After the Leap Day tornado that struck the Branson and surrounding communities in 2012, the Salvation Army-Branson was able to provide disaster services and meals to victims of this disaster though their own building was significantly damaged. They incurred substantial facility damage, a total loss of their van, and a loss of food stored in refrigerators due to the extended loss of power. The estimated total of the damage was $170,000.00. The Salvation Army relies on donations and grants to be able to continue to provide much needed emergency social service assistance, disaster services, meals, seasonal services, youth programs, and church services to Taney and Stone county communities.
The Salvation Army works with other charitable organizations, churches, and businesses to feed the needy by allowing them to use their facility to prepare and serve hot meals. They are one of the few places that are able to provide a facility necessary to meet the Serve Safe criteria as required by the Department of Health for serving food to the public. They have a full service kitchen necessary to prepare a large number of meals at a given time. Branson and the surrounding areas employ people on a seasonal basis. This means that many are out of work for the first three months of the year when theatres and related tourism businesses are closed for the season. Therefore, the need is much greater during that down time. The Salvation Army-Branson partners with local charitable organization, Loaves and Fishes, to provide 150 plus meals for the months of January, February, and March each Sunday evening.
The four area Rotary clubs have an opportunity each Rotary year to apply for a District Simplified Grant through Rotary District 6080. This grant includes funds from the Rotary Foundation that are used for programs within the district. District 6080 awards approximately twenty-five $1000.00 matching funds grants each Rotary year. During a training program held in March of 2012, the four club presidents decided they were going to apply for a joint grant so they could help the Salvation Army-Branson. The clubs applied for the grant and were successful in being award the grant. Each club then had to provide a match of $1000.00 each.
With the total of the grant funds and matching funds, the area clubs were able to donate $8000.00 to the Salvation Army-Branson. These funds are being used to purchase much needed equipment to continue their mission of helping to provide much needed services to our communities. They specifically have plans to purchase a stationary 5-well steam table with a sneeze guard, (10) deep steam table pans, (7) water pans for the steam table, an adjustable folding table, (40) lightweight folding tables, (4) metal shelving units, a 20.5 cu ft refrigerator, (2) gas grills, and a projector to use in educational programming.
Rotary is a volunteer organization of 1.2 million business and professional leaders united worldwide to provide humanitarian service and help build goodwill and peace. About 32,000 Rotary clubs in more than 200 countries and geographical areas conduct projects to address today’s challenges—including illiteracy, disease, hunger, poverty, lack of clean water, and environmental concerns—while encouraging high ethical standards in all vocations.
If you would like to be a part of service to others, please visit any of the four area clubs. The meeting times and places are as follows:
- Branson Daybreakers—every Thursday morning at 7:00 a.m. @ Golden Corral
- Branson-Hollister—every Wednesday at 12 noon @ Golden Corral
- Hollister—every Monday at 12 noon at Arrowhead Building Supply
- Table Rock Lake—every Friday at 11:45 a.m. at Tequila’s in Branson West