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In a recent letter posted on the Antiochian Archdiocese website titled “Need for Charity after West Virginia Flooding”, Fr. Christopher Eid, Dean of St. George Antiochian Orthodox Cathedral in Charleston, West Virginia described the current situation in WV.
The entire state of West Virginia has undergone, recently, heavy rain which caused a deadly and devastating flood. Most of the counties in the State of West Virginia were severely affected by this flood disaster. At least eight counties are eligible to receive federal assistance by FEMA. Roads, houses, farms, businesses, malls, and schools were, if not destroyed, at least damaged by water, sewage or mud. Many of the infrastructure is no longer qualified to be reoccupied or repairs will cost more than clean up and rebuild. Many of these areas lost power and drinking water. In addition to that sad situation, it was reported that in some areas there were looting incidents. To say the least, it is an extremely sad and difficult situation.
Although newscasts report that the state is back in business after the rain has seceded, his experience has been that “large numbers of lives have not gone back to anything close to normal and may never go back to what was normal.”
Aid has been broken up into two parts. Phase One has already begun with clean up, yet it will take a long time. Phase Two will focus on rebuilding and furnishing the houses. “Mr. Dan Christopulos, the U.S. Country Representative for International Orthodox Christian Charities (IOCC), will be in Charleston WV with his Alpha team to lead IOCC efforts in the region. We know that the residents of the State of West Virginia are in this for the longest and we are part of that effort.”
Fr. Eid reminded his readers that “the hardest and most important work will start with building the human spirit.”
HOW YOU CAN HELP
Pray for those in need. Orthodox Christians are in a fasting period preparing for the Dormition of the Virgin Mary. This fast also carries a tradition of praying the Paraklesis to the Theotokos. Keep the people of West Virginia in your prayers.
O Theotokos, we shall never be silent. Of your mighty acts, all we the unworthy;
Had you not stood to intercede for us
Who would have delivered us,
From the numerous perils?
Who would have preserved us all
Until now with our freedom?
O Lady, we shall not depart from you;
For you always save your servants,
From all tribulation.
Make a donation. You can help the victims of disasters in the United States, like the West Virginia floods, by making a financial gift to the IOCC through the United States Emergency Response Fund. Your support will provide immediate relief as well as long-term support through emergency aid, recovery assistance and other support to help those in need. To make a gift, please visit iocc.org, call toll free at 1-877-803-IOCC (4622), or mail a check or money order payable to IOCC, P.O. Box 17398, Baltimore, MD 21297-0429.
Assemble emergency kits. IOCC also anticipates the need for Emergency Clean-Up Buckets which are in low supply. For directions on how to assemble Emergency Clean-Up Buckets, please visit iocc.org/kits.
ABOUT INTERNATIONAL ORTHODOX CHRISTIAN CHARITIES
IOCC is the official humanitarian aid agency of the Assembly of Canonical Orthodox Bishops of the United States of America. Since its inception in 1992, IOCC has delivered $580 million in relief and development programs to families and communities in more than 50 countries. IOCC is a member of the ACT Alliance, a global coalition of churches and agencies engaged in development, humanitarian assistance, and advocacy. To learn more about IOCC, please visit our website at iocc.org.
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