Tag Archives: services

“I can’t replace my kids: I can deal with damage to my house”

A home in Ferguson after Friday's tornado

A home in Ferguson after Friday’s tornado

By Dana Biermann

I was out both Saturday and Sunday working with The Salvation Army’s mobile canteens that were deployed to St. Charles County and St. Louis’ North County that were hit by tornadoes Friday night. I had the privilege to speak with  several residents who were affected by the severe weather. You would think if your roof was gone or if the back of your house had been ripped off, you would be pretty mad. But the primary sentiment I heard while touring these places was gratitude.

“I know my house looks like this, but not a single person was injured by this storm. What a blessing.”

“My roof fell in on my daughter’s room, but she was still in the basement, thank God. I can’t replace my kids, [but] I can deal with damage to my house.”

“See those people cutting apart the downed trees on my lawn? I’ve never met them before, they just showed up to help.”

“The only family that was home were my dogs, and they’re doing just fine.”

An EDS volunteer serves water to residents in St. Charles County

An EDS volunteer serves water to residents in St. Charles County

Even when there’s a tree laying on their roof, the citizens of St. Louis and St. Charles have been nothing but grateful for the droves of neighbors, friends, and organizations who have donated their time to help. So it’s up to us to make sure that they can recover from the damage that Mother Nature has given them.

If you are an EDS trained volunteer, we are still working in the neighborhoods affected, so please contact gary_busiek@usc.salvationarmy.org to sign up to volunteer in our canteens. If you have not been through our EDS training, we ask that you refrain from contacting to volunteer at this time, unless it is to sign up for a future training. If you are interested in receiving training, please call 314-646-3000 and ask for our EDS department.

If you are looking for ways to help, the best thing you can do is donate money. As more specific needs arise, we want to ensure that the families affected do not need to go through red tape to get what they need, and your dollars give us the flexibility to support these residents immediately. Please give now to be a part of the recovery.

To keep up to date with our efforts, follow us on Twitter or Facebook or sign up to be on our email list.

To view photographs from our canteen tours, visit our Flickr Page.

Shattering expectations (in a good way)

From left to right: Mark & Stephanie Schnuck, Majors Patty & Lonneal Richardson, & Marian & John Wuest

From left to right: Mark & Stephanie Schnuck, Majors Patty & Lonneal Richardson, & Marian & John Wuest

The Salvation Army’s inaugural Behind the Red Shield Gala has been hailed a great success by organizers as more than 400 guests gathered May 10 to raise $284,600 for the Army’s year-round programs and services.

“For a first-time effort, I feel that the event was an overwhelming success,” said Marian Wuest, chairperson for the event. “We were very fortunate to have good participation in sponsorships and table sales that will allow The Salvation Army to carry on the numerous services they provide to the community.”

Gala guests were greeted at Hilton St. Louis at the Ballpark by veterans who have benefited from the Army’s new Veterans Residence, as well as children who attend the local Temple Worship and Community Center, setting an inviting and personal tone for the evening.

“It created a very welcoming atmosphere that many individuals made sure to comment upon,” Wuest said. “They said they had never felt so welcomed at an event of this type.”

Guests participated in a silent auction prior to the gala’s program, with 30 unique items that raised more than $10,000. A spirited live auction held at the conclusion of the program raised more than $42,000. Items up for bid ranged from a French Laundry Style Dinner for eight that raised $3,500, to an opportunity to travel with the St. Louis Rams to an away game that raised $3,200. When invited to participate in a “Dutch auction” – where guests placed personal bids to benefit The Salvation Army – 40 individuals stepped up to the plate and raised $19,000.

Organizers said the gala was imperative to the Army’s mission, allowing the public to get a closer look at the services the Army provides and meet individuals who are directly affected by its work.

“We felt strongly that there is a significant segment of the St. Louis giving community that is not aware of just how many ways the Army touches the community,” Wuest said. “This event gave valuable exposure and provided an excellent venue to share the Army’s story with the community.”

In addition to highlighting the Army’s significant role in St. Louis, the gala also provided the opportunity to recognize Ameren and Ron and Midge Krueger with “Red Shield Award,” recognizing them for their immeasurable contributions to the Army’s mission.

Mark Schnuck served as Honorary Chair for the event, with Carol Daniels – a St. Louis columnist and motivational speaker – serving as emcee for the evening. Sheila Hoffmeister served as co-chair.

“Several things contributed to the success of the evening, including a strong, well-known honorary chairperson, as well as a very engaged and well-connected committee who gave generously of both their time and their treasure,” Wuest said.

Committee members included Lelia and David Farr; Norma and Carl Fitzwater; Kathy and Bob Fulstone; Carol and Steve Higgins; Janice Rohan and Phil Hulse; Celeste and John Kennedy; Rebecca and Kevin Kerwin; Nancy and Ken Kranzberg; Midge and Ron Krueger; Kathy and Bob O’Loughlin; Joan Quicksilver; Peggy and Jerry Ritter; and Marsha and Bill Rusnack.

Overwhelmingly blessed by the St. Louis community’s generosity and success of the gala, organizers have already begun preparations to make the Behind the Red Shield Gala an annual event.

Winter Weather Preparedness

A message from our Emergency Disaster Services Department

When the temperatures drop in Missouri and Southern Illinois, the region often deals with an assortment of winter weather concerns – from ice and snow to extreme cold. In recent St. Louis winters, we have seen massive icing and widespread power outages throughout the area.

In addition to staying indoors as much as possible to reduce the risk of accidents and exposure to extreme cold, The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services wants to share with you other steps you can take to be adequately prepared for the sudden effects of winter weather:

  1. Prepare a winter weather nourishment survival kit for your home, including food that is edible without cooking or refrigeration such as breads, cereals, crackers, canned goods and dehydrated fruits and meats. If you have young children in the home, be sure to stock baby food and formula. Additionally, store 5 gallons of clean water per person in case your water pipes freeze or rupture. Put back extra medicines that any family member may need as well.
  2. Plan for an alternate heat source in the event of a power failure, and stock the fuel – dry firewood for a fireplace or wood stove or kerosene for a kerosene heater. If you intend to rely on an electric space heater, you’ll want to secure and test a generator for a power supply.
  3. Set aside odds and ends to address cold, snow and ice, such as shovels, rock salt, blankets, matches, flashlights.
  4. If you plan to use a fireplace or wood stove for emergency heating, have your chimney or flue inspected annually and be certain to have a smoke detector and carbon monoxide in good working order.
  5. Prepare your car for winter by having the radiator system serviced; replacing windshield-wiper fluid with a winter mix and replacing any worn tires. Don’t forget to check tire pressure as tires can get low with temperature fluctuations! Keep items such as blankets,first aid kits, windshield scrapers, road maps, sand or cat litter, canned foods and flash lights on hand in case you find yourself stranded.

A prayer for Joplin

By: Danni Eickenhorst, Midland Division

In June of this year, members of a Christian art ministry from Kansas City came to Joplin in the days after the historic May 22 storm to find a way that they could give back to those who were impacted by the storm. With little more to offer than their compassion and talents, the group felt led by God to bring a sense of hope to the people of Joplin.

Using their God-given talents, these individuals and many other volunteer artists worked for several months and created a large-scale living memorial to the City of Joplin. The memorial was created for the wreckage of The Salvation Army’s thrift store that was demolished by the storm in May. The 17 foot long by 9 foot tall multi-media piece shows the city resting in the hands of God.

 The “Hope Memorial” was unveiled on Sunday in Joplin at a worship ceremony at the Joplin Family Worship Center. It was dedicated to the City of Joplin and given to The Salvation Army for safe-keeping. Those who attended the unveiling were invited to submit a prayer into the back of the memorial piece where it would remain permanently. They also contributed a painted thumbprint to the multimedia mural.

Salvation Army Lieutenant James Curry and Major Richard Herivel both took part in the ceremony.

“Both had powerful and encouraging messages to say to the people of Joplin,” says Kristin Morris of Set Apart, “The piece itself turned out better than we could have ever imagined! God really had his handon this. It was an indescribable blessing to be able to create this permanent and visual reminder of hope for the people of Joplin. We pray that its presence in Joplin will always remind the people there that He can take the ugliness of disaster and turn it into something beautiful.”

The piece will be on display at the Joplin Family Worship Center through November 21st, and then transferred to The Salvation Army. Supporters are encouraged to visit the Joplin Family Worship Center to view and contribute to this living piece.

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