Assisted by military forces, Salvation Army staff and volunteers prepare to distribute meal rations to a crowd in Port au Prince, Haiti.

Assisted by military forces, Salvation Army staff and volunteers prepare to distribute meal rations to a crowd in Port au Prince, Haiti.

Alexandria, VA (January 19, 2010) – Nearly 7,000 people were given a five-day supply of food Monday by The Salvation Army in Port-au-Prince. Hundreds of others, including infants at an orphanage, received medical care from Salvation Army doctors who are responding to the earthquake. In the U.S., more personnel and supplies are being sent to the country to join the 700 Salvation Army workers who are permanently stationed in Haiti.

Additionally, in Port-au-Prince, a 14-person Salvation Army medical team provided care to nearly 200 people Monday, suturing wounds and treating broken bones. Two doctors and a nurse administered formula and oral electrolyte solution to dozens of orphans left with little help since the earthquake six days ago devastated the country and left their orphanage in shambles. At the orphanage, volunteers affiliated with the Mennonites repaired the water system.

Our teams heard there was a need at the orphanage and we responded,” said Major George Hood, National Community Relations Secretary, based in Alexandria, VA. “This is but one of many, many situations where medical needs were in short supply, and we were able to respond in time, to help.”

The medical teams, according to Maj. Hood, have already run into problems with a lack of diesel fuel to operate generators for lighting, forcing them to stop working at dusk. In addition, The Salvation Army is working to send an anesthesiologist to support medical procedures.

The medical teams, as well as other specially trained volunteers, officers and staff from across the country and Canada, are being flown via donated corporate jet aircraft from airports in South Florida as flights are available.

The Salvation Army’s supply line of critical resources is being funneled through South Florida via cargo aircraft. Currently, FedEx is helping The Salvation Army move more than 1 million pre-packaged meals from Kansas and Iowa, and tents and flashlights from the Coleman Co., are being sent along with other donations and purchased goods.

The Salvation Army set up a Haiti relief fund and is accepting monetary donations. Donors may contribute $10 via their phone bill by text messaging the word “HAITI” to 52000, and confirming the donation with the word, “Yes.”  Donors can also give via www.salvationarmyusa.org, 1-800-SAL-ARMY and through the mail at: The Salvation Army World Service Office, International Disaster Relief Fund, P.O. Box 630728, Baltimore, MD 21263-0728 with designation “Haiti Earthquake.” To date, more than $4.79 million has been donated to The Salvation Army’s relief effort in Haiti.

In Haiti, The Salvation Army operates schools, clinics, a hospital, feeding programs, children’s homes and church-related activities through some 60 Corps community centers across the country.  One Salvation Army facility, or compound, includes a home for more than 50 children; a school with a daily attendance of 1,500 children; a medical clinic caring for 150-200 people daily; and a church that on any typical Sunday welcomes nearly 1,000 people. The facility is less than 10 minutes from the National Palace and is in an area known as St. Martin that is home to predominantly poor living in the nation’s capital.