The Salvation Army of Shawnee has been helping victims of the Monday tornado almost since it touched down and caused mass chaos across Pottawatomie and Seminole Counties.
On Tuesday morning, The Salvation Army attended an early morning briefing to find out what the needs were across Pottawatomie County. It was determined that the Army would provide some additional food items to the Pentecostal Church helping to serve those in Tecumseh. On Tuesday evening, over 30 volunteers met at The Salvation Army to make sandwiches. What a great group of people! Everyone was ready to work and there was no one standing around. Also, on Tuesday evening, the Tulsa Area Command loaned their canteen and large barbeque trailer arrived to provide meals in for the Seminole area at Seminole State College. Several local volunteers and advisory board members helped with securing and picking-up donations from Walmart, SAMS, Vision Bank and the United Way.
On Wednesday, the sandwiches assembled on Tuesday evening were sent out to an area on
the Pottawatomie – Seminole county line. Many of the families served did not want to leave their homes for fear of looting, and therefore, were not willing to go to the stationary canteen located at Seminole State College. We encountered families who lost everything, homes, clothing, etc., some who had major damage, and still others with minor damage and loss of electricity. A sub-division of the Seminole Nation were served lunch and dinner on Wednesday, and while serving dinner, their electricity was restored! The canteen located at Seminole State College served 60 meals for breakfast and 200 meals for lunch. Dinner was also provided. The remaining sandwiches made on Tuesday evening were disbursed amid other Pottawatomie county residents affected by the storms.
On Thursday, the Tulsa canteen prepared breakfast, lunch and dinner prior to returning to Tulsa. Meals were delivered via vans to affected persons in Seminole and Pottawatomie counties.
On Friday, an employee of The Salvation Army’s prepared a hot meal for lunch and sandwiches for dinner which were served in areas in Seminole County with the assistance of Seminole County employees (due to extremely muddy roads).
As well as meals and hydration, emotional and spiritual care was provided to many individuals. Beginning next week, additional services will be provided in both counties. The Salvation Army Social Services office in Shawnee as well as the Thrift Store in Seminole will be doing casework and providing items to help displaced and storm victims.
There have been many stories including those needing temporary shelter for their animals, burial of farm animals, plumbing needs, and much more. With the assistance and networking of many agencies, The Salvation Army has been able to assist in many different circumstances.
Major Michael Barnhouse states “We feel very honored to provide services during this stressful period. We were blessed to be able to pray with several of the victims, and to give a “listening ear” for those affected.
Texting is now available to help tornado victims. Text “STORM” to 9-0-9-9-9 to make a $10 donation to Salvation Army’s Tornado Relief Efforts.”
Financial donations are needed to support relief efforts. The Salvation Army asks those who want to help the individual and families affected by the tornadoes to visit www.salvationarmyusa.org or call 1-800-SAL-ARMY and designate Oklahoma tornadoes. Donations are also being accepted at the Shawnee office located at 200 E. 9th. Monetary donations will ensure The Salvation Army can meet the most immediate needs of those impacted by the storm. Undesignated donations are assigned by the zip code of the donor to the nearest Salvation Army location.