• Cynthia Fuller

The Arkansas-Oklahoma Emergency Disaster Team Provides Manpower and Christmas Blessings

Oklahoma City, OK (December 19, 2023) Christmas holds diverse meanings for different individuals, but for many, The Salvation Army is synonymous with the season, particularly through activities like Bell Ringing and the Angel Tree program. This week in Jonesboro, The Salvation Army Emergency Disaster Services (EDS) team from the Arkansas-Oklahoma Division joined forces with the local Salvation Army officers to support their Angel Tree program.


The EDS team was present in these areas due to the aftermath of a catastrophic tornado in December 2021, which wreaked havoc in Northeast Arkansas, impacting numerous lives with destroyed homes, job losses, and persistent challenges. Even after two years, many individuals continue to strive for a return to normalcy.  The Salvation Army continues to strive to provide help, hope, and healing to those impacted.


For the past two years, The EDS team has collaborated with the Jonesboro Salvation Army to expand their Angel Tree program to encompass children and seniors impacted by the tornadoes. Often, the enduring impact of substantial losses is overlooked, and alleviating the stress of providing Christmas presents becomes a small yet meaningful way to contribute to healing and a return to normal life.


The joy on children's faces on Christmas morning as they discover presents under the tree is a heartwarming sight. Many children hold onto the belief in Santa Claus without fully grasping the enchantment that surrounds Christmas. It's often said that the true magic of Christmas is best seen through the eyes of a child.


During their time in Jonesboro, the EDS team collaborated with fellow volunteers at the Christmas warehouse. While in town, they undertook shopping endeavors to help fulfill the needs and wishes outlined in the Angel Tree program, including toys, coats, socks, and various clothing items.


Captain Teri Smith, Jonesboro Salvation Army officer, expressed gratitude, saying, “It was truly a blessing to have the EDS team here to help us and provide so much to ensure the Angels’ have gifts. We want to make sure every child/senior represented by an Angel on the Angel Trees have a need and a want fulfilled.”