Doughnuts with your disaster: Salvation Army lends a helping van

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staff, Gazette
Sunday, March 10, 2013

— Saturday morning featured a mix of bone-chilling cold and sleet.

That’s not enough to qualify as a disaster, but the Salvation Army’s mobile response van was out anyway.

The van was part of a food drive being held at the Choice Cleaners, 610 East Memorial Drive, Janesville.

Everyone who dropped off food was rewarded with a doughnut or, later in the morning, a cup of chili.

The volunteers in the van served treats as members of Boy Scout Troop 511 from St. Patrick’s Church, Janesville, collected cans of food.

It was a pretty quiet event, especially when you consider the other places where such vans—and their volunteers— have been.

“My wife, Ruth, spent time at Katrina,” said Major Bob Fay of the Salvation Army, Janesville. “I was at the St. Louis floods.”

The van has its own generator. It is designed to provide food and drink to first responders and people in distress, Fay explained.

The familiar red lettering and the Salvation Army logo are a comforting presence in a crisis.

The van is one of a fleet housed across southern Wisconsin. It’s also part of the Salvation Army’s coordinated, worldwide, disaster response.

A disaster in Janesville would mean help from Salvation Army teams across the Midwest. A because the Salvation Army is located in more than 100 countries world-wide, disaster relief can be quickly coordinated from neighboring countries, Fay said.

“Sometimes it’s difficult for other charitable groups to get into certain countries,” Fay said. “But because we’re already there, we can send in resources and deploy people faster.”

Last updated: 7:58 am Monday, April 29, 2013

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