Foods, Midwest Food Bank, McDonald’s and Silver Creek High School. The Salvation Army would like thank these businesses for serving their neighbors in need.

Help the survivors immediately by making a monetary donation to support the efforts of The Salvation Army. You can make a donation online at http://donate.salvationarmyusa.org/storms, or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY, or make a $10.00 donation by texting* “storm” to 80888, to confirm your gift, respond with the word “Yes.”

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