Salvation Army running water collection drive to address critical shortage during sweltering heatwave

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KANSAS CITY, Mo. -- Emergency relief was deployed throughout Kansas City on Thursday to help people in need stay safe in the heat. Volunteers with the Salvation Army spent part of the day traveling to parks and neighborhoods to give out cold water to people who live there.

"Because of the heat index, every day this week the Salvation Army is going and giving out water," said Major David Harvey with the Salvation Army of Kansas and Western Missouri.

The agency will pass out water to homeless people, children, first responders and anyone else in need throughout the week.

"We'll normally do 20 bottles of water a day, but right now we’re doing 90 to 100 each time we go out," said Harvey.

Salvation Army supplies are also needed during disasters. Working to meet both community and emergency needs has already stressed supply levels, and the heat wave is far from over.

In its warehouse the Salvation Army is down to less than two pallets of water. A collection drive will begin on Friday to replenish this vital resource.

"We're looking to the people of Kansas City and surrounding areas, if they could help us out either by collecting water and bringing it to their local Salvation Army or sending in donations so that we can get water it would really be helpful. We are going to need a lot of water in the coming weeks to make up for disasters this summer," Harvey explained.

And for people on the receiving end, a bottle of water on a 100 degree day can make a big difference.

"We appreciate it and when you're homeless and you're not in air conditioning, and when you're out and in the heat you need water to keep you hydrated," said Carrie Paxton.

"They need this water to stay alive, to stay alert and to stay mentally balanced so they can be good citizens here in this community," Harvey added.

Donations of either cases of water, or cash will be accepted at any local Salvation Army site or their warehouse on Truman starting Friday, July 21. The drive will run through part of next week depending on the need.

Click on this link for a map of 10 Salvation Army locations around the metro where you can drop off donations of water or cash.