In response to Hurricane Sandy, Church World Service said Thursday it has provided material supplies worth nearly half a million dollars to agencies in four East Coast states and is making an appeal for funds as it works with a response budget of over $600,000.
Material resources being provided include blankets, hygiene kits, school kits, baby kits and clean-up buckets to local agencies in New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and West Virginia, CWS said in an emergency appeal update.
The donations which have already been distributed are worth over $480,000, with more shipments in progress. The kits, which are warehoused, have been donated and assembled by volunteers in preparation for future needs.
CWS first announced steps it was taking in response to the hurricane on October 25 with notice of shipments to Cuba as the storm swept through the Caribbean. The organization worked with the Cuban Council of Churches, which assessed damage.
The organization said that the initial response phase in the U.S. has not ended. As affected areas become safe to enter teams from CWS-member communions will assess damage, help home owners repair damaged houses and develop plans for future long-term recovery activities to include major home repairs and rebuilds.
CWS specialists are working with state, regional and local Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOADS) and the Federal Emergency Management Agency, its member denominations and other agencies to determine where CWS denominations are helping and are needed.
Among the organizations CWS has shipped supplies to in the U.S. are: The Salvation Army in Hempstead, NY; community Foodbank of NJ, Hillside, NJ; US Army Reserve, Beaver, West Virginia; US Army Reserve Beaver, Nassau County Office of Emergency Management, Bethpage, NY; Adventist Community Services, Bronx, NY; Lehigh County Emergency Management, Allentown, PA.
CWS says it will also assist communities in long term recovery, providing technical and financial support, as well as training.
Included in the budget for the Hurricane Sandy response are funds for material resources and shipping ($125,000), emergency response long-term recovery group grants (projected 60 grants of $5,000), long-term recovery group training (12 training events at $14,584 per training), and communications ($18,000).
The CWS emergency appeal page for the donation has contacts for program specialists and donations.