Sharing with Salvation Army aids Altoona

Disasters might be out of the minds for many folks on a daily basis. But for Altoona Salvation Emergency Disaster Services, disasters are at the forefront of everyone’s minds.

The group responds to situations throughout the area, lending support and services when many need it more than ever.

Whether it is a fire, a car accident or other incidents like a civil disruptions or missing persons, the Salvation Army is only a call away.

A mere look at the agency’s numbers for 2016 alone indicates the staggering need for the Salvation Army, and, by extension, the community’s support.

So far this year, the number of people served in emergency calls (4,391 to 473), man hours in emergency calls (436 to 142.75) and man hours in public service calls (380 to 241) have all skyrocketed compared to 2015.

With the Salvation Army providing basic commodities, services to emergency workers, counseling, sheltering, mass feeding and handling donated goods, among many other services, there is no shortage of opportunities to help.

Clearly, given the vast amount of resources the Salvation Army offers in combination with considerably more calls and man hours this year already, the need to help a community staple is there.

This year, as the Mirror marks its 12th year of Season of Sharing, we ask you to help consider supporting the Salvation Army. Information on how to give can be found on Page C4, and an addressed envelope is included in today’s Mirror to make giving easier.

So far, the Season of Sharing has raised more than $205,000 for local charities, and this year, proceeds will benefit a group that provides on-site support for first responders at fires, standoffs and other emergency situations.

The Salvation Army feeds all firemen, police and EMTs and often gives shelter, clothing and monetary assistance to victims.

Officially recognized by federal, state and local governments nationwide as a sanctioned disaster relief organization, the first aim of the Salvation Army is to meet basic needs of both first responders and victims, with material comfort, physical comfort and spiritual and emotional comfort functioning as primary goals for the group.

The Salvation Army is involved in each step of a disaster, from offering drinks initially through distributing supplies to clean up as necessary.

The humanitarian deeds of the Salvation Army can’t go unnoticed as the group helps without discrimination at the most critical time of need for many people.

Although nobody necessarily wants to see a Salvation Army EDS truck show up, given disaster services are offered only in the worst of times, the importance of the extensive services provided can’t be overstated.

As we stop to count our blessings this holiday season, please consider helping people who answer the call at all times of the day and night, regardless of circumstances and without hesitation.

Previous Mirror recipients

2005: U.S. Armed Forces Mothers

2006: Brian Morden Foundation

2007: Shriners Hospitals for Children

2008: Gloria Gates Foundation

2009: Food for Families Soup Kitchen

2010: Zack Hinish Foundation

2011: Big Brothers Big Sisters of Blair County

2012: Home Nursing Agency’s Healing Patch

2013: Miracle League of Blair County

2014: Mountain Lion BackPack Program

2015: Family Services Teen Center & Shelter