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Desperation grows in areas hit hardest by Hurricane Ike along the Texas coast

In the aftermath of Hurricane Ike, millions are struggling to recover, many without electricity or even homes. World Vision is working hard to provide relief to affected families.

September 2008

Wrecked buildings and debris dot the Texas Gulf Coast following the landfall of Hurricane Ike earlier this month.
Wrecked buildings and debris dot the Texas Gulf Coast following the landfall of Hurricane Ike earlier this month.
Photo ©2008 Laura Reinhardt/World Vision
Tens of thousands are displaced, with an estimated 37,000 stranded in shelters. Days after Ike slammed into the Texas coast, families continue to seek refuge at shelters.

World Vision staff members brought emergency relief supplies from our warehouse in Dallas to the hardest-hit areas around Houston, where displaced residents are in critical need. Supplies are being distributed through a network of church partners and volunteers.

One of the Houston churches that received relief supplies to distribute was Gateway Community Church. The church received help after Hurricane Katrina and is now helping those who have been displaced by Hurricane Ike.

"Just like when Katrina hit, this is an opportunity for the church to have its finest hour and to come out and show the community that we're not just a social club inside this building, [but] that we're the hands and feet and heart of Jesus Christ," said Gateway Pastor Mike Malkenes.

Overcoming obstacles


Your contribution to World Vision's American Families Assistance Fund will help us respond quickly and effectively to disasters here in the United States, including Hurricane Ike.

Relief supplies are also being delivered to other areas of Texas and southwestern Louisiana. Our first truck loaded with emergency supplies rolled out of our warehouse in Dallas as soon as the storm ended. On Sept. 17, our assessment team navigated through flooded roads and downed electrical lines 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."

Additional supplies are being delivered to World Vision's warehouses in Dallas and Picayune, Miss., 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.

Planning ahead

Rev. Randy Vaughn of Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church, unloads supplies delivered by World Vision.
Rev. Randy Vaughn of Mount Sinai Missionary Baptist Church, unloads supplies delivered by World Vision.
©2008 Laura Reinhardt/World Vision

Volunteers from local churches and the community gathered last week at our warehouse in Dallas to pack more than 1,000 hygiene kits using supplies from Cardinal Health. We are delivering and distributing items such as 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.

"Churches and community partners are essential to our relief efforts," says John Pettit, World Vision's national director for disaster response. "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." This partnership network was created after Hurricane Katrina in 2005.

In for the long haul


Because of our local presence, World Vision will be part of the relief efforts for as long as it takes. Once initial needs are met and assessment of the damage is complete, World Vision will initiate clean-up and long-term recovery plans with the help of local churches and our other community partners.

"It's been a tough week, but we're pulling together thanks to people like you, World Vision, who see the need and who literally come to rescue us," says Dr. Stanley Hillard, pastor of St. Luke's Missionary Baptist Church in Houston. "We really appreciate everything that World Vision is doing and what it's done in the past and what it continues to do to minister to hurting people all over the country."


Learn more


>> Check out World Vision's blog for the latest updates on our response to Hurricane Ike.

Two ways you can help

>> Please keep in prayer the children and families affected by Hurricane Ike, including those forced to evacuate and those who have lost their homes and livelihoods. Pray also for organizations like World Vision that are working tirelessly to meet the urgent needs of these storm survivors.
>> Donate now to World Vision's American Families Assistance Fund. Your contribution will help World Vision respond quickly and effectively for those affected by disasters right here in the United States, including Hurricane Ike.

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