World Vision Continues Multi-State Tornado Response Over Memorial Day Weekend

Saturday, May 28, 2011 General News
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- Aid agency hopes President Obama's visit to Joplin, Missouri, will bring attention to critical needs, long recovery that still remain

- World

Vision delivering relief products to Missouri, Alabama, Virginia, North Carolina, Minnesota—including
hard-hit Joplin and Tuscaloosa

- Response teams focusing on most vulnerable tornado survivors, especially children

- Fundraising needs still falling short, many relief groups report

JOPLIN, Mo., May 27, 2011 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- While many Americans will be enjoying a three-day weekend in honor of our nation's fallen heroes this Memorial Day, World Vision's disaster response teams will be working tirelessly to continue the agency's tornado response across five states, focused on targeting the most vulnerable, especially children.

Today, World Vision will deploy the second of its two Mobile Distribution Centers from Dallas to Joplin, Missouri. The 53-foot trailers contain disaster relief products such as personal hygiene kits, cleaning supplies and shoes for children—items which the Christian humanitarian organization has found are urgently needed in the devastated town. World Vision deployed its first Mobile Distribution Center to Tuscaloosa, Alabama, last month where to date it has served more than 4,000 tornado survivors.

World Vision applauds President Obama for planning a visit to hard-hit Joplin this Sunday, amidst growing concern by relief groups that fundraising efforts are falling short of meeting immediate and long-term recovery needs of the tornado-stricken communities. World Vision has appealed for $5 million to fund its recovery and rebuilding response across five states, and hopes the President's visit will remind Americans that affected families will require sustained support in order to rebuild their lives.

"We've been working around the clock in Tuscaloosa all month and the common request we get from survivors is to remind people not to forget what's happened to them," said Phyllis Freeman, World Vision's domestic emergency response director and a veteran of the agency's Hurricane Katrina response. "We've had back-to-back tornadoes devastate families and children all across this country but we refuse to let any survivor fall through the cracks."  

Meanwhile, in Minneapolis, World Vision this week distributed tornado relief product to 16 local partners, including churches, organizations and schools. World Vision's partners report the product is enough to serve 2,810 children and 3,215 adults in the Twin Cities' tornado zone. Throughout Memorial Day weekend, World Vision staff members will continue to fill requests for disaster relief product using the organization's local warehouse where pre-positioned items such as shoes, clothing and hygiene items have been pre-positioned.

"Our Twin Cities site has enough in stock right now that we can give every child in the tornado zone a pair of new shoes," said Chris Brooks, World Vision's Twin Cities Field Site Director. "We're also going to send school supplies to every school in the zone that needs it because we don't want schools to have to skip a beat."

World Vision response teams are also continuing relief work in Virginia and North Carolina. The public can help by visiting, calling (888) 56-CHILD, or by giving a $10 donation by texting TORNADO to 20222.

SOURCE World Vision

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