Seattle, September 18, 2008
—In the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, World Vision is delivering emergency relief supplies to the hardest-hit areas around Houston. The Christian aid organization rolled out its first load of emergency supplies from its Dallas Storehouse this week in response to the critical need of displaced residents. An estimated 35,000 are stranded in shelters*.
World Vision staff equipped with an emergency relief supply vehicle are assessing the damage and delivering supplies to churches and other community organizations serving economically stressed communities. Yesterday, World Vision's assessment team overcame roads still submerged in water and faced roads blocked by electrical wires to reach Port Arthur, a community still recovering from hurricane Rita in 2005.
“Despite the tough travel conditions, our distribution of emergency supplies is going rapidly: three pallets were distributed in a matter of hours,” said Phyllis Freeman, World Vision’s director of disaster field operations. “The situation is worsening, and while much of Port Arthur was evacuated and is shut down, children and families still remain. They are our priority.”
The aid organization mobilized volunteers in Dallas on Monday to pack over 1,000 hygiene kits using supplies from Cardinal Health. Other essential items being delivered and distributed include toothpaste and toothbrushes, children’s books and toys, and cleaning supplies. Lagasse/Sweet, a household products company and World Vision corporate partner, is contributing cleaning supplies, which are critical in the initial clean up of homes.
“Churches and community partners are essential to our relief efforts. They provide the presence and continuity we need to engage in long-term recovery work. Through our local churches and community partners, we reach the less fortunate, to help prevent them from falling through the cracks,” said John Pettit, World Vision’s national director for disaster response.
Additional supplies are being delivered to World Vision’s Storehouses in Dallas and Picayune, Mississippi, in support of the relief effort. Supplies are also being readied in Denver, Los Angeles, Chicago, Seattle and other locations where the organization has domestic operations.
Cash and product donations are critically 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.– END –For interviews with World Vision staff, please contact Myrna Gutierrez at 323.377.2432 or firstname.lastname@example.org.*Source: Federal Emergency Management Agency, Sept. 16, 2008; release HQ-08-220World 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.