Seattle, September 12, 2008
—As Hurricane Ike bears down on Texas and the Gulf Coast, World Vision has begun providing local church and community partners in Texas with emergency supplies. The Christian aid organization delivered two pallets of Hasbro toys and games to the Dallas Convention Center yesterday to help children and families occupy their time while in the shelter, and is calling for volunteers in Dallas to help assemble hygiene kits which staff plan to ship over the weekend to partners farther south.
“We hope to get as close to Houston as possible, since that’s where we anticipate the greatest need will be,” said Phyllis Freeman, World Vision’s director of disaster field operations. “Highway access to the most affected coastal communities will be a challenge, so we plan to bring in supplies from Dallas, to the north, as well as from our Storehouse in Mississippi, to the east.”
Essential items the organization is preparing to send include children’s clothing, shampoo and conditioner, toothpaste and toothbrushes, body wash, children’s books and cleaning supplies for recovery efforts. As soon as conditions allow, World Vision’s assessment team from Dallas will travel south to assess the needs of the agency’s partners in affected communities, including Hillsboro, Austin and Houston.
“As we talk with our church and community partners in Texas, we’re urging them to prepare for the worst and be diligent about their own safety as well,” said John Pettit, World Vision’s national director for disaster response.
“Once the hurricane passes, we’ll work with them to help supply what’s needed by the people in their communities who need the most assistance. We plan to help them get families back on their feet in the short-term as well as clean up and recover from this storm.”
Additional supplies are on their way to World Vision’s Storehouses in Dallas and Picayune, Mississippi, from the agency’s distribution center in Denver. The organization also has additional supplies ready to send from Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle and other locations should the storm’s impact be severe. World Vision’s Storehouse in Dallas is also serving as a hub for the distribution of 5,000 cots provided by the Texas government to local shelters.
“A lot of people just evacuated for Hurricane Gustav and are now low on cash,” said World Vision’s Storehouse manager in Dallas, Todd Haumann. “Some families haven’t even unpacked and now they’re leaving their homes again. They may not have time to stock up on supplies, or they may not have the means to do so.”
Cash donations are needed. The public can help by visiting www.worldvision.org
or calling 1.888.56.CHILD. Corporations interested in donating quality, new products should call 206.355.3598.
World Vision is calling for 50 volunteers in Dallas to assemble hygiene and cleaning kits today and tomorrow at its Storehouse, located at 5050 Investment Drive, Suite 104. For details, please call 214.331.4934.– END –For interviews with World Vision staff, please contact Rachel Wolff at 253.394.2214 or Rwolff@worldvision.org.World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve all people, regardless of religion, race, ethnicity, or gender. For more information, please visit www.worldvision.org/press.