Archive for : Disaster Relief & Recovery

Challah for Hunger Bakes with Delaware Governor Jack Markell [Video]

Challah for Hunger – an organization that raises money and awareness for hunger and disaster relief through the production and sale of challah bread – has been making waves (or rather loaves) at college campuses across the country.

This fall alone, Challah for Hunger has already baked more than 700 loaves, raising nearly $3,000 for Repair the World grantee-partner, American Jewish World Service’s Sudan Action Campaign, as well as local hunger charities chosen by each chapter. (Since being founded by Eli Winkelman in 2005, the organization has raised more than $250,000).

There are currently Challah for Hunger chapters at more than 45 campuses – including the University of Delaware, where Governor Jack Markell recently joined the students for some challah baking. Check the video out below, made by Diva Communications:

Governor Markell at Challah for Hunger from Diva Communications on Vimeo.

On a related note, Diva Communications is working on a new documentary A Peace of Bread: Faith, Food and the Future, which explores how interfaith communities are working to “make a dent in this country’s 36 million people (13 million of which are children) that are experiencing hunger.” Challah for Hunger will be featured in the documentary – which will air on ABC affiliated stations – as will Repair the World grantee-partner, Jewish Farm School. Find out more about the documentary here.

Help Communities Impacted by the Texas Wildfires

While many communities across the East Coast are still reeling from the after-effects of Hurricane Irene, down south, residents of central Texas are facing the most destructive wildfire in the state’s history.

According to the New York Times, since the wildfire began on Sunday, it has “consumed tens of thousands of acres of drought-stricken areas of Texas,” killed two people and burned hundreds of homes. The largest fire in Bastrop County, east of Austin, saw 25,000 acres burned, nearly 500 homes destroyed and 5,000 people evacuated.

Repair the World has rounded up opportunities for people to lend support – both monetary and otherwise – to the families and communities affected by the still-burning wildfires. Read below for more information and to find out how you can help.
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Help Communities Recover from Irene

Over the weekend, Hurricane Irene made its way up the East Coast of the United States, leaving a wake of destruction in its path. As of the latest report, 43 people were killed, thousands were displaced — many losing their homes and businesses — and 2.85 million are still without power. The sum toll of incurred damage is not yet known as flooding continues in several affected areas.

Repair the World has reached out to communities along the East Coast and in the Caribbean to determine areas of need. Volunteers and contributions will be desperately needed as affected communities work to rebuild following the hurricane’s wreckage. Please consider lending your support.

Our hearts and prayers go out to those who were affected by the hurricane and we will continue to monitor the situation. Follow Repair on Facebook and Twitter to stay up-to-date with the latest information.

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Monday Link Roundup

Yesterday, Hurricane Irene barreled from the Caribbean up the East Coast – causing more than a dozen deaths, damage to public property and homes (though not as much damage as originally feared) and wreaking havoc on travel and weekend plans. In commemoration, this week’s roundup is dedicated to Hurricane-related service stories.

  • GOOD published a fascinating article about the importance of communication and access to media when preparing for an impending storm.
  • The Huffington Post published an article about the variety of places evacuees from hurricane Irene are staying – everywhere from school gyms to 5-star hotels.
  • Relatedly, The Huffington Post also posted a video about the 13,000 people staying in American Red Cross shelters.
  • The Corporation for National and Community Service wrote about the national service teams being deployed to areas up and down the East Coast to support people who have been negatively impacted by the hurricane.
  • The Union for Reform Judaism sent out a service alert, readying potential volunteers to jump into action as soon as the storm’s damage is assessed.

How to Prepare for a Hurricane and Other Natural Disasters

This is an excerpt from an article on Serve.gov. Find the whole article here.

For many, knowing the relationship between natural disasters and volunteers is limited to response and recovery. It conjures up images of volunteers pulling survivors from rubble, sorting through debris, delivering supplies, consoling victims, and rebuilding communities. But service and volunteerism has a place in disasters long before one actually hits; much can be done in terms of preparation and readiness.

Right now, along the Eastern seaboard, neighbors are pitching in to help board up homes and communities are banding together to stockpile necessary supplies as Hurricane Irene heads towards the Outer Banks, N.C. for a possible U.S. landfall.
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Photo Essay: Three Faces of Service – Japan, Alabama, Senegal (Part 1)

This photo essay is the first of three in the “Three Faces of Service – Japan, Alabama, Sengegal” series. The photos were contributed by Andrew Scheer.

When disaster strikes, it is a natural human response to want to help those who are suffering. We donate money to organizations helping the afflicted area. We organize clothing and food drives. We go and assist with the clean up efforts. But sometimes, we feel compelled to do even more.

In a year rife with natural disasters that devastated communities across the globe, Andrew Scheer, a rabbinical student at Yeshivat Chovevei Torah (YCT) in New York, went on three unique service trips. He traveled to Japan after the earthquake, to Birmingham, Alabama after the tornadoes, and to Senegal on a Rabbinical School Delegation trip with American Jewish World Service (AJWS).
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The Long Road to Recovery in Tornado Struck Alabama and Missouri

The following is an excerpt from a story in the New York Times about the ongoing recovery efforts in Joplin, Missouri and other cities ravaged by disasters over the last year. In many cases the clean up and community rebuilding is slow going and in need of ongoing support. Read on…

Mother Nature is not like typical moms who tell their kids to clean up their messes. Mother Nature makes messes, and big ones.

So long after the natural disasters — whether floods, fires, hurricanes, earthquakes or tornadoes — and even after people find places to stay once their homes have been destroyed, somebody still has to take out the trash.

And there is a tremendous amount of the stuff. In Alabama and Missouri, residents are still digging out from this year’s tragic swarm of tornadoes. The Army Corps of Engineers estimates that the debris it has picked up in Alabama is enough to cover 172 miles of a 24-foot-wide highway to a depth of six feet, a thoroughfare of detritus that would stretch from New York City to Harrisburg, Pa.
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