SALVATION ARMY RELIEF EFFORTS CONTINUE IN CENTRAL CHINA
Alexandria, VA (May 15, 2008) - The Salvation Army in the United States launched an appeal this week to raise money for the long-term response to the disaster in central China caused by an earthquake with a 7.8 magnitude on May 12. The organization currently has personnel serving cities affected by the disaster and is responding to the immediate needs of survivors. The Salvation Army has approved $30,000 to assist in the response but more funding is needed to provide for food, tents, clothing and other emergency supplies. The long-term recovery is expected to be a multi-year effort that will require extensive international aid to help those in need. Donors can support the appeal via the Internet, direct mail, or by phone.
"Since The Salvation Army has been operating in the region since 1916, we are able to offer near immediate relief supplies, including medical supplies, food, clothing and shelter, to the victims," said Lt. Col. Dan Starrett, Executive Director of The Salvation Army World Services Office in the United States. "We are currently working to provide additional aid from U.S. and other international organizations to Sichuan Province and other hard hit areas of central China. We will continue to pray for those afflicted by this disaster, and we appreciate the thousands of donors who contribute at a time like this."
Reports from in the country on Wednesday morning indicated that the Chinese government is welcoming all international aid and relief. Reports also indicated that downed power lines were causing communication problems between government officials and remote areas of China. However, Major Tommy Chan from the Hong Kong and Macau Command will be traveling to The Salvation Army project office in Kunming, Yunnan Province today. Major Chan along with the China Development Secretary, Major On, will travel to disaster areas to conduct comprehensive on-site assessments of the needs of the people and communities to determine a long-term emergency relief operation.
Small quantities of water and food, including biscuits and noodles, will be provided to survivors. The Salvation Army will also provide support counseling once immediate human needs are met. Social workers from The Salvation Army's social service units in Hong Kong will be invited to offer counseling to comfort victims.
The Salvation Army began serving China in 1916, with Hong Kong becoming the Army's administrative center in 1939. Currently, The Salvation Army provides several social and educational services to individuals in China. Such programs include youth and elderly services, rehabilitation centers, recycling services, and child care. There are 18 corps and 2 outposts in the Hong Kong and Macau Command that The Salvation Army runs as evangelical worship centers, while providing other community services.
The Salvation Army in the United States is accepting donations for the recovery through its national web site at: www.salvationarmyusa.org. Donors may also call 1-800-SAL-ARMY or mail donations to:
The Salvation Army International Disaster Relief Fund
PO Box 630728
Baltimore, MD 21263-0728
Donors should specify their contribution is for the "China Earthquake." Proceeds will go to support direct service to those in need.
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About The Salvation Army:
The Salvation Army, an evangelical part of the universal Christian church established in 1865, has been supporting those in need in His name without discrimination for 128 years in the United States. Nearly 29 million Americans receive assistance from The Salvation Army each year through the broadest array of social services that range from providing 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. About 83 cents of every dollar raised is used to support those services in 5,000 communities nationwide. For more information, go to www.salvationarmyusa.org.