As people up and down the East Coast work to recover from the destruction of Super Storm Sandy, International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is mobilizing its resources to support the response efforts of Orthodox Christian parishes in the affected areas and relief partners in the storm-ravaged region.
In Maryland, more than 100 families with homes in the flooded coastal community of Crisfield received emergency clean-up buckets from IOCC, and numerous storm survivors sought comfort from trauma counseling provided by IOCC Emergency Response Network’s Frontliners.
To the north in Toms River, New Jersey, IOCC Frontliners joined members from local chapters of AHEPA (American Hellenic Educational Progressive Association), and women’s philanthropic society, Philoptochos, to assemble and distribute emergency clean-up buckets to more than 150 local residents trying to salvage their wind and water-damaged homes.
In New York, IOCC is working in cooperation with the Greek Orthodox Archdiocese and New York City Mayor Bloomberg’s office to respond to the most pressing needs of survivors with the distribution of emergency relief items. A shipment of more than 1,300 cases of donated bottled water, along with 6,300 quilts and 4,600 personal hygiene kits provided in cooperation with Lutheran world Relief, is destined for Queens, New York, where it will be distributed to displaced families living in local shelters.
An additional shipment of food, water, and blankets is on its way to Holy Trinity–St. Nicholas Greek Orthodox Church on Staten Island, which is serving as the community’s central distribution center for food, water, and clothing. The island received the brunt of the storm’s wrath, leaving many homeless, and without the barest of necessities.
Frontliners have joined IOCC US Country Representative, Dan Christopulos, to hand out food and blankets to residents returning to their homes, assess the continuing humanitarian needs and provide pastoral support to the survivors still coming to terms with the disaster’s devastating impact on their lives. “The magnitude of Super Storm Sandy left no one untouched along the East Coast, and with another storm heading towards the Eastern Shore on Wednesday, the need for emergency clean-up buckets, blankets and infant kits has taken on a new urgency,” says Christopulos. “I urge the public to pray for our neighbors in need, and to assist us by assembling emergency relief items and making financial donations.” Instructions for preparing Emergency Kits may be found at: www.iocc.org/giftsofheart.aspx
HOW YOU CAN HELP
You can help the victims of disasters in the United States, like Hurricane Sandy, by making a financial gift to the United States Emergency Response Fund, which will provide immediate relief as well as long-term support through the provision of emergency aid, recovery assistance and other support to help those in need. To make a gift, please visit www.iocc.org, call toll free at 1-877-803-IOCC (4622), or mail a check or money order payable to IOCC, P.O. Box 17398, Baltimore, Md. 21297-0429.
ABOUT INTERNATIONAL ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHARITIES
IOCC is the official humanitarian aid agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of North and Central America. Since its inception in 1992, IOCC has delivered more than $400 million in relief and development programs to families and communities in 50 countries. IOCC is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance and advocacy.