(Tuesday, August 14, 2018) In response to devastating flooding this week across eastern and central Pennsylvania, The Salvation Army of Eastern PA & DE’s Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) continues to provide crucial support to first responders and impacted residents. This is all possible through a coordinated partnership with The Salvation Army’s Corps Community Centers, Service Extension Units and volunteers across the region.
In Schuylkill County, crews continue for a second day supplying food and beverages in Gilberton. They also distributed 100 clean-up kits to Frackville residents in need of cleaning their homes damaged by the floods. A Salvation Army canteen (mobile feeding operation) is based at the United Methodist Church in Gilberton. As of Tuesday afternoon, The Salvation Army has provided a total of 400 meals and more than 300 clean-up kits in Schuylkill County (including the communities of Port Carbon, Pine Grove, Frackville and Gilberton).
In Columbia County, a Salvation Army canteen is stationed in Benton, providing food and beverages to residents and first responders. 100 – 150 clean-up kits will be distributed in the Bloomsburg area.
“Emergency financial assistance and response in times of disaster is available due to the preparation of The Salvation Army volunteers and staff on the local level providing vital community assessment, direction, and assistance in time of need,” said Rebecca Netznik, Regional Manager of Salvation Army Service Extension. “Schuykill and Columbia Counties are two of eight counties I am charged to support local staff and volunteers. If it weren’t for the volunteers and ongoing partnerships with various agencies, we could not respond to these devastating local floods,” she added.
Salvation Army teams will be providing assistance as needed, to communities throughout Bradford and Sullivan Counties. This includes clean-up kit distribution and food and hydration support. Many artery roads in these rural communities are inaccessible due to flood waters. Service to some of the impacted areas may not begin until Wednesday, when Salvation Army crews and equipment are able to reach them.
“Our goal and intention is to work closely with all relief agencies. I serve on The Salvation Army Service Unit committee that helps oversee the tremendous year round efforts and now at this time of natural disaster. The Salvation Army provides basic emergency financial assistance and disaster response just in time,” says long-term Salvation Army volunteer and Bradford County Commissioner, Doug McLinko.
“We are so grateful for dedicated local staff and volunteers that step up to the plate in times of disaster,” Michael Cipilewski, Regional Manager for Bradford, Sullivan and seven other counties in northeast Pennsylvania. “Our Wayne County Emergency Disaster Services team is planning on deploying to help neighboring Bradford and Sullivan Counties.”
“I have been working with Pastor Damien Brooks of the Towanda UMC (headquarters for The Salvation Army – Service Center) and the North Towanda Fire Department. We have gotten food and drinks for the firemen and rescue crews staged at the North Towanda Fire Station,” explained Caseworker/Facilitator JanSue Russell who is partnering with local businesses and agencies. “Donations have been received from Tops Market in Wysox, Dandy Mini Mart in North Towanda, Hurley’s Supermarket in Towanda. Our committee provides support to Sullivan County too,” she said.
The Salvation Army is working together with local and state officials to provide emergency disaster response and relief for as long as needed. Additional teams may be deployed across eastern and central Pennsylvania if flooding conditions worsen this week.
The Salvation Army’s Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) provides basic needs and services to victims of disaster, while also assisting first-responders. Serving one – two million Americans in dozens of response efforts nationwide, EDS is often one of the first on the scene to aid emergency response efforts by providing food, shelter, clothing and spiritual comfort.
About The Salvation Army:
The Salvation Army of Eastern Pennsylvania and Delaware is a faith-based, comprehensive human service organization whose programs help individuals, families and whole communities lead healthier, safer and more productive lives. Since 1879, The Army has held a record of accomplishment stemming from its holistic approach to providing for the needs of the whole individual – physically, emotionally, economically and spiritually. The Army’s programming serves every zip code through 51 community centers, 163 service extension units and a network of volunteers throughout 42 counties of Eastern Pennsylvania, Philadelphia and Delaware. Programs and services include: emergency financial assistance, shelter, hot meals, counseling, early childhood development, recreational opportunities, music programs, after-school arts and educational programs, job training, activities for older adults, spiritual development, and drug rehabilitation.
Mission Statement: The Salvation Army, an international movement, is an evangelical part of the universal Christian church. Its message is based on the Bible. Its ministry is motivated by the love of God. Its mission is to preach the gospel of Jesus Christ and to meet human needs in His name without discrimination.
For more information, please visit www.SalvationArmyPA.org