Media contact:Christine Connolly
Dallas,TX (April 4, 2012) — As Texas residents reel from the more than a dozen tornadoes that ripped through Dallas and Tarrent counties, World Vision's emergency disaster response team is preparing to rapidly distribute relief supplies expecting the greatest needs to include basic hygiene items, water, and non-perishable food. The Christian humanitarian agency also plans to address long-term recovery needs of affected families, with a specific focus on the needs of children.
“One of our biggest concerns is for survivors in Lancaster where preliminary assessments reveal about 300 homes damaged or destroyed, some in impoverished areas where families were already struggling," says Phyllis Freeman, World Vision's domestic emergency response director and a veteran of the agency's Hurricane Katrina response. “World Vision is working quickly to ensure the families who need the most assistance don't fall through the cracks.”
World Vision is meeting today with a coalition of local churches to plan relief efforts to help the Dallas-Forth Worth community recover and rebuild. The humanitarian organization is prepared to provide relief supplies as early as today. Within the next 24 hours at World Vision’s National Domestic Disaster Headquarters in Grand Prairie, 50 Dallas volunteers will assemble about 2,500 food kits for those affected by the tornadoes and other families in need in the Dallas/Fort Worth area. Each ‘kit’ contains 3 to 4 meal packets (breakfast, lunch, dinner) or enough food to feed a family of five for one day by providing sustenance such as oatmeal, lentil soup and pasta. Additionally, this week, 700 hygiene kits will be assembled by JPMorgan Chase volunteers in Salem, New Hampshire. (Chase is a first responding World Vision corporate partner). The kits will be directed to World Vision’s response hub in North Texas to help those most in need in tornado-affected areas. Next week, Chase volunteers will assemble more hygiene kits at 5 additional events in the Dallas area.
“It’s saddening to think of how many families and children now have no place to call home,” says Freeman. "The best way Americans can help right now is through cash donations of any amount. This allows World Vision and other responding groups to purchase supplies locally and respond quickly," says Freeman.
The public can help by visiting World Vision, calling (888) 56-CHILD (24453), or by texting "GIVEUSA” to 777444 to make a $10 donation to World Vision's disaster response.
World Vision has been serving North Texas and the Gulf region since 2002. In 2011, the 4th deadliest tornado year on record, World Vision used the new North Texas headquarters to send relief product to disaster survivors in multiple states including Alabama and Missouri. Hundreds of Texas volunteers also assist World Vision staff with preparing product for deployment and will continue to serve an integral role in responding to future domestic disasters.
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