New Mobile Distribution Unit will take supplies directly to those most affected
Volunteers mobilizing in Dallas to prepare and ship emergency supplies
DALLAS, May 4, 2011—The Christian humanitarian organization World Vision is dispatching today a Mobile Distribution Unit from its facility in North Texas, which will provide emergency relief supplies for up to 500 people devastated by tornadoes in Alabama.
As part of its large-scale response to the worst natural disaster in the U.S. since Hurricane Katrina, World Vision will also be sending a semi-truck to Alabama with 26 pallets of relief supplies, including shoes, clothing and cleaning materials. On Monday the organization’s relief team completed its assessment of needs and distributed initial supplies of personal hygiene products to families in Tuscaloosa and Birmingham.
“We’re most concerned about low-income families who don’t have many resources to recover from these disasters,” said Phyllis Freeman, World Vision’s domestic disaster response director.
The Mobile Distribution Unit will be able to drive directly into affected communities and provide urgently-needed items like hygiene kits, shoes for kids, and batteries and flashlights since many areas are still without power.
"This part of the country is not a part of tornado alley. That’s what is making this so horrific.” Freeman said. “This is hurricane country. That’s why we want to do our work as fast as possible. There’s no way of knowing what hurricanes may be coming in the future.”
World Vision is partnering with local churches and organizations to set up points of distribution for relief supplies. The organization has provided $10,000 worth of cash grants to be given to the most vulnerable families who have been impacted, and hopes to disburse more grants as fundraising increases.
“We don’t know what to do,” said Connie McDonald, whose home fell off its foundation and was further damaged by a falling tree. She and her husband recently refinanced their home to pay for their daughter’s cancer treatment. “That’s why I’ve cried all day. I’ve been real brave up until today . . . What will we do financially?”
World Vision’s facilities in North Texas are serving as its domestic disaster headquarters with 56,000 square feet of space and 1,000 pallet spaces of relief, recovery, and building materials ready to ship. Meanwhile, Dallas volunteers are assembling hygiene kits for distribution and preparing medical supplies to be shipped quickly to the disaster site.
In addition to responding to vulnerable communities in Alabama, World Vision is also working with local partners to provide emergency relief supplies to children and families affected by weather-related disasters in Oklahoma, North Carolina, Mississippi, Missouri and Virginia.
About World Vision World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. We serve the world's poor -- regardless of religion, race, ethnicity or gender.For more information on their efforts, visit WorldVision.org/press or follow them on Twitter at @WorldVisionNews