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Health | September 15, 2017

Spreading Hope in the Middle of Despair: Hurricane Irma

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“It could have been so much worse,” is a phrase I’ve now heard from people standing in the midst of rubble to those surveying the flood damaged ruins in front yards. It’s a statement of gratitude but also a realization that even when the worst didn’t happen, it will take weeks, months or years to rebuild many lives.  

That’s why I’m grateful that we’re receiving daily feedback from our partners on the ground telling us how MAP supplies are helping ease the suffering of so many. MAP is giving hope, something that is becoming more rare as the days of suffering continue. Here are just a few partner updates:

Convoy of Hope reports from Houston that clean up from Hurricane Irma continues and that more Disaster Health Kits (DHKs) are still needed to meet the needs of those who will be in shelters for weeks. Their team in Florida is still working to get to those in greatest need, and they hope to deliver 1,000 DHKs.  18-Irma-Brunswick.png

International Medical Corps(IMC) are working out of Miami where cell phone coverage is difficult. They are sending workers to Puerto Rico today and then to the Virgin Islands in the next few days to start meeting needs. Fuel shortages continue and medical personnel are desperately needed. We are working with them to determine what supplies need to be shipped.

MAP International staff, many of whom had to evacuate their homes and are still without electricity, are responding to their neighbors in Savannah, taking DHKs to a shelter yesterday. They are also responding to other shelters in surrounding areas, trying to alleviate the suffering of so many, even while they deal with their own challenges.

“It’s tough to see us receiving help here. We’ve always been the ones sending help to others,” said Jay Wiggins, Chief for Glynn County Georgia’s Emergency Management Agency.  

Yes, it could have been worse. But the suffering of so many is very real. I’m so grateful to work with people who feel the needs of others so deeply and are willing to do whatever it takes to respond.

And I’m especially grateful for our donors who enable us to respond now, when the needs are so great.

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