Salvation Army ready to respond in fire-affected areas
20 October 2013
The Salvation Army Emergency Services is on stand-by and ready to assist in fire-affected areas across New South Wales today, with the weather expected to worsen throughout the day.
Crews of personnel and volunteers are still feeding fire-fighters in Raymond Terrace north of Newcastle, providing 1,200 meals per day.
In the Blue Mountains west of Sydney The Salvation Army has been out early this morning on burnt-out streets, feeding around 80 residents a hot breakfast. Many homes, although still standing, are without power and water.
“We fed residents a hot meal last night and we were back again at six o’clock this morning,” says Springwood Salvation Army officer Captain Phil Sharp. “We want to give support where it’s needed and at the moment, being out on the front line, providing food and emotional support allowing us to ascertain the needs of the residents affected.”
The crew is working from a dedicated Salvation Army Emergency Services truck where meals can be prepared and served. It also has charging points for fire affected residents to charge their phones and other devices necessary to keep them in contact with loved ones.
“When people came to have something to eat they all sat together and it was a really powerful time where people could chat and share their experiences,” says Captain Sharp.
The Salvation Army today announced it was releasing more than $500,000 to aid the bushfire relief and recovery effort.
The Salvation Army also reminds those people who wish to support the Bushfire Appeal that donations of cash, rather than goods, are best, enabling the Salvos to aid the community immediately.
“We’ve been overwhelmed by the level of support for The Salvation Army Bushfire Appeal, which has already raised more than $300,000,” says Major Jeff Winterburn, “and we’d like to say a heartfelt thanks to everyone who’s donated.
“Financial donations allow the people affected to recover with dignity as they are able to purchase items they need most,” says Major Winterburn.