UPDATE: Sandy relief efforts continue

In partnership with local churches, World Vision is assisting children and families still struggling to recover from Superstorm Sandy.

By James Addis and Mindy Mizell, World Vision U.S.
Updated November 20, 2012 at 12:00am PST

World Vision continues to assess needs and provide cold-weather clothing, blankets, food, and other supplies to children and families struggling to stay warm in the aftermath of Superstorm Sandy.

A multi-state response

World Vision is focused on providing assistance to communities in Queens, Staten Island, Bronx, Yonkers, and Coney Isand in New York; Hoboken and Egg Harbor township in New Jersey; and Philippi and surrounding communities in West Virginia.

We are also connecting those in need with already-identified church partners in the area.

Helping churches help their communities

A key part of our response is partnering with churches and other faith-based organizations already working among the poorest populations in affected areas.

On Staten Island, 40 churches have divided the island into four zones as part of a coordinated plan to render assistance to neighborhoods battered by winds and floods.

Christian Pentecostal Church in Concord was designated as one of four hubs to provide relief supplies to Staten Island. World Vision has been a major supplier to this hub, providing clothes, hygiene kits, masks, and cleaning supplies from its warehouse in the Bronx.

Relief supplies are being trucked in from World Vision’s domestic disaster response headquarters in North Texas and international distribution centers in Denver and Pittsburgh.

Pastor John Carlow of Christian Pentecostal says a major concern is people remaining in unsanitary conditions in flood-damaged housing.

“It’s very smelly [in these homes]. It’s toxic. You have mold; you have sewage. We’ve had doctors come in and say these people are going to get very sick,” he says.

Church volunteers helping with the cleanup are equipped with masks, gloves, and boots and are using pest-control spraying equipment to combat mold.

Pastor John says about 300 to 400 people turn up at the church complex every day seeking help, and the demand for emergency supplies keeps growing as the church learns of neighborhood pockets still needing assistance.

Planning for long-term recovery efforts

World Vision anticipates that its relief and recovery operations in devastated communities will continue for up to three years. Our teams are preparing a long-term disaster response targeting families that need assistance rebuilding their homes.

As the response progresses beyond the emergency phase, World Vision will supply building products, such as insulation, siding, and roofing materials to repair homes and community buildings.

Freeman says that beyond immediate relief needs, World Vision can also assist with the provision of backpacks and school supplies for children to return to class. She adds that World Vision could even provide toys for Christmas, due to the generosity of our corporate donors.

“Many suffering families will not be able to afford Christmas [gifts] now,” she says.

Help now

Pray for the survivors of Superstorm Sandy. Pray for the safety of those who have been affected by this devastating storm, and pray for World Vision’s teams and members of other relief organizations as we begin an emergency response. You can use our prayer points to help guide your prayers.

Make a one-time donation to World Vision’s U.S. Disaster Response Fund. Your contribution will help us respond quickly and effectively to emergencies that take place right here in the United States. Our warehouses are strategically located across the country to deploy relief items and assistance to areas where disasters occur.

Additional resources

Read additional coverage of our response to Superstorm Sandy on the World Vision Blog.

Check out a photo gallery of images from Superstorm Sandy’s impact on the World Vision Magazine site.