/PRNewswire / -- Amid historic flooding in Fargo, North Dakota, Christian relief organization World Vision is dispatching an initial truckload of emergency supplies and sending staff to assess the needs of affected families.
"It's devastating for children and families to see their homes flooded and be forced to evacuate. But with this historic disaster happening on top of the economic downturn, people are going to be hurting even more," said Phyllis Freeman, World Vision's director for domestic disaster response.
"World Vision is especially concerned about children, lower-income families and families already struggling in this recession," said Freeman. "We will be working with local churches and community organizations to make sure the most vulnerable people don't fall through the cracks."
The agency's first shipment will leave Seattle on Tuesday and arrive at World Vision's Storehouse in the Twin Cities on Thursday. World Vision is shipping cleaning supplies that will help more than 150 families to combat dangerous black mold and other hazards once they are able to return to their homes. World Vision also plans to supply hygiene kits, paper towels, women's clothing and trash bags. For children who have been affected, the organization is providing soccer balls, board games, coloring books, baby clothing, backpacks, school supplies, stuffed animals and shoes.
The organization will work with its network of community and church partners to distribute the supplies to those who have been affected in and around Fargo.
"Recovery is going to take time, even after it's safe for these families to return," Freeman said. "Families that have had their homes heavily flooded will need to shovel out mud, wash down the walls, bleach everything, and possibly rip out drywall," she added.
Cash donations are needed to help with the response. The public can help by calling 1.888.56.CHILD or visiting www.worldvision.org and giving to the American Families Assistance Fund.
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