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.
"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.
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.
>> 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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