World Vision Races to Get Cold-Weather Supplies to Storm Survivors

Dropping temperatures and an approaching nor’easter threaten victims of Superstorm Sandy who already are struggling to stay warm.

NEW YORK—With temperatures dropping and the threat of a significant wintry storm expected to hit the New York area midweek, World Vision’s response team is focusing on providing immediate cold-weather supplies to displaced storm survivors struggling to stay warm.

“It is a race against the clock,” said Phyllis Freeman, World Vision’s domestic disaster director. “People are freezing, children are getting sick, and families need cold weather supplies right away. Our relief teams are moving as fast as we can, especially since there is a nor’easter heading this way, but families need many more blankets and coats in this area.”

Over the weekend, World Vision distributed hundreds of blankets, winter clothing and emergency food supplies to families and children in several areas of New York City. In Far Rockaway, New York, Omar English, a father of five, told World Vision’s response team his children go to bed at night fully dressed because they are so cold.

“I’ve been wrapping them up in blankets at night to try to keep them warm,” English said. World Vision provided English’s family with food, personal hygiene products, blankets and children’s toys.

World Vision teams have also completed initial assessments in several additional hard-hit areas, including Staten Island, N.Y., and Hoboken and Jersey City, N.J. Betsy Baldwin, World Vision emergency program officer, says families are specifically requesting cold-weather supplies. Baldwin reports many families will need extensive assistance to rebuild their homes and replace essentials destroyed by Superstorm Sandy.

World Vision says it is already preparing a long-term disaster response targeting families that need assistance rebuilding their homes. Meantime, this week the response team says its first priority is protecting families, children and senior citizens at immediate risk from the cold weather. World Vision has ordered an additional 9,000 blankets and this week will continue distributing winter clothes, emergency food kits and personal hygiene products to families through church partners. Freeman says World Vision’s strategy is unique in that the Christian organization partners with churches in local areas to help distribute relief supplies.

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“World Vision has partnered with hundreds of churches in the New York area before, and we are heavily relying on them now to respond to Sandy survivors,” Freeman said. “Our response teams are capable of reaching tens of thousands in multiple states thanks to churches that become our hands and feet in times of disaster.”

The public can help by visiting WorldVision.org/americanfamilies or by texting “GIVEUSA” to 777444 to make a $10 donation to World Vision’s disaster response.

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families, and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. World Vision’s United States Programs is committed to transform communities, promote justice and relieve suffering in the U.S. where poverty is prevalent by empowering children and youth; increasing the capacity of individuals, families, churches and other organizations; and unleashing the assets of our partners.