News Roundup, August 22, 2016

When the Waters Rise… Feed the Children is There

Reach Out America, The Salvation Army, Operation Compassion, Convoy of Hope, Office Depot Foundation and Feed the Children have joined together to provide disaster relief to Louisiana families affected by the recent flooding.

So far, Feed the Children has provided nearly 270,000 pounds of supplies, valued at more than $400,000. The much-needed items are currently being delivered to Louisiana families via partner organizations. Historic flooding began plaguing Louisiana earlier this month. Some 13 fatalities have been reported, with tens of thousands of people requiring rescue due to flooding conditions statewide.

Supplies include disaster-relief boxes, which contain personal-care items, cleaning supplies, and Energizer portable lights, flashlights and batteries, as well as food boxes and water coolers. Niagara water provided by Feed the Children will be transported into affected areas via The Salvation Army.

“Because of the generosity of Reach Out America, The Salvation Army, Operation Compassion, Convoy of Hope and Office Depot Foundation, Feed the Children is able to aid families who need us most,” said J.C. Watts, Jr., Feed the Children president and CEO. “Together we can provide assistance to the resilient residents of Louisiana.”

And we’re in it for the long haul: Feed the Children will continue working with existing partners in Louisiana and the surrounding areas to plan for continued relief and recovery efforts.

To make a gift to help those affected by disasters like the Louisiana-area floods, visit www.feedthechildren.org/disaster.

Photo: Patrick Dennis/AP

Whataburger Helps Feed Bodies, Minds and Futures

Whataburger has donated $15,000 to our Oklahoma City Teacher Store during our Season Opener of the store earlier this month. Thousands of teachers from pre-approved Title I schools were welcomed at the Teacher Store over a three-day period to shop for school supplies at no cost.

The annual event drew teachers from across Oklahoma, allowing them to fill one bag of supplies and collect an assortment of books for the new school year. Supplies included classroom essentials such as notebooks, paper and instructional materials.

“Whataburger is proud to commit $15,000 to Feed the Children for the Teacher Store,” said Whataburger Director of Operations Mark Wallace. “Our teachers are facing significant budget cuts, so it’s our hope that this money will help provide them with the supplies they need for their classrooms.”

Representatives and employees from several organizations volunteered during the event, including State Superintendent of Public Instruction Joy Hofmeister; Oklahoma Principal of Excellence Price Brown; Feed the Children President and CEO J.C. Watts, Jr.; and Whataburger Director of Operations Mark Wallace and Marketing Coordinator Laura Danser.

Feed the Children opened the Teacher Store in 2009 to reach as many Pre-K through 12th-grade students as possible by providing resources and supplies to teachers in Oklahoma. Teachers from Title I schools are eligible to shop in the store once a month for free.

Feed the Children Supports Maternal Health in Kenya

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Feed the Children employees in Samburu County, Kenya, joined Community Health Volunteers (CHVs) to construct a traditional community maternal health shelter known as “Manyatta” (house made of sticks and grass), to be used by pregnant women during child delivery.

The structure was built following recommendations by the CHVs and community nurses. They reported that due to cultural perceptions, pregnant mothers are opting to deliver their babies at home because they believe the local clinic is unfit for their new born babies. Mothers in Samburu believe that a Manyatta is warmer and more conducive for delivery than health facilities. Some mothers also trust Traditional Birth Attendants (TBA) to assist them in the delivery process more than nurses.

Once the Manyatta facility is completed, TBA’s will be trained by nurses on sanitary, modern delivery procedures that ensure a safer delivery process for both baby and mother. This will help in increasing the deliveries assisted by a skilled practitioner and will reduce maternal deaths.

Feed the Children’s work in Samburu revolves around working in partnership with P&G, local communities, ministry of health and other partners to transform lives by improving food and nutrition security of mothers and their children. This project is aimed toward reducing maternal and child illnesses and deaths, improving access to and use of sanitation infrastructures using community-led total sanitation, reducing diarrheal cases, adopting water purification processes using P&G water purifiers.

Volunteer Spotlight: Kaiser Permanente Makes a Difference

Name: Kaiser Permanente – Print Services Team
From: Corona, CA
Volunteer Location: Ontario, CA
Volunteer Activities: Box Brigade, Sort and Prep
Volunteer Since: May 2014

Why do you volunteer with Feed the Children?
To be able to give back to the community and assist families in need.

What is your favorite part of volunteering with us?
Knowing we are making a difference in people’s lives.

How did you learn about volunteering at Feed the Children?
We researched organizations that assist children in need and came across Feed the Children. We believe in the good this organization is doing for the community and the families they help.

How has volunteering made an impact on your life?
The majority of the team are parents, and understand the need to assist children within our community. Knowing we have been blessed to have the ability and opportunity to assist others during their time of need has become a mission of our team, as well as of our business organization.

Tell us an interesting fact about yourself.
Print Services is made up of caring and thoughtful individuals who enjoy joining forces to make an impact on the lives of others. Along with volunteering their time to assist Feed the Children as a team, many volunteer individually to support other great causes to improve our community by giving back.

When the Waters Rise… Feed the Children Responds

At Feed the Children, we work day in and day out to help create a world in which no child is hungry. But when disaster strikes, we also mobilize quickly to provide immediate aid.

Recent severe storms across the southern regions of the U.S. have caused widespread flash floods extending nearly 800 miles from southern Texas to central Missouri. According to the National Weather Service in Fort Worth Texas, more than 35 trillion gallons of water fell in May over the Texas alone—enough to cover the Lone Star State with eight inches of water. This flooding has devastated communities, destroyed homes, and taken the lives of some 24 people.

Because we work in partnership with local organizations, we are ideally positioned to provide aid when disaster strikes. Following last week’s floods, Feed the Children has allocated supplies through our existing partner network and in collaboration with National Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster. Supplies were delivered to the Wimberley area in the Texas Hill Country, including clean-up kits, personal care items, Rubbermaid products, and beverages.

We have allocated two truckloads of supplies to be delivered within the next day or so, and we’re making plans for more. Can you help? Please visit our donations page and help us provide relief and hope in this vital effort.

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Photo By: Alberto Martinez/Austin American-Statesman via AP

Nepal Earthquake Relief: Update and a Word of Thanks

It’s been almost two weeks since a 7.8-magnitude earthquake struck Nepal and parts of India. Villages were flattened, homes destroyed, and casualties number in the thousands. From the highest peaks of Everest to the most remote villages, the loss is widespread and hard to comprehend. We’ve also seen tales of courage and triumph, as ordinary people come together in extraordinary ways—as babies are carefully pulled from the rubble, precious and alive; as neighbors work with neighbors to meet basic needs for food and shelter. The stories continue to pour in.

Donations are also pouring in—tangible signs of concern and support for our brothers and sisters in Nepal. We’d like to thank you, our donors, who have given generously to assist with relief efforts. Whether it’s a donation of $10 or a corporate gift in the thousands, every dollar is making a difference.

The funds our donors provide for earthquake relief are being used by our implementing partner, World Neighbors, that’s been active in Nepal since 1973. Our international leadership has identified World Neighbors as having the necessary connections and expertise to be a part of lasting recovery and development in the region, and Feed the Children is proud to work with them in this effort.

“When disaster strikes, it takes the help of many to provide relief for those affected,” said Matt Panos, Feed the Children Chief Development Officer. “Here at Feed the Children, we know we could not provide a glimpse of hope in a time of despair without the help of donors and partners.”

Dr. Kate Schecter, President and CEO of World Neighbors, is keeping us informed on progress since the disaster through Srijana Thapa, World Neighbors Regional Director for South Asia. According to the latest update, buildings and homes have been reduced to rubble in many communities where World Neighbors is active. Others have lost roofs or walls and are in states of near-collapse. Some basic forms of aid are beginning to arrive into these communities, but it’s been a slow process and provisions are few. In many places, people are receiving food from local stores on credit, but there is distrust and fear that supplies will soon run short, or stores will stop allowing these purchases. Aftershocks are becoming less frequent, but have measured 4-5 on the Richter scale.

World Neighbors is addressing the immediate need for shelter, medical aid, and clean water within several rural, remote Nepali communities. World Neighbors has procured and distributed tarps, medications, rice, and oil to last for fifteen days. But the work continues, and the rebuilding process will take years.

Nepal is already starting to fade from the headlines, but the recovery and relief effort is far from over—in fact it is only beginning. Thank you to all of our donors who will be part of this effort through your generous gifts.

To give to the Nepal earthquake relief effort, click here.