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Sandy: Report from Baltimore

On October 29, the storm from Hurricane Sandy hit New York City, flooding streets and subway lines and cutting power in and around the city. At World Vision’s New York City and Washington, DC sites, pre-positioned relief supplies included cleaning supplies, personal hygiene items and emergency food kits. However, World Vision’s warehouse in the Bronx, flooded with about four feet of water. Tim Reeve, World Vision’s general manager in New York, reported that a third of the stock in the warehouse had been destroyed.

Without even knowing about the approaching storm, the Women of Vision Baltimore chapter had hosted a Hygiene Kit event on October 20, 2012. The kits from this event were quickly distributed immediately to people who had lost their homes or had to evacuate. These kits and the impact from this event reached far beyond what this chapter could have imagined as chapter chair Beth Happick shares in the following interview:

Why did your chapter decide to host a Hygiene Kit event?

“We liked the idea of a “hands-on” event that allowed people to donate and volunteer for a good cause. We took “orders” in advance to know how many supplies to order. Many people simply donated and were not come to pack on the day of the event-which was fine; the packing goes quickly and the people who came were great! One thing people seemed to really like was writing a personal note of encouragement for each kit they packed. The event did create some interest in our chapter and we now have some new friends as a result!”

When did you learn how the kits from your event were being used?

“On October 31, I received a phone call from Craig Warner, a World Vision employee in the Washington D.C. area, to thank us for our Hygiene Kit donations. He wanted to let us know the kits had been delivered to victims of Hurricane Sandy in New York, New Jersey and Virginia. He explained that the World Vision warehouse in the Bronx, NY had been flooded and they lost hundreds of supplies, so our kits were a blessing.”

Are you considering another event?

“After learning how our kits were being used, I sent out an email to the donors and volunteers sharing that we had been specifically thanked for those kits. I asked if people would be interested in doing it again for hurricane victims. I had a good response, so we quickly put together another event. On Nov. 17th, we’ll do another Hygiene Kit event, so additional people in need will receive some hope and encouragement!”

How does this affect your chapter?

“When I talked to the Craig from World Vision’s D.C. warehouse, we discussed future partnership for our chapter helping at the warehouse or hosting more events.

Also, I was recently invited to appear on Baltimore’s Fox News Early Morning Show and talk about our Hygiene Kit events. I was grateful for the opportunity to speak on behalf of World Vision and share the news of our chapter’s volunteer opportunities.

The devastation from Hurricane Sandy in our region is heartbreaking. I’ve been touched by the inquiries from people around Baltimore as I have posted our event online. In times like these, Americans really do come together and do what they can to help others.”

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