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IOCC Emergency Response Network Aiding Distribution Of Relief

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  • Bill Samsonoff
    ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHARITIES (IOCC) 110 West Road, Suite 360, Baltimore, Md. 21204 — Tel: (410) 243-9820 — Fax: (410) 243-9824 Web: www.iocc.org —
    Message 1 of 1 , Sep 3, 2005
      ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHARITIES (IOCC)
      110 West Road, Suite 360, Baltimore, Md. 21204 — Tel: (410) 243-9820 — Fax:
      (410) 243-9824
      Web: www.iocc.org — E-mail: news@...
      For immediate release
      September 3, 2005

      IOCC EMERGENCY RESPONSE NETWORK AIDING DISTRIBUTION OF RELIEF
      Baltimore, MD (IOCC) ­ A disaster response team deployed last Wednesday to
      Baton Rouge, La. by International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC) is
      aiding in the efforts being mounted to assist survivors of Hurricane Katrina.

      Fr. Peter Preble, a Romanian Orthodox priest and qualified emergency first
      responder from Southbridge, Mass., and IOCC board member Lee Kapetanakis of
      Houston, Texas are identifying the most urgent needs of the thousands of
      people displaced by the storm and setting up a logistics and distribution
      center for aid arriving to that city. The pair has also been joined by
      Frank Carlin, an IOCC volunteer with more than 30 years of domestic and
      international relief and development experience with Catholic Relief Services.
      In a telephone report given Friday the team described a scene that is still
      quite chaotic with insufficient aid available.

      “Grocery stores are trying to restock, but the population of Baton Rouge
      has swelled so dramatically in the past few days that provisions are in
      short supply,” reported Kapetanakis. “The biggest need right now is to help
      people need basic needs ­ water, hygiene items and diapers.”

      Over the next few days, the team will focus on providing essential care and
      support items to people who are desperately in need of assistance.

      IOCC staff in Baton Rouge are coordinating the pan-Orthodox effort in close
      cooperation with Catholic Charities, the Federal Emergency Management
      Agency, the Red Cross, Church World Service and local partners.

      In Houston, Texas, IOCC is coordinating a pan-Orthodox effort to respond to
      hurricane survivors arriving daily to that city. An operations center is
      being established in Houston and is expected to become operational by the
      end of the week.

      Other members of the IOCC Emergency Response Network are also preparing for
      deployment in the coming days.

      In addition to the efforts being made to provide material aid, Orthodox
      clergy participating in the IOCC Emergency Response Network are providing
      pastoral assistance to the devastated communities. Clergy and parishes
      throughout the Gulf Coast region have been contacted by IOCC.

      On Sunday, less than a week after the hurricane, Fr. Peter Preble, one of
      the few priests currently able to access the affected region, will
      celebrate Divine Liturgy at the Holy Trinity Greek Orthodox Chapel, 2510
      Stevendale Road in Baton Rouge. Following Liturgy the IOCC team will be
      working with the community to assess their needs.

      The IOCC team has urged all Orthodox parishes to assemble and send personal
      hygiene kits containing basic items such as soap, a washcloth, toothpaste
      and a toothbrush, as part of IOCC’s ongoing “Gift of the Heart” program run
      in cooperation with Church World Service (CWS). The kits should be sent to
      the CWS warehouse in New Windsor, Md. The address and required contents of
      the kits may be found on IOCC’s website at www.iocc.org/kits.

      Contributions to IOCC’s Hurricane Disaster Response Fund may be sent to
      IOCC, “Hurricane Relief,” P.O. Box 630225, Baltimore, MD 21263-0225.
      Donations may also be made online at www.iocc.org or by calling toll-free
      1-877-803-IOCC (4622).

      IOCC’s emergency response network, comprised of trained Orthodox clergy and
      their U.S. parish communities, provides emergency services to people
      struggling to recover from natural or man-made disasters.
      Founded in 1992, IOCC is the official humanitarian aid agency of the
      Standing Conference of Canonical Orthodox Bishops in the Americas (SCOBA).
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