In the UK, staff from The Salvation Army’s trading company have teamed up with emergency services to help deliver 50,000 face shields to doctors, nurses and other health workers across the country. This is a practical way to support those fighting the disease on the frontline.
Around the world, already-vulnerable people are being particularly hit by the crisis. Emergency food packs have been distributed in Ghana and Togo, with 164 families benefiting from parcels containing rice, oil and tinned fish – plus soap and hand washing equipment.
Feeding programmes continue to be run from many Salvation Army centres. In St Lucia, a local supermarket is assisting the Army in providing 50 meals a day to people who were moved from the streets to a local sports centre.
Samgori corps in Tbilisi, Georgia has extended its regular winter feeding programme during the pandemic. The young people who operate the service are continuing to ensure that those who sleep rough in the city have access to basic nutrition.
In New Zealand, practical assistance such as the distribution of food parcels operates alongside financial advice, which is offered via telephone and video calls. Both are important means of assistance to people facing financial uncertainty.
The Salvation Army in Germany is meeting a variety of needs. Alongside the provision of food parcels and disinfectant, creative approaches have been developed to support mental health, with one corps opening its playground to one family at a time, enabling safe and happy play.
Technology is playing a useful role in allowing programmes to continue. In Darjeeling, India, The Salvation Army’s school for deaf children is using video conferencing for lessons, a technique also being used in Indonesia.
In the USA, some corps have held virtual pizza parties, arranging for pizzas to be delivered to church members ahead of an online video call.
Keep up-to-date with the latest stories of The Salvation Army’s response to coronavirus on the website and social media.
Please continue to pray for the Army’s work, for all essential workers and for hope at this time.