The COVID-19 coronavirus global outbreak is affecting hundreds of thousands of Hoosiers faced with reduced work hours, hungry children out of school, and unexpected financial and emotional strains on their households. The Salvation Army is addressing the needs in communities across Indiana through a variety of adjusted programs and services.
The Salvation Army Indiana Division is working closely with state and local agencies to address the COVID-19 outbreak. We are closely tracking progress through the Center for Disease Control reporting and have distributed prevention guidance to all staff, employees, volunteers, and program participants on proper hygiene and prevention.
One of the key ministries offered by The Salvation Army during times of disaster is emotional and spiritual care. This is being offered largely via personal phone calls, but it is important to calm fears and provide a ministry of hope and encouragement during this crisis.
The Salvation Army has also taken the following steps to ensure that the safety and well being of our staff, volunteers, program participants, and clients continues to be our first priority.
• Salvation Army corps community centers across Indiana are closed to the public through April 5, 2020 (Palm Sunday). Each facility is being thoroughly cleaned and disinfected.
• The majority of social service ministries provided by The Salvation Army will continue, though with adjustments made to restrict interactions between staff, volunteers, and those who are dependent on assistance.
• Food pantries are now serving clients with food boxes that can be loaded directly into vehicles at drive-through pick-up stations in Salvation Army parking lots. Specific locations and hours of operation are available through each Salvation Army corps’ website and social media pages.
• Congregate feeding programs are now using take-out boxes or bagged lunches to continue feeding the community. The volunteer needs are great in several cities, including Evansville, which feeds more than 200 people every day through its program.
• Emergency assistance interviews have transitioned from in-person to over the phone.
• The Salvation Army’s Indianapolis Harbor Light Center, Adult Rehabilitation Centers, and Ruth Lilly Women and Children’s Center are not receiving any visitors to protect residents and staff.
• All Salvation Army thrift stores are currently closed to the public. Donations are not being accepted at this time.
• Where possible, Sunday worship at Salvation Army corps has transitioned to remote worship via live streaming services. In addition, The Salvation Army Indiana Division will provide weekly online worship each Sunday on SalvationArmyIndiana.org and Facebook.com/SalvationArmyIndiana. These services will help give comfort to isolated individuals unable to attend church, and the regular messages of faith will help our fellow Hoosiers through this difficult time.
We recognize that the financial strain that the COVID-19 crisis is putting on many Hoosier families means that we will see an increase in the number of people looking to The Salvation Army for assistance. While upcoming fundraising events supporting our programs have had to be cancelled across the state, a donation platform has been set up for those who would like to help The Salvation Army respond to this crisis.
As in any disaster, 100% of the donations made to this appeal will be used for our COVID-19 response and aid to affected families. To make a donation, visit SalvationArmyIndiana.org and click the CORONAVIRUS UPDATES link.
Both designated and undesignated gifts can also be sent through the mail to:
The Salvation Army Indiana Division
6060 Castleway West Drive
Indianapolis, IN 46250
Additional updates will be posted on SalvationArmyIndiana.org and individual corps websites across Indiana.