The Salvation Army began its disaster services ministry on September 8, 1900 when Galveston was hit by a hurricane. Since then, throughout the world, The Salvation Army’s officers, staff and volunteers have been there, usually within hours of a disaster striking. During a disaster, we are there to provide warm meals and emotional spiritual care, which means that we offer prayer, empathy, comfort and love to not only victims but also relief workers. It’s also important to note, that when you donate to The Salvation Army’s Disaster Relief, 100% of what you donate will go to disaster services!
Here in Nashville, we maintain a 16 foot mobile feeding kitchen or canteen. This is ready to go at a moments notice and has been used all over the United States as well as locally. Our canteen has been sent to Ground Zero, Hurricane Katrina, Hurricane Rita, Hurricane Ike, Chattanooga, TN, Jackson, TN and locally in Nashville during the tornadoes that affected Murfreesboro, East Nashville, Gallatin, Lafayette and the Flood of 2010. Our canteen is also utilized weekly to feed the homeless under the Jefferson Street bridge and on East Main Street at the East Nashville Cooperative Ministry.
In addition to the work done in times of disaster, in Nashville we offer Emergency Services to families and individuals who need a little help with rent/utility assistance and food. We receive over 2000 calls a month from families all over Middle TN who are hungry or may be evicted soon or lose electricity or water from their home because of an inability to pay their bill. We have various resources who help to provide funding for this program but those resources are utilized very quickly, so it’s a constant challenge to meet the ever growing need. We are also a satellite site for Second Harvest Food bank and our shelves contain various items such as canned vegetables and fruit, pasta, cereals, tuna, peanut butter and sometimes fresh milk and bread. With the help of volunteers, we combine these items in boxes according to family size and hand these out as needed.
We consider it an honor and blessing to serve our brothers and sisters locally and around the US at moments when their whole world is tumbling down around them. We want to be there for them and help them rise out of the circumstance and fill them with hope and peace, allowing them to see that God is there and will see them through this!
“I will lead the blind by ways they have not known, along unfamiliar paths I will guide them; I will turn the darkness into light before them and make the rough places smooth. These are the things I will do; I will not forsake them.” ~Isaiah 42:16