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Press Releases

Press Releases

Operation Blessing Press Release Archive

For members of the press, or others looking for more information regarding Operation Blessing’s humanitarian efforts, you can find links to several years’ worth of press releases below. From natural disaster response to refugee aid and water initiatives, these press releases highlight our commitment to the poor and needy. If you have a question about one of these press releases, please contact our media team.

2015 | 2014 | 2013 | 2012 | 2011 | 2010 | 2009

February 25, 2015 - OBI CALLING FOR VOLUNTEERS IN ADVANCE OF MAJOR STORM

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Operation Blessing International Calling For Volunteers In Advance of Major Winter Storm

For Immediate Release

Operation Blessing International Calling For Volunteers In Advance of Major Winter Storm

HAMPTON ROADS, VA (February 25, 2015) – With a Winter Storm Warning issued by the National Weather Service for the Hampton Roads area tonight — meaning that over 6 inches of snow is possible — Operation Blessing International has put out a call for volunteers in advance to help residents in Norfolk, Virginia Beach and Chesapeake who need help to remove snow from their homes starting tomorrow morning.

The charity is asking for volunteers to help starting Thursday, February 26th at either 8:30am or 1:30pm (see details below).

This marks the second time this month that Operation Blessing has activated the Snow Buddy program in Hampton Roads. Last week, the charity received over 200 requests from local residents who were unable to remove the snow themselves. Operation Blessing coordinated volunteers four days until all the snow was removed.

The “Snow Buddy” program is in partnership with the City of Norfolk. Operation Blessing will be able to respond based on the number of volunteers as well as the needs of the homeowner – priority is given to the elderly, sick, disabled, single-moms, or others needing assistance.

Operation Blessing has established a telephone hotline for people who wish to volunteer to help, as well as a hotline for homeowners who need help. The information is as follows:

WANT TO HELP? VOLUNTEERS
Meet at the Operation Blessing Mobile Command Center @ 8:30am or 1:30pm on
Thursday, February 26
Lowes parking lot at 1081 N Military Hwy, Norfolk
Local volunteer hotline: 757.374.0944
Phones are currently open to receive calls.
Volunteers please bring snow shovels IF you have them, otherwise they will be provided.

RESIDENTS NEEDING HELP
If you need assistance with shoveling snow from your home, driveway, and/or residential area and do not have the resources to accomplish this yourself, we can help based on available volunteer labor.
Please either call: 757.274.8650 or, if possible, come in person to fill out a work request for FREE volunteer help at the following location:
Operation Blessing Mobile Command Center, located at Lowes parking lot, 1081 N Military Hwy, Norfolk
Phones will be manned starting tomorrow at 7AM

*All homeowners must sign a work order form and a release form allowing volunteer teams access to be on your property. If you cannot come to the Operation Blessing Command Center to fill out the form, you must MAKE SURE you are home when the volunteers arrive to sign the work order form giving the teams permission to be on your property. We will not be able to do any work without a form SIGNED BY THE HOMEOWNER. *Priority will be given based on elderly, sick, disabled, single-moms, etc., and will based on the number of volunteers.

For more information or to donate to the effort, please log on to www.ob.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2014, OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4-star rating for sound fiscal management marking 8 years the charity has received this prestigious ranking. Forbes also ranks OBI as one of its “100 Largest Charities” with an efficiency rating of 99%. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 255 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $3.3 billion to date.

ABOUT TEAM NORFOLK:

Established in 2012, Team Norfolk is a City of Norfolk lead collaboration between public, private, non-profit, higher education and military organizations. Team Norfolk meets monthly to synchronize disaster plans to address potential issues before, during and after an incident.

# # #

Media Contact:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
(212) 966-4600 / chris@rc-pr.com

February 17, 2015 - OB & CITY OF NORFOLK TO ACTIVATE THE SNOW BUDDY PROGRAM TO HELP RESIDENTS

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Operation Blessing International & City of Norfolk To Activate “Snow Buddy” Program To Help Residents Needing Snow Removal

Phone Hotline Set Up For Residents Needing Help: 757.274.8650
NORFOLK, VA (February 16, 2015) – The Virginia Beach-based humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International has partnered with the City of Norfolk for a second year to activate their “Snow Buddy” volunteer program to help residents who need snow removal but do not have the resources or ability to do so.

This is in response to a major snowstorm that is forecasted to hit on Monday night, which could bring 3-5 inches of snow to the region.

Operation Blessing will coordinate the volunteer effort and take work order requests from residents. The charity is deploying its disaster relief staff from its Virginia Beach headquarters and will also be utilizing some of its heavy equipment if needed.

Volunteers are needed Tuesday and possibly Wednesday to help remove snow from homes. Operation Blessing has established telephone hotlines for residents who need help, as well as for people who wish to volunteer to help. The information is as follows:

RESIDENTS WHO NEED HELP
If you need assistance with shoveling snow from your home, driveway, and/or residential area and do not have the resources to accomplish this yourself, we can help based on available volunteer labor.

Please either call: 757.274.8650 or, if possible, come in person to fill out a work request for FREE volunteer help at the following location:
Operation Blessing Mobile Command Center, located at
Lowes parking lot at 1081 N Military Hwy, Norfolk
Phones will be manned tonight from 7PM-9PM and tomorrow from 7AM-7PM

*All homeowners must sign a work order form and a release form allowing volunteer teams access to be on your property. If you cannot come to the Operation Blessing Command Center to fill out the form, you must MAKE SURE you are home when the volunteers arrive to sign the work order form giving the teams permission to be on your property. We will not be able to do any work without a form SIGNED BY THE HOMEOWNER.

*Priority will be given based on elderly, sick, disabled, single-moms, etc., and will based on
availability of volunteers.

WANT TO HELP? VOLUNTEERS
Meet at the Operation Blessing Mobile Command Center @ 8:00 AM on
Tuesday and possibly Wednesday
Lowes parking lot at 1081 N Military Hwy, Norfolk
Local volunteer hotline: 757.374.0944
Phones will be manned tonight from 7PM-9PM and tomorrow from 7AM-7PM

*Volunteers please bring snow shovels IF you have them, otherwise they will be provided.

In addition to preparing for snow removal, Operation Blessing is also assisting the City of Norfolk with a warming center that is set up at Maury High School (322 Shirley Ave). The team is serving hot food and snacks to roughly 50-60 residents who have taken refuge from the cold.

For more information or to donate to the effort, please log on to www.ob.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2014, OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4-star rating for sound fiscal management marking 8 years the charity has received this prestigious ranking. Forbes also ranks OBI as one of its “100 Largest Charities” with an efficiency rating of 99%. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 255 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $3.3 billion to date.

ABOUT TEAM NORFOLK:
Established in 2012, Team Norfolk is a City of Norfolk lead collaboration between public, private, non-profit, higher education and military organizations. Team Norfolk meets monthly to synchronize disaster plans to address potential issues before, during and after an incident.

# # #

Media Contact: Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
(212) 966-4600 / chris@rc-pr.com

September 17, 2014 - OBI TEAM FEEDS THOUSANDS OF DISPLACED CHRISTIANS IN IRAQ

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VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (September 17, 2014) – Operation Blessing International, one of the largest charities in America, began relief operations in the city of Erbil, Iraq today, helping thousands of Christians that have been displaced and are living in tent camps, churches and abandoned buildings.

Under the direction of David Darg, vice president of international operations for Operation Blessing International, a team of volunteers distributed food staples today including rice, cooking oil, noodles, salt, sugar, tea, beans, lentils, tomato paste and powdered milk.

Today, the team also served a camp of 2,000 displaced Christians with fresh foods including eggs, yogurt and cheese.

Over the next several days, Operation Blessing International will deliver stoves, blankets, diapers and truckloads of more food supplies to camps in and around Erbil.

“These Iraqi Christians are some of the most beautiful and loving people I have ever met,” said Darg. “They have gone through unimaginable persecution are now living in very tough conditions. For Operation Blessing to be here providing them food and essential relief supplies and letting them know they are not alone is such a privilege.”

For more information on Operation Blessing International please visit www.ob.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. Currently, Forbes ranks OBI as one of its “100 Largest Charities” with an efficiency rating of 99%, and Consumers Digest also named OBI as one of “America’s Top Charities” in 2012. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 255 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $3.3 billion to date.

# # #

Media Contact:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
(212) 966-4600 / chris@rc-pr.com

August 25, 2014 - OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL SENDS DISASTER RELIEF ADVANCE TEAM TO NAPA, CA

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VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (August 25, 2014) – One of the largest charities in America, Operation Blessing International (OBI) has deployed team leaders from its US Disaster Relief team to the Napa, CA area following a 6.0 earthquake early Sunday.

According to media reports, the quake destroyed 90-100 homes in the area, 33 buildings in the city of Napa, cut-off electricity to 70,000 customers, caused gas leaks, broke 60 main water pipes and sparked several fires.

Dan Moore, Director, U.S. Disaster Relief for Operation Blessing International, deployed from Virginia Beach Sunday afternoon with an advance team. They arrived last night and will be meeting with local leaders and emergency management officials today to determine the areas of greatest need and how OBI may be able to assist.

Operation Blessing International’s US Disaster Relief Team is a first responder to dozens of major disasters in the USA each year. Specializing in logistics, mass volunteer coordination, safe water and hunger relief, OBI USDR works with local authorities and emergency management officials in response to tornadoes, hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, snowstorms and other related events. As first responders OBI has disaster relief equipment strategically pre-staged at warehouses in Chesapeake, VA, Dallas, TX and Ocala, FL including a state of the art mobile command center, a CAT924 front-end loader, a 20-ton crane, portable kitchens that can feed over 1,000 hot meals a day, construction trailers full of tools and protective gear to equip thousands of volunteers, shower trailers, skid steers, cots and tents, electrical generators, roofing supplies, and thousands of tons of non perishable food and drinks via OBI’s Hunger Strike Force.

Stay tuned to www.ob.org for more information and updates.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. Currently, Forbes ranks OBI as one of its “100 Largest Charities” with an efficiency rating of 99%, and Consumers Digest also named OBI as one of “America’s Top Charities” in 2012. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 255 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $3.3 billion to date.

# # #

Media Contact:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations LLC
(212) 966-4600
chris@rc-pr.com

June 17, 2014 - HUMAN TRAFFICKING AT WORLD CUP TARGET OF NEW DOCUMENTARY & RELIEF EFFORTS

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Human Trafficking At World Cup Target Of New Documentary & Relief Efforts By International Humanitarian Group, Operation Blessing International

–1 Real Outreach Set To Bring Trafficking Awareness To The Forefront –

(VIRGINIA BEACH, VA.) June 17, 2014 – The World Cup is not only one of the biggest international sporting events on the planet, it is also, unfortunately, a huge magnet for human trafficking, often targeting vulnerable children, says Bill Horan, president of the global humanitarian organization, Operational Blessing International.

To help fight trafficking in Brazil, host country of the 2014 FIFA World Cup, Operation Blessing International (OBI) has created 1 Real: The Other Side of the Coin, a documentary that is being shown in all 12 World Cup match cities in order to educate families and to help them protect their children from human trafficking.

Says OBI president Horan, human trafficking is a billion dollar industry that exacts a heavy toll, especially on innocent children.

“When large sporting events come to town, young girls are at heavy risk. Not far from where a FIFA World Cup match will be played, a family member or sex trafficker will sell a young child to a predator for as little as fifty cents, or 1 Real, the currency of Brazil,” says Horan.

The 1 Real documentary cites a governmental report which states that some 40,000 children and adolescents disappear annually in Brazil, with roughly 15% of these cases going unsolved. David Darg, vice president of international operations for OBI, says “Operation Blessing is focused on the six thousand children each year who are never found; many are known to have been abducted for the trafficking industry.”

1 Real features an interview with a trafficking perpetrator who explains how he targeted young girls, and also includes interviews with several young victims of sex trafficking. A trailer for the documentary can be viewed at: http://videos.ob.org/1315

In 8 of the 12 World Cup venue cities, OBI is conducting additional anti-trafficking awareness, prevention, and intervention efforts, in addition to hosting screenings of the film. These vulnerable communities are Sao Paulo, Belo Horizonte, Brasilia, Fortaleza, Natal, Recife, Salvador, and Rio de Janeiro.

To raise awareness for the 1 Real outreach, OBI will engage in the following activities:

— Distribute copies of 1Real film via DVDs and Flash Drives

— Create flash mobs in the red light districts in all eight cities, where food and a “Hope Bag” will be given to the girls on the streets. (The goal is to halt prostitution and trafficking for one night in these areas and alert girls to where they can turn for help).

— Show the film where tourists frequent

— Volunteers will travel around via an OBI bus and will wear iPads around their necks to show the film trailer, available in different languages

–5,000 stickers for taxis and cars. 25,000 Red Card flyers (used in soccer, to indicate expulsion from game) saying, “No to sexual exploitation.” There will be a number on the back to call in Brazil to report sexual exploitation

— 25,000 promo cards explaining the documentary

— Volunteers wearing T-shirts that say, “persons are not for sale,” to promote the film and to make a viral impact.

Local churches are supporting OBI in every city, providing housing, logistics, permits and food for the volunteers. OBI is partnering with local volunteer groups’ Makanudos, YWAM kickoff, 27 Million, Stop the Traffik, and UN.GIFT.

OBI is helping to train churches, organizations and volunteers who can reach out to those on the streets. In addition, a special video geared towards the girls and young women who are working the streets has been produced and explains what trafficking is, how to search out a safe place, and how to denounce the practice. Another film, geared toward potential predators, sets out to dissuade them from purchasing sex.

Throughout Latin America and in other countries around the world, Operation Blessing is helping survivors of trafficking by partnering with shelters to provide a safe place to stay and education for the victims. OBI is also helping with training programs to teach victims marketable skills so they can secure gainful work or eventually start their own business. Through local schools, OBI teams are meeting with students, teaching them how to avoid dangerous situations and taking a stand against abuse. This unique school outreach includes two award-winning documentaries, as well as other material and guidelines designed to help victims.

For more information please visit www.ob.org, or for the film, www.1real.org

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. Currently, Forbes ranks OBI as one of its “100 Largest Charities” with an efficiency rating of 99%, and Consumers Digest also named OBI as one of “America’s Top Charities” in 2012. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 255 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $3.3 billion to date.

# # #

Media Contact:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations LLC
(212) 966-4600
chris@rc-pr.com

June 16, 2014 - OBI HELPS NIGERIAN SCHOOL REOPEN FOLLOWING BOKO HARAM KIDNAPPING & BOMBING

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Operation Blessing International Helps Nigerian School Reopen Following Nearby Boko Haram Kidnapping & Bombing

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (June 16, 2014) — Operation Blessing International (OBI) is helping a boarding school in northeastern Nigeria reopen after it closed in April following the kidnapping of nearly 300 schoolgirls by terrorist group Boko Haram at another school in the region.

David Darg, vice president of international operations for Operation Blessing International, visited the boarding school with a heavily armed security detail as classes resumed for the first time last week.

The school is located in the same region where 270 girls were kidnapped and also where a Boko Haram suicide bomber killed more than 40 people recently.

To help better secure the school compound and protect the 200 children who attend, Operation Blessing provided razor wire for the perimeter wall. And to ensure nutritious meals for those returning, OBI donated much needed staples including rice, oil, milk powder and sugar. Additionally, Operation Blessing provided new computers to the school as well as books to start a library.

Operation Blessing will continue aiding the students by providing a well for the school and making improvements to the children’s dorms.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. Currently, Forbes ranks OBI as one of its “100 Largest Charities” with an efficiency rating of 99%, and Consumers Digest also named OBI as one of “America’s Top Charities” in 2012. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 255 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $3.3 billion to date.

# # #

NOTE: Photos and broadcast-quality b-roll are available.

Media Contact:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations LLC
(212) 966-4600
chris@rc-pr.com

June 2, 2014 - OBI SENDING 4 MILLION DOSES OF MEDICINE TO HAITI IN RESPONSE TO NEW VIRUS SWEEPING CARIBBEAN

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Operation Blessing International Sending Four Million Doses Of Essential Medicine
To Haiti In Response To New Virus Sweeping Caribbean

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (June 2, 2014) — Responding to reports of a new painful mosquito-borne virus that’s spreading rapidly through the Caribbean – the Chikungunya virus – the global humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International (OBI) is flying four million doses of medicine into Haiti that treats high fever and reduces pain.

The medicine, Paracetamol, better known as acetaminophen in the United States, is considered “the drug of choice” by the World Health Organization to decrease the symptoms of the virus.

OBI has been in Haiti since 2009, preceding an intense earthquake that devastated the tiny Caribbean nation. For about four years, OBI has been conducting numerous relief and recovery efforts and rebuilding programs including a home for abandoned children and children with disabilities – Zanmi Beni – built by OBI that is run in conjunction with Dr. Paul Farmer and Partners in Health, establishing the largest fish farm in Haiti that provides food and jobs for Haitians, hosting medical teams from the Mayo Clinic, partnering with Greif Corp and the Clinton Foundation to build a school and help a village near Lake Azuei, and providing safe water throughout the country, just to name a few.

On delivering the medicine, Bill Horan, president of OBI, said, “We will utilize our extensive distribution network in Haiti to get the medicine into clinics, especially to those serving the poor in rural areas, and to the clinics treating children and the elderly who are at increased risk due to dangerously high-fever associated with the virus.”

According to Horan, the medical shipment is coming from OBI’s supplier in the Netherlands and will be able to treat more than 125,000 people, given the recommended dosage by the World Health Organization.

In addition to fever, the Chikungunya virus – more commonly found in Africa and Asia – is transmitted by the same daytime-biting mosquitoes that also carry the deadly dengue fever. The virus causes painful headaches and excruciating pain to the bones and joints, according to news reports.

The virus was first detected in the eastern Caribbean five months ago, and in Haiti in early May, according to news reports. Since its outbreak, the virus has jumped from island to island, sending thousands of patients to the hospital and health officials scrambling to respond to the surge of patients. There is no vaccine or treatment that can cure the virus, but the virus is usually not deadly to healthy adults although it is dangerous for children and anyone with preexisting health issues. Symptoms typically begin to dissipate within a week.

Stay tuned to www.OB.org for more details to come.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. Currently, Forbes ranks OBI as one of its “100 Largest Charities” with an efficiency rating of 99%, and Consumers Digest also named OBI as one of “America’s Top Charities” in 2012. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 255 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $3.3 billion to date.

# # #

Contact:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@rc-pr.com

April 30, 2014 - OBI DEPLOYS DISASTER RELIEF TEAM TO “LIFE-THREATENING FLOODING” IN PENSACOLA, FL

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Operation Blessing International Deploys Disaster Relief Team To “Life-Threatening Flooding” In Pensacola, FL

- Charity Currently Has Disaster Relief Teams In Tupelo, MS (Tornados) & Pensacola, FL (Floods) -

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (April 30, 2014) – Operation Blessing International, one of the largest humanitarian organizations in America, has deployed a second domestic disaster relief team in just two days, this one to Pensacola, Florida to help in the wake of what has been deemed, “life-threatening flooding.”

According to reports, upwards of 24 inches of rain fell in a 26-hour period, with five inches of rain in a single hour. Dozens of drivers were stranded as up to 3 feet of water inundated city streets.

An advance team led by Dan Moore, director of U.S. disaster relief for Operation Blessing, has arrived and will be assessing the damages and meeting with local emergency management authorities. A construction trailer full of tools, debris removal and flood cleanup equipment is en route, along with a state of the art mobile command center and a mobile kitchen capable of feeding thousands of hot meals a day to residents and emergency responders. OB has set up a base camp at Brownsville Assembly of God church and will begin coordinating volunteer efforts as early as Thursday.

Yesterday, an OB disaster relief team arrived in Tupelo, MS to help in the aftermath of tornadoes that destroyed over 100 homes and businesses there. The Operation Blessing Team set up a base of operations at the Word of Life Church (1984 Cliff Gookin Blvd, Tupelo) and is coordinating volunteer efforts to help residents whose homes were damaged. Anyone interested in volunteering, or residents needing help, should report to the Word of Life Church at 8:00am Monday through Saturday.

In addition to the disaster relief teams on the ground in Tupelo and Pensacola, Operation Blessing yesterday deployed three tractor-trailer truckloads containing thousands of pounds of bottled water, food and relief supplies. These were sent to Arkansas and Tennessee, which were both struck by deadly tornadoes since the weekend. The relief supplies will be distributed to residents in need by Operation Blessing International’s local partner organizations.

Stay tuned to www.OB.org and the local media for more details to come.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. Currently, Forbes ranks OBI as one of its “100 Largest Charities” with an efficiency rating of 99%, and Consumers Digest also named OBI as one of “America’s Top Charities” in 2012. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 255 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $3.3 billion to date.

# # #

PHOTO LINK of OB in Tupelo:

http://photos.ob.org/portfolio/detail/tornado-victims-in-mississippi/

Contact:
Chris Roslan
(212) 966-4600 / chris@rc-pr.com

April 29, 2014 - OBI DEPLOYS DOMESTIC DISASTER RELIEF TEAM TO ASSIST WITH TORNADO RELIEF EFFORTS

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-Charity Also Delivering Thousands of Pounds of Food, Bottled Water & Relief Supplies To Arkansas & Tennessee-

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (April 29, 2014) – Operation Blessing International, one of the largest humanitarian organizations in America, has deployed its domestic disaster relief team to Tupelo, MS in the wake of tornadoes on Monday that destroyed hundreds of homes and businesses.

OBI team leaders flew out of Norfolk early this morning. A convoy of disaster relief equipment is also currently en route. The convoy includes two construction trailers full of tools and clean-up supplies, a state-of-the-art Mobile Command Center and a skid-steer. The Operation Blessing Team will set up a base of operations at the Word of Life Church (1984 Cliff Gookin Blvd, Tupelo) and will begin assessing the damages, meeting with local emergency management authorities and coordinating volunteer efforts to help residents with clean-up.

Based on the need, Operation Blessing is expected to call for local volunteers to help in the cleanup efforts. Residents whose homes were damaged will be able to submit work order requests for free volunteer help. Stay tuned to www.OB.org and the local media for more details to come.

In addition to the disaster relief team in Tupelo, Operation Blessing has also deployed three tractor-trailer truckloads containing thousands of pounds of bottled water, food and relief supplies. These are currently en route to Arkansas and Tennessee, which were both struck by deadly tornadoes since the weekend. The relief supplies will be distributed to residents in need by Operation Blessing International’s local partner organizations.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. Currently, Forbes ranks OBI as one of its “100 Largest Charities” with an efficiency rating of 99%, and Consumers Digest also named OBI as one of “America’s Top Charities” in 2012. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 255 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $3.3 billion to date.
# # #
Contact:
Chris Roslan
(212) 966-4600 / chris@rc-pr.com

January 30, 2014 - OBI & CITY OF NORFOLK TO LAUNCH SNOW BUDDY PROGRAM

Click here to download PDF

For Immediate Release

Operation Blessing International & City of Norfolk To Launch “Snow Buddy” Program To Help Residents Needing Snow Removal
Phone Hotline Set Up For Residents Needing Help: 757.274.8650

NORFOLK, VA (January 30, 2014) – The Virginia Beach-based humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International has partnered with the City of Norfolk for a “Snow Buddy” volunteer program to help residents who need snow removal but do not have the resources or ability to do so.

This is in response to a major snowstorm that hit the region on Tuesday night, which left up to ten inches of snow on the ground and frigid temperatures in its wake.

Operation Blessing will coordinate the volunteer effort and take work order requests from residents. The charity is deploying its disaster relief staff from its Virginia Beach headquarters and will also be utilizing some of its heavy equipment including a Cat loader, skid steers and other equipment.

Volunteers are needed Friday and Saturday to help remove snow from homes in the city. Operation Blessing has established telephone hotlines for residents who need help, as well as for people who wish to volunteer to help. The information is as follows:

RESIDENTS WHO NEED HELP If you need assistance with shoveling snow from your door step, driveway, and/or residential area and do not have the resources to accomplish this yourself, we can help based on available volunteer labor.

Please either call: 757.274.8650 or, if possible, come in person to fill out a work request for FREE volunteer help at the following location: Operation Blessing Mobile Command Center, located at Lowes parking lot at 1081 N Military Hwy, Norfolk

*All homeowners must sign a work order form and a release form allowing volunteer teams access to be on your property. If you cannot come to the Operation Blessing Command Center to fill out the form, you must MAKE SURE you are home when the volunteers arrive to sign the work order form giving the teams permission to be on your property. We will not be able to do any work without a form SIGNED BY THE HOMEOWNER.

*Priority will be given based on elderly, sick, disabled, single-moms, etc., and will based on the availability of volunteers.

WANT TO HELP?
VOLUNTEERS Meet at the Operation Blessing Mobile Command Center @ 8:00 AM on Friday and/or Saturday

Lowes parking lot at 1081 N Military Hwy, Norfolk
Local volunteer hotline: 757.374.0944
*Volunteers please bring snow shovels IF you have them

Since rock salt is in short supply in the entire region due to the severity of the storm, Operation Blessing has just purchased 40,000 pounds of rock salt in Ocala, Florida, which is currently being loading onto one of the charity’s tractor-trailer trucks there. The salt will arrive in Norfolk tomorrow morning and will be used in the volunteer snow removal efforts.

Jody Herrington-Gettys, vice president of US disaster relief and programs for Operation Blessing International said, “While ten inches of snow is nothing for cities up north, that amount can be crippling here in the south. When Norfolk city officials reached out to us this morning to help residents to remove snow, Operation Blessing did not hesitate to offer our full assistance.”

“We’re thrilled to have Operation Blessing and Lowe’s as our Team Norfolk partners,” said Jim Redick, Director Emergency Operations and Preparedness. “This is just one more example of Team Norfolk coming together to make Norfolk a more resilient community.”

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. Currently, Forbes ranks OBI as one of its “100 Largest Charities” with an efficiency rating of 99%, and Consumers Digest also named OBI as one of “America’s Top Charities” in 2012. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 255 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $3.3 billion to date.

ABOUT TEAM NORFOLK:
Established in 2012, Team Norfolk is a City of Norfolk lead collaboration between public, private, non-profit, higher education and military organizations. Team Norfolk meets monthly to synchronize disaster plans to address potential issues before, during and after an incident.

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Media Contact:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations LLC
(212) 966-4600
chris@rc-pr.com

November 18, 2013 - OBI DISASTER RELIEF TEAM EN ROUTE TO ILLINOIS TO ASSES TORNADO DAMAGE

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Operation Blessing International Disaster Relief “Advance Team” En Route To Washington, IL To Assess Tornado Damage

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (November 18, 2013) – The humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International (OBI) has sent an advance team to the Washington, IL area today following deadly tornadoes over the weekend.

The OBI team is currently en route and will arrive this afternoon to assess the damage and to determine if the charity will deploy its full disaster relief team and equipment, and possibly coordinate volunteers. In early 2012, OBI coordinated more than 3,000 volunteers and over 23,000 volunteer hours for relief efforts in partnership with the Harrisburg, IL Emergency Manager and Illinois State Emergency Management (IEMA) following tornadoes in Harrisburg, IL.

Jody Herrington-Gettys, director of domestic disaster relief for the charity, said, “The news reports we’ve seen of the damage vary widely, from a few neighborhoods to hundreds of homes destroyed. We decided to send our advance team to see what the situation is on the ground and then we’ll make a decision as to whether we deploy from here or not.”

Should OBI decide to respond, it will send its Mobile Command Center and a construction trailer full of tools for debris removal and supplies for volunteers.

Even if the domestic disaster relief team is not deployed, OBI will still partner with local churches and other groups in order to assist with their efforts through grants and donations.

“Operation Blessing International will still be helping those who’ve lost their homes, even if we don’t fully deploy,” added Herrington-Gettys.

Anyone wishing to donate to the relief efforts can do so at www.ob.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. Currently, Forbes ranks OBI as one of its “100 Largest Charities” with an efficiency rating of 99%, and Consumers Digest also named OBI as one of “America’s Top Charities” in 2012. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 255 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $3.3 billion to date.

For interviews contact:
Chris Roslan
President
Roslan & Campion Public Relations LLC
424 West 33rd Street
Suite 620
New York, NY 10001
Work: (212) 966-4600
cell: 917-538-5629
chris@rc-pr.com
http://roslancampion.com/

November 11, 2013 - OB PHILIPPINES UPDATE ON TYPHOON HAIYAN RELIEF EFFORTS

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–Charity Sending State-Of-The-Art Chlorine Generators To Philippines From Chesapeake Warehouse Today–

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (November 11, 2013) – Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines, the local outreach of Virginia Beach-based humanitarian organization, Operation Blessing International (OBI), has deployed disaster relief teams in multiple locations following massive devastation from Typhoon Haiyan.

Some 40 staff members from Operation Blessing Philippines are currently in Tacloban City and across the province of Leyte, the provinces of Ilo-ilo, Aklan and Eastern Samar. Due to the severe damage to roads, teams will be involved in clearing operations so that relief goods and personnel can be brought in the hardest hit areas. OB also now has medical personnel on the ground and will begin medical missions shortly.

Also today, Operation Blessing International will be shipping several state-of-the-art water purification devices to the Philippines from its warehouse in Chesapeake, VA. The first device is a SAN6 chlorine generator that can produce enough food-grade chlorine (sodium hypochlorite) to disinfect over 300,000 gallons of water each day. OBI will also be sending five portable chlorine generators, each the size of a briefcase. These portable units can run off of a car battery and each unit can provide enough food-grade chlorine to disinfect 60,000 gallons of water a day. The devices are scheduled to arrive on Wednesday and once set up, the chlorine will be distributed in the hardest hit areas in order to disinfect water, treat water wells and also be used for surface disinfection.

In addition, David Darg, Operation Blessing’s vice president of international operations, is en route to the disaster area. David will be training the local teams in the use of the chlorine generators and assisting with the Operation Blessing Philippines team’s efforts.

Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines this on November 8 with sustained winds in excess of 195mph and gusts as high as 235mph, making it perhaps the strongest cyclone to hit land in recorded history. According to reports, at least 10,000 are feared dead from the storm.

Operation Blessing International began working in the Philippines in the early 1980s by pioneering fresh water programs to the residents of the trash dump known as “Smokey Mountain.” In 1996, Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines was created and has worked to fight hunger, disease, unemployment, illiteracy, abuse, and to respond to major disasters ever since. Under the direction of Dr. Kim April C. Pascual, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, more than a million Filipinos have been helped through various humanitarian outreaches spearheaded by OB or in collaboration with OB partner agencies such as non-profit organizations, local government units, the Department of Health, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. In recognition of OB’s efforts, it was awarded as NGO of the Year for Peace Efforts by the Philippines government in 2002 and 2003, and as NGO of the Year in 2006 and 2007.

For more information or to donate to the relief efforts, please visit www.ob.org.

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For interviews please contact:

Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion
(212) 966-4600

November 8, 2013 - OB PHILIPPINES DEPLOYS DISASTER RELIEF EFFORTS FOLLOWING TYPHOON HAIYAN

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VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (November 8, 2013) – The Virginia Beach-based humanitarian organization, Operation Blessing International (OBI) is set to deploy first responder teams to help with disaster relief operations following Typhoon Haiyan.

Typhoon Haiyan slammed into the Philippines this morning with sustained winds in excess of 195mph and gusts as high as 235mph, making it perhaps the strongest cyclone to hit land in recorded history. The storm is expected to last until early Saturday morning before heading out to sea.

OBI’s Philippines’ arm, Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines, had pre-staged teams and emergency supplies and equipment in advance of the storm. As soon as Haiyan fully passes, disaster relief team leaders will begin to assess the damage and respond as needed. Efforts are expected to include providing clean water and food, emergency shelter materials and medical assistance.

Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing International, said, “Due to the power of this super storm, we are expecting massive damage to buildings, homes and roads. The most critical need in the immediate aftermath will be providing clean water, and Operation Blessing is ready to deploy mobile filtration and disinfection units that will enable us to provide clean water for tens of thousands of people each day. In the meantime, we will also position medical teams in the hardest hit areas and later coordinate volunteer efforts to begin the cleanup.”

Operation Blessing Foundation Philippines has provided humanitarian efforts in the Philippines for over 14 years. Under the direction of Dr. Kim April C. Pascual, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer, the charity works to fight hunger, disease, unemployment, illiteracy, abuse, and to respond to major disasters. To date, more than a million Filipinos have been helped through various humanitarian outreaches spearheaded by OB or in collaboration with OB partner agencies such as non-profit organizations, local government units, the Department of Health, the Department of Social Welfare and Development (DSWD), and the Armed Forces of the Philippines. In recognition of OB’s efforts, it was awarded as NGO of the Year for Peace Efforts by the Philippines government in 2002 and 2003, and as NGO of the Year in 2006 and 2007.

For more information or to donate to the relief efforts, please visit www.ob.org.

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For interviews please contact:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion
(212) 966-4600
chris@rc-pr.com

October 10, 2013 - OBI ANNOUNCES LAUNCH OF JAPAN BUREAU FOR LONG TERM HUMANITARIAN EFFORTS

VIRGINIA BEACH AND TOKYO (October 10, 2013) – Global humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International (OBI) announced today the official launch of its Japan bureau, Operation Blessing Japan (OBJ). Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing International, and Don Thomson, president of Operation Blessing Japan, made the joint announcement from the Foreign Correspondents Club in Tokyo.

The establishment of OBJ follows two years of humanitarian relief efforts in Japan by Operation Blessing International, one of the largest charities in America. A first responder to the March 2011 earthquake and tsunami, OBI delivered tons of relief supplies and equipment to thousands of survivors in the immediate aftermath of the disaster.

Since then, OBI has provided many ongoing relief efforts including community support groups for survivors and microenterprise projects. One area of concerted efforts has been to help the Japanese fishing industry recover from the devastation, which wiped out thousands of boats and seaweed/oyster cultivation efforts. To help, OBI commissioned and distributed 30 new boats made specifically for Japanese fishermen, secured and distributed 60 used boats from around Japan that were donated to fishermen, and donated 20 industrial-grade electrical generators along with $650,000 worth of seaweed and oyster cultivation equipment to the Urato Islands, including anchors, rope, shells used for cultivating oysters, floats, nets, small trucks, and computers, to help get the oyster fishing industry there back in operation. Due to OBI’s swift action, the oystermen were able to harvest in the same year as the tsunami, a timeline that was unthinkable by most in the community. In recognition of this achievement, the Mayor of Shiogama City honored OBI for getting them back on their feet so quickly.

Operation Blessing Japan is registered as a Japanese non-profit (NPO) in Miyagi Prefecture. The organization’s headquarters are located in Sendai, with a second office in Tokyo. The organization will focus on three areas of activity:

  • “Remember Tohoku” – continued relief efforts in the Tohoku disaster zone including projects related to reviving the fishing industry, providing community support groups for survivors to share their stories and heal from the emotional damage caused by the disaster, and also an outreach in Fukushima Prefecture that will provide buses to transport children living there to areas that are safe for playing outdoors (due to high levels of radiation in Fukushima).
  • Contribute to Japan – OBJ seeks to also contribute to Japanese society and will be responding to humanitarian needs as they arise in other parts of Japan.
  • “Touch the World from Japan” – OBJ is launching a program to introduce OBI humanitarian projects around the world to the Japanese people, should they wish to support those efforts.

Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing International, stated, “Operation Blessing International arrived in Japan to help in the aftermath of the 2011 disaster and we have been here ever since with a number of ongoing efforts. After these two years, the fact remains that the people of Tohoku still need help so that they may recover their livelihoods and become financially independent once again.”

Don Thomson, president of Operation Blessing Japan, stated, “Operation Blessing Japan is committed to helping the people of Japan as well as serving as a bridge to deliver the goodwill of the Japanese people to areas of need all around the world.”

For more information please visit www.ob.org or (in Japanese) www.objapan.org

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. Currently, Forbes ranks OBI as one of its “100 Largest Charities” with an efficiency rating of 99%, and Consumers Digest also named OBI as one of “America’s Top Charities” in 2012. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 255 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $3.3 billion to date.

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CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@rc-pr.com

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September 24, 2013 - OBI RESPONDING TO FLOODS IN MEXICO

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VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (September 24, 2013) – In response to the recent disaster that hit Mexico, Operation Blessing International (OBI) and its team based in Mexico City are in Guerrero, the state hardest hit by flooding, providing food and supplies, health and medical personnel, water purification systems and clean-up crews, said Scott Hill, OBI’s Latin America director.

To date, more than 150 people are feared dead, an estimated 200,000 left without homes, tens of thousands of homes damaged, and some 60,000 people evacuated, as the result of two tropical storms that have wreaked-havoc on this country since mid-September. The storms hit both Mexico’s west and east coasts causing flooding and landslides. According to news reports, Mexico had not been hit simultaneously by two powerful storms like this since 1958.

Since arriving, OBI has secured and distributed the following:

Food and Supplies

— 4 mobile kitchens set-up that have initially provided 2350 hot meals over the past weekend
— 240 families, to date, have received food supply bags

Health and Medical

— An initial medical team in place, which treated 75 people over the weekend
— Four towns with a total of 1400 people have been treated for parasites due to infected water. OBI has donated 200,000 doses of anti-parasite medicine and is working with the local authorities to quickly distribute them.

Cleanup Teams

–A volunteer center has been set-up with a goal of mobilizing 10 cleanup teams, including a chain saw crew, a construction team, and two paint teams. The first team with a construction background arrived from Mexico City and is now deployed, helping victims.

Water Purification

— In Oaxaca, OBI is working with its partner, Water Missions International, to install four water purification units to the north where more than 14 communities and some 148,000 people are affected. Each unit can generate 10,000 gallons of potable water each day.

— One water purification unit is being installed in one of the hardest hit suburbs of Acapulco.

–Today, OBI deployed a staff member from Virginia Beach with two additional water purification devices. The first is a SAN6 chlorine generator that can produce enough food-grade chlorine (sodium hypochlorite) to disinfect over 300,000 gallons of water each day. The second device is a portable chlorine generator that is the size of a briefcase, can run off of a car battery, and can provide enough food-grade chlorine to disinfect 60,000 gallons of water a day. Once set up, OBI will be treating water wells and providing food grade chlorine to flood victims for the purpose of disinfecting water.

Here is a B-roll/photo link — Acapulco Flood Relief: https://www.dropbox.com/sh/7bdoig7hxzvggiy/eLaAnVhcqd

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL: Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. Currently, Forbes ranks OBI as one of its “100 Largest Charities” with an efficiency rating of 99%, and Consumers Digest also named OBI as one of “America’s Top Charities” in 2012. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 255 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $3.3 billion to date.

To see an electronic press kit of OBI’s work please visit: http://bwww.ob.org/global-impact/

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September 10, 2013 - OBI RESPONDS TO MALICIOUS MISSION CONGO ALLEGATIONS

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (September 10, 2013) – Operation Blessing International (OB) has issued the following statement in response to the malicious allegations in the film Mission Congo:

The premise of the so-called “documentary,” Mission Congo, is based on alleged events of almost 20 years ago. Indeed, the film relies heavily on reports from 1) one local newspaper whose reporter has never, to our knowledge, even stepped foot in the region in question, and 2) is also based on interviews with individuals who were either not directly involved with the charity’s operations or not aware of the intricacies of those operations.

We find it necessary to respond to not only the overall theme that Dr. Robertson somehow profited “on the back of a non-existent aid project,” as was erroneously reported in the media, but also to clear up specific falsehoods about Operation Blessing’s activities and other malicious and defamatory comments that have been made in the film by the filmmakers.

The following is a point-by-point refutation of some of the major misstatements in the movie and associated media reports:
-In Zaire, Operation Blessing was responsible for the medical needs of approximately 100,000 refugees from Rwanda. To launch this effort, Dr. Robertson personally paid to charter a DC8 airplane to ship 80,000 pounds of medicine to Goma. Over the following year, additional shipments of medicines and medical equipment were sent elsewhere in the country including one shipment with 12 tons of medicine that was donated to the government of Zaire on May 17, 1995.

-Operation Blessing’s relief efforts at the time were under the supervision of Bob Fanning, a retired U.S. Air Force Colonel who served as Executive Vice President and CEO of the organization. He personally oversaw the medical shipments and the teams of doctors and other medical staff in Zaire during this crisis. Without question, the work of OB in Zaire was exemplary and resulted in the relief of much human suffering.

-Jessie Potts, who was oddly referenced in the film as being the “operations manager for Robertson in Goma in 1994,” was not an employee of Operation Blessing. Our records indicate he was a volunteer, and only for a short time.

-Mr. Potts’ quote about the medications that OB provided as not being useful (“too much Tylenol”) is completely unfounded. OB records confirm that hundreds of thousands of dollars worth of emergency medicines (including many different varieties of antibiotics, anti-malarial drugs, anti-diarrheal medications, oral rehydration salts) along with other medical equipment (intravenous equipment, x-ray machines, lab equipment, bandages, forceps, syringes, etc) were flown into the country by Operation Blessing on multiple occasions. Interestingly, OB records do not show any Tylenol being sent by the organization.

-A further allegation claims that Operation Blessing only had one tent and seven doctors on the ground in Goma. In fact, the organization sent at least six medical relief teams to Goma between July and December 1994. The medical relief teams ranged in size from approximately seven to seventeen persons and included doctors, nurses and paramedics. The first team arrived in Goma on July 24, 1994. On the same day, OB arranged for 66,000 pounds of medicine and supplies to arrive in Goma on an aircraft it had chartered from Amsterdam.

-Regarding school and farm in Dumi that were originally built by Operation Blessing, they are both thriving today. When Operation Blessing left the country in 1997 due to political unrest and violence, the school and farm were given to the National Baptist Community (CBCO). CBCO operated both of these until another American relief organization took over operation in 2008.

-Under its new operators, the school now has many new upgrades including solar powered lighting, new paint and repaired furniture. It currently has over 100 students registered for the fall term. This was confirmed this week by Jon Cassel, CBN’s director of French African operations who was on the ground in Zaire with Operation Blessing in the 1990s and has returned multiple times to meet with the current operators.

-The farm is also thriving today, although it did struggle the first several years due to the learning curve involved with cultivation in Africa. Today, more than 1250 acres are under cultivation and its produce helps to feed many families in the area. The farm and the school, first founded by Operation Blessing, are a permanent legacy of the organization’s work in the region.

-While Operation Blessing partners with other aid groups on humanitarian efforts all around the world on a daily basis, we are not aware of any instance in which we made use of another organization’s photos or videos without accompanying explanation. In fact, due to its affiliation with CBN, Operation Blessing always travels with its own cameras and would have no reason to use someone else’s videos.

-Roughly twenty years ago, Operation Blessing purchased three World War II used airplanes for aid relief in Africa. A short time later, a personal business entity of Dr. Robertson’s called the African Development Corporation (ADC), bought one of the planes from OB for full market value and the price paid by OB. All three planes were shipped across the Atlantic to the Congo. In addition to paying for all the operating expenses for the ADC flights, Dr. Robertson made substantial contributions from personal funds to help OB cover the costs of its flight operations in Zaire.

-The planes turned out to be unreliable, were constantly breaking down and it became difficult to secure spare parts for them. So the missions were occasionally overlapped using whatever plane(s) was/were working. The ADC plane was partly used to haul humanitarian supplies for OB, while the OB planes were partly used to haul freight for ADC. All usage of the OB planes for ADC purposes was fully paid for by ADC.

-Robert Hinkle, referred to in the film as being “the chief pilot for Operation Blessing” in Zaire in 1994, never worked for Operation Blessing.

-When the planes did not work out as expected, Dr. Robertson personally donated $400,000 to OB to cover its costs of acquiring the two airplanes. -The total take in the diamond mining operation was exactly one stone weighing about an eighth of a
carat. The effort was a total failure and was abandoned, with Dr. Robertson donating the equipment to the African church that owned the river concession. The operations of ADC resulted in a substantial personal financial loss to Dr. Robertson. Media reports suggesting that Dr. Robertson “enriched” himself by diamond mining are grossly false. -The Virginia Attorney General’s office conducted an exhaustive study of Bill Sizemore’s allegations and found no evidence of wrongdoing by Pat Robertson or Operation Blessing. The report was jointly signed by four Deputy and Assistant’ Attorneys General. Click here to read the Attorney General’s Report. Click here for the Commonwealth of Virginia Letter to the Va. Pilot.

-As for “fraudulent and deceptive statements” attributed to Dr. Robertson by the Virginian Pilot, the Attorney General found that of all the references to the Congo activities on The 700 Club, there was one instance of an inaccurate statement, but it was deemed as inadvertent and no funds were raised based on this statement. Further, a letter* written by the Commissioner of the Department of Agriculture and Consumer Service of the Commonwealth of Virginia to the Editor of the Virginian Pilot, dated July 21, 1999, scolded that newspaper for its “inaccurate” reporting of the story. The Commissioner expressly agreed with the Attorney General’s findings, saying, “Anyone who has read both reports will conclude that the state’s lawyers checked out the issues thoroughly and applied the facts to the law. I am satisfied with their conclusion that there was no evidence of intent to defraud.”

-The allegations stemming from the Virginian Pilot were also brought to the attention of the Internal Revenue Service, which examined the facts and took no action.

-As for allegations that authorities chose not to prosecute because of campaign donations made by Dr. Robertson, those are ridiculous and completely without merit. Multiple assistant Attorneys General reviewed the matter and the 38-page report was signed by the Chief Deputy Attorney General, the Deputy Attorney General, the Senior Assistant Attorney General, and the Assistant Attorney General, none of whom received any donation from Dr. Robertson or Operation Blessing.

The fact remains that Operation Blessing has grown into one of the largest charities in America. Founded by Dr. Robertson in 1978, the organization continues to provide strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. Currently, Forbes ranks OBI as one of its “100 Largest Charities” with an efficiency rating of 99%, and Consumers Digest also named OBI as one of “America’s Top Charities” in 2012. For seven years in a row (2005-2011), OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management, a feat that only 2% of rated charities have ever achieved. Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 255 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $3.3 billion to date.

To see an electronic press kit of OBI’s work please visit: http://www.ob.org/global-impact/
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CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
Spokesperson for Operation Blessing International
(212) 966-4600
chris@rc-pr.com

May 21, 2013 - OBI DEPLOYING DISASTER RELIEF TEAM TO OKLAHOMA

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Operation Blessing International Deploying Disaster Relief Team To Moore, Oklahoma

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (May 21, 2013) – The domestic disaster relief team from Operation Blessing International (OBI), one of the largest humanitarian organizations in America, is deploying to Moore, Oklahoma, where a massive tornado struck yesterday.

Late last night, an advance team led by Jody Herrington-Gettys, director of U.S. disaster relief for Operation Blessing International, deployed from Granbury, Texas where they had been helping with tornado relief following last week’s storm there. OBI coordinated more than 500 volunteers in that effort including many from longtime partner, The Home Depot.

A caravan of OBI emergency equipment is currently en route to Moore, including a construction unit, mobile command center, trucks full of tools and supplies, and a team of construction foremen. The caravan is expected to arrive by noon local time.

Bill Horan, president of OBI, departed from Norfolk early today and will be meeting with local emergency management officials and partner agencies to begin the coordination of relief efforts.

To donate to the relief effort or for updates on the response, please visit www.ob.org

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL: Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. Currently, Forbes ranks OBI as one of its “100 Largest Charities” with an efficiency rating of 99%, and Consumers Digest also named OBI as one of “America’s Top Charities” in 2012. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 255 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $3.3 billion to date.

To see an electronic press kit of OBI’s work please visit: https://vimeo.com/57154374

CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@rc-pr.com

May 1, 2013 - CHARITY EVENT IN NORFOLK TO HELP HUNDREDS OF LOCAL FAMILIES

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“Compassion 2013″ Charity Event In Norfolk To Help Hundreds Of Local Families With Free Groceries, Health Screenings And More

NORFOLK, VA (May 1, 2013) – On Saturday, May 18 (9:00am-Noon), a charity event called “Compassion 2013: Satisfying the Hungry” will help hundreds of Norfolk families in need.

Presented by The Storehouse, a community food pantry run by The New Life Christian Center (3921 Pleasant Ave, Norfolk), and sponsored by Operation Blessing International and Bon Secours Virginia Health System, the event will provide free groceries to families in need, health screenings, cooking demos and more.

For the event, Virginia Beach-based humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International (OBI) will provide 10,000 pounds of groceries – enough to feed hundreds of families — including canned vegetables, meats and sauces, cereal, granola bars, oatmeal, drinks and dried beans. OBI will also have its mobile kitchen onsite and will be providing meals and free cooking demonstrations to those in attendance.

Bon Secours Health System will also be onsite at The Storehouse, providing free healthcare screenings including blood pressure, body mass index, body fat, waist circumference for adults and pulse, respiration, blood pressure, height and weight for children.
“Compassion 2013” will mark roughly three years since Operation Blessing International and the Bon Secours Virginia Health System collaborated to revitalize, rebuild and expand the Storehouse after it was severely damaged by a 2009 Nor’easter.

Following the storm, Operation Blessing International and the Bon Secours Healthy Communities Initiative led the construction effort and coordinated volunteer management to expand the structure from 600 square feet to over 1,000 square feet, and also installed a renovated kitchen, a new deck and a renovated playground. In addition to construction and volunteer management, OBI supported the effort by filling the pantry with more than 40,000 lbs of food, providing a $10,000 donation, and adding The Storehouse to Operation Blessing International’s Hunger Strike Force to receive ongoing deliveries.

The East Ocean View section of Norfolk was selected to be the first community in which Bon Secours would establish the Bon Secours Healthy Communities Initiative. The primary goal of the outreach effort is to work alongside leaders to improve the overall health of the community.

“At Bon Secours our mission is to bring good help to those in need. We know that good help extends much further than providing access to exceptional health care,” said Michael K. Kerner, CEO, Bon Secours Hampton Roads Health System. “Good help also means working alongside others to impact positive changes and improve the overall health of our community. Our partnership with organizations like Operation Blessing, New Life Christian Center, Ocean View Medical and Dental Center, and others in the East Ocean View community is an excellent example of how focused collaboration can make a positive impact for those we serve.”
Bon Secours Healthy Communities has also helped to make many positive changes like the Storehouse program, the development of a community garden to encourage healthy nutrition, neighborhood beautification projects and supporting local sports activities for local youth.

The Storehouse is one of Operation Blessing’s many efforts to help feed the local and regional community. Since March 2012, the charity has provided more than 1 million pounds of food and relief aid to 35 ministry partners helping Virginia Beach, Norfolk, Chesapeake, Portsmouth, Suffolk, Hampton and Newport News; the 7 cities that make up Hampton Roads VA. In addition, Operation Blessing also distributed more than 2 million additional pounds of food and relief aid to ministry partners throughout the rest of the state of Virginia during this same time period.

“Operation Blessing helps people in more than 20 countries each year, but we also help tens of thousands of people in our own hometown of Virginia Beach,” said Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing International. “The Storehouse has been one such story, and a huge help in easing the burden of providing food for many local families.”

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. Currently, Forbes ranks OBI as one of its “100 Largest Charities” with an efficiency rating of 99%, and Consumers Digest also named OBI as one of “America’s Top Charities” in 2012. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 255 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $3.3 billion to date.

To see an electronic press kit of OBI’s work please visit: https://vimeo.com/57154374
For more information on OB, please visit: www.ob.org

About Bon Secours Virginia Health System
Bon Secours Virginia Health System (BSV), the fourth-largest and only faith-based health system in Virginia, is comprised of Bon Secours Richmond and Bon Secours Hampton Roads. BSV includes seven award-winning hospitals: four in Richmond and three in Hampton Roads. Bon Secours brings together an expanding network of hospitals, primary care practices, ambulatory care sites and continuing care facilities to provide high-quality health care and wellness services to thousands of Virginians. The not-for-profit Catholic health system employs nearly 12,000 people. Bon Secours Virginia hospitals offer a full range of services, including cardiac, women’s, children’s, orthopaedics, emergency services, oncology, neurosciences and surgery.
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CONTACT:

Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@rc-pr.com

April 25, 2013 - OB LENDING A HAND IN NEW HOSPITAL OPENING IN HAITI

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Virginia Beach-Based Humanitarian Organization Drilled Wells, Facilitated Donation of Water Disinfection/Filtration System With Partner, Severn Trent Services

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (April 25, 2013) – Global humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International (OBI) is playing a role in the opening of an important new teaching hospital in Haiti that will fill a huge void for Haitians who previously had limited access to quality health care.

The Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais (HUM), in Mirebalais, Haiti, created by Partners In Health, will host a Celebration of Partnership event on April 28 to recognize the generous contributions of its partner organizations to the construction of the new hospital. The 205,000-square foot, 300-bed facility will provide primary care services to about 185,000 people in Mirebalais and two nearby communities. But patients from a much wider area—all of central Haiti and areas in and around Port-au-Prince—also will be able to receive secondary and tertiary care.

In addition to providing healthcare services, HUM will also provide high-quality education for the next generation of Haitian nurses, medical students, and resident physicians.

For the hospital, Operation Blessing International, who first came to Haiti in 2009 at the request of Partners In Health, has drilled five water wells including the primary hospital well (8″ x 300′) and backup (6″ x 200′), an off-site well for hospital staff housing (4″ x 200′), and at the request of Partners In Health, two community wells (4″ x 100′) for public use. While the primary well was being drilled, OBI also funded construction of the hospital’s cistern and delivered several truckloads of water every day for over a month.

In addition to the wells and water delivery, OBI also facilitated the donation of a water disinfection/filtration system through the charity’s longtime partner, Severn Trent Services. The system is capable of producing up to six pounds of sodium hypochlorite per day, which can disinfect some 165,000 gallons of water daily for the hospital. The system also will filter the water to ensure it is free of any particulate.

OBI shipped the materials for the water system to Haiti, received them in the OBI Port-au-Prince warehouse and transported them to Mirebalais for the installation. OBI staff worked together with a Severn Trent technician to install and commission the system. OBI continues to provide technical support and maintenance for the water system, and will continue to do so to ensure the hospital has water available at every tap that meets the US standards for water quality.

“When Paul Farmer and Partners In Health asked if Operation Blessing would help to provide clean water for the new hospital, we jumped at the chance to help our longtime friend,” said Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing International. “We are also grateful to our friends at Trent Severn Services, who graciously donated a water system that will disinfect and filter the water from the wells and supply the entire hospital.”

Operation Blessing first came to Haiti in the fall of 2009 in order to assist Partners In Health (Zanmi Lasante) in providing running potable water at their network of 12 hospitals.

When the earthquake struck in January 2010, OBI deployed its first-response disaster relief team. OBI partnered with IsraAID to run an emergency medical facility that helped thousands, OBI installed water purification equipment all around the city, and delivered hundreds of tons of relief supplies, transported to Haiti via the US Navy, for months after the disaster. The OBI team also responded to the subsequent cholera outbreak, providing life saving water purification equipment to the hard-hit areas.
Since the quake, OBI continues to work on many ongoing projects in Haiti, including operating the Zanmi Beni home for children with disabilities in partnership with Partners In Health, hosting medical teams from the Mayo Clinic regularly, installing and operating a major fish farming operation that provides jobs to Haitians and much needed protein to the children at Zanmi Beni and other children’s homes, installing clean water systems at the St. Damien’s Children’s Hospital and helping to fund a cholera treatment center there, partnering with Greif and the Clinton Foundation to install rainwater catchment systems and to build a school in villages surrounding Lake Azuei, and many more.

For more information on Operation Blessing please visit: www.ob.org

For more information about Hôpital Universitaire de Mirebalais (HUM), please visit the Partners In Health website: www.pih.org

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. Currently, Forbes ranks OBI as one of its “100 Largest Charities” with an efficiency rating of 99%, and Consumers Digest also named OBI as one of “America’s Top Charities” in 2012. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 255 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $3.3 billion to date.

ABOUT PARTNERS IN HEALTH:
PIH is a global health organization relentlessly committed to improving the health of the poor and marginalized. We build local capacity and work closely with impoverished communities to deliver high quality health care, address the root causes of illness, train providers, advance research and advocate for global policy change. Ninety-three percent of the funds we raise go to our programs in the ten countries where we work, including Haiti, Rwanda, Russia, Peru and the United States.
To see an electronic press kit of OBI’s work please visit:
https://vimeo.com/57154374

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CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@rc-pr.com

April 8, 2013 - 7-DAY FAMILY DISASTER PLANNING GUIDE

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With Spring Warm-up Expected To Jump-Start Tornado Season, Operation Blessing International Offers Free
7-Day Family Disaster Planning Guide

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (April 8, 2013) – The U.S. Disaster Relief team of the global humanitarian organization, Operation Blessing International (OBI), has published a free 7-Day Family Disaster Planning Guide to help families prepare for the onset of peak tornado season and other disasters.

Historically, March marks the beginning of the peak tornado season in the USA. However, due to much colder temperatures than normal this winter, there were only 17 tornadoes in the month of March, the lowest in 35 years. In 2012, for example, there were 154 tornadoes in March.

But with the return of warm temperatures now in place, forecasters are calling for an increase in the likelihood of tornado activity in the coming weeks.

Operation Blessing International’s free 7-Day Family Disaster Planning Guide is available for downloading at www.ob.org. Originally created for OBI’s “Prepared Kids” instructional program for school children, the guide will help families “Plan, Prepare and Protect” against the threat posed by tornadoes, hurricanes or other disasters.

The guide is divided into seven daily steps, including gathering critical documents (insurance info, medication list, birth certificates, contact info, etc), preparing and organizing a “family emergency go-kit” (non-perishable foods, water, flashlight, first aid kit, toiletries, etc), preparing shopping lists, practicing the plan, and even suggesting fun activities to keep young family members occupied during or after a storm (board games, books, crafts, etc).

OBI’s U.S. Disaster Relief team responds to dozens of disasters each year, including recent tornadoes in Joplin, Illinois, Alabama and Dallas, hurricanes’ Isaac, Irene, Katrina, and most recently, OBI spent four months helping thousands of residents recover from the devastation of Hurricane Sandy in Breezy Point, NY, the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Coney Island, Staten Island and coastal New Jersey. Normally arriving on site within 24-hours of a disaster, the OBI team provides thousands of hot meals, delivers tens of thousands of pounds of supplies with its fleet of semi trucks, coordinates hundreds of volunteers, provides specialized heavy equipment for debris removal.

“In our experience responding to dozens of disasters each year, we see firsthand that most families are just not prepared,” says Jody Herrington-Gettys, director of U.S. Disaster Relief. “The result is frequently stress and grief, trying to cope with the situation at hand. However, if your family would commit to investing just two hours a day for one week, you can help to prepare them for most any disaster and to create a family tradition of preparedness that can be passed down for generations to come.”
Download Operation Blessing International’s 7-Day Family Disaster Planning Guide at www.ob.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. Currently, Forbes ranks OBI as one of its “100 Largest Charities” with an efficiency rating of 99%, and Consumers Digest also named OBI as one of “America’s Top Charities” in 2012. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 255 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $3.3 billion to date.

To see an electronic press kit of OBI’s work please visit: https://vimeo.com/57154374

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Operation Blessing International’s Top 5 Tornado Safety Tips
From Jody Herrington-Gettys, Director, US Disaster Relief
1. Heed tornado warnings – when a warning is posted, that should trigger your family to take cover
2. Designate a “safe room” in your home or nearby location – go there if a tornado warning is issued
3. Prepare a “family emergency go-kit” — with enough food, water and supplies to sustain your family for at least 3-5 days.
4. Make sure all of your important documents are kept in one place in a waterproof container or bag (birth and marriage certificates, home and vehicle insurance policies, prescriptions, medical cards, and photo IDs/Passports)
5. Keep your medications close — have duplicate copies of your prescriptions in your go-kit.

# # #

For more information or to schedule an interview with Jody Herrington-Gettys, please contact:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@rc-pr.com

March 6, 2013 - OBI AND SAP GROUP TO DELIVER MORE BOATS TO JAPANESE FISHERMEN

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On Second Anniversary Of Japan Quake/Tsunami, Operation Blessing International And SAP Group To Deliver More Boats To Japanese Fishermen

Intl. Effort To Help Out-Of-Work Fishermen Includes USA, Germany, Singapore, China, Japan

Custom Made Boats To Be Presented On March 10, 2013 In Shiogama, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (March 6, 2013) -– Operation Blessing International (OBI) and SAP AG, the world leader in enterprise application software, will present six new and four used fishing boats to Japanese fishermen whose livelihoods were ruined in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.

The six custom-made, new boats were commissioned last December by OBI as part of the Virginia Beach-based organization’s ongoing efforts to help Japanese fishing communities devastated by the disaster. The 23-foot-long boats were built by a Chinese boat-maker in Henan Province, and the project was funded by a generous donation from SAP APJ (Asia Pacific Japan) in Singapore, through SAP Japan’s Tohoku Earthquake Aid and Relief Strategy (TEARS) humanitarian program.

SAP Japan’s CSR TEARS (Tohoku Earthquake Aid and Relief Strategy) team and OBI staff will officially present the new mini-fleet to fishermen in ceremonies on March 10 at the Koshinoura Fishing Harbor, facing the beautiful and picturesque Matsushima Bay (considered to be one of the top three beauty spots in Japan) in Shiogama, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, the day before the two-year anniversary of the disaster.

Tomitaro Anzai, President of SAP Japan commented, “It is a great pleasure for us that we could be of some help to the recovery efforts in the disaster-hit area through TEARS, our volunteer project. Last year, together with Operation Blessing, we donated some boats to Sanriku coastal area in Miyagi, and this time in addition, we are able to donate the boats to Shiogama city, in Miyagi. We will continue these efforts consistently to support recovery efforts as much as possible.”

“We are so thankful for SAP’s continued generous sponsorship of OBI’s fishing boat program,” said Bill Horan, OBI president. “There remains a tremendous need for fishing boats here because Japanese boat builders are still overwhelmed, two years after the disaster. The delivery of these ten boats will mean a lot to this entire community,” said Horan.

OBI is committed to help multiple fishing communities, as thousands of boats were lost in the tsunami. Following this presentation, OBI will have purchased and provided 20 new boats made in the U.S., 10 new boats made in China and 61 used boats sourced within Japan, since the disaster.

In other projects helping the fishing community, OBI provided laptop computers to the JF Miyagi Fisheries Cooperative, for the fishermen to reach out to the nation via their own website. Since the project’s launch, the cooperative received orders worth several million dollars for seafood that have already been delivered all over Japan. OBI also provided $650,000 worth of seaweed and oyster cultivation equipment to the Urato Islands, which are famous for oysters, including anchors, rope, shells used for cultivating oysters, floats, nets, small trucks, and computers. Due to OBI’s swift action, the oystermen were able to harvest in the same year as the tsunami, a timeline that was unthinkable by most in the community. In recognition of this achievement, the Mayor of Shiogama City honored OBI for getting them back on their feet so quickly.

One of the first relief organizations on the ground in Japan, arriving hours after the earthquake struck, OBI has delivered tons of relief supplies and equipment to tens of thousands of survivors through the charity’s Tohoku Operations Center in Tomiya, north of Sendai, Japan.

For more information log on to: www.ob.org. In Japanese, go to: www.objapan.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. Currently, Forbes ranks OBI as one of its “100 Largest Charities” with an efficiency rating of 99%, and Consumers Digest also named OBI as one of “America’s Top Charities” in 2012. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 255 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $3.3 billion to date.

To see an electronic press kit of OBI’s work please visit: https://vimeo.com/57154374

ABOUT SAP: As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 232,000 customers (includes customers from the acquisition of Sybase) to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com <http://www.sap.com>

CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations Inc
(212) 966-4600
chris@rc-pr.com

November 21, 2012- CHARITIES TEAM UP TO PROVIDE THANKSGIVING FEAST TO HURRICANE SANDY FAMILES

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MEDIA ALERT!

CHARITIES TEAM UP TO PROVIDE THANKSGIVING FEAST TO HURRICANE SANDY HARD-HIT FAMILIES AND FIRST RESPONDERS IN BREEZY POINT, NY

–Operation Blessing International And Friends Of Firefighters To Provide Turkey With All The Trimmings On Wednesday, 11am-3pm–

WHAT: Operation Blessing and Friends of Firefighters have teamed up to cook up a full Thanksgiving feast for first responders and residents of Breezy Point who have been hard-hit by Hurricane Sandy. The menu includes turkey, dressing, mashed potatoes with gravy, green beans, sweet potato casserole, and apple and peach cobblers. The event is made possible by the generous donations from people all across the country to Operation Blessing International to help Hurricane Sandy relief efforts.

Several hundred people are expected to attend. To make the event festive, volunteers from OBI and Friends of Firefighters have dressed up large army tents to include round tables, centerpieces, banners and Christmas lights.

“Many of the residents of this hard-hit community are firefighters and police, and many of them have lost their homes and belongings,” said Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing Intl. “These folks have been there when others were in need, especially during 9/11. So it is fitting and proper that we are with them, now.”

WHO: Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America. Its disaster relief first responders arrived in NYC area on Tuesday, October 30. To date, OBI has aided storm victims in Manhattan, Breezy Point, Far Rockaway and several towns in coastal New Jersey, delivering over 240,000 pounds of food, bottled water and relief supplies (toiletries, cleaning supplies, diapers) to local residents from five semi-trailer trucks from OBI’s Hunger Strike Force fleet, based in Virginia Beach, VA. The team also set up its Mobile Kitchen that has served over 2,000 hot meals.

Bill Horan, president of OBI, will be on hand with staff and volunteers from the charity.

Friends of Firefighters, Inc. (FoF) is a New York City not-for-profit corporation that began as a community-based group in response to the events of September 11, 2001. Friends of Firefighters is dedicated to addressing the physical, mental health, and wellness needs of New York City’s firefighters and their families. Our ongoing mission is to provide long-term support and services through confidential counseling, wellness services, and other assistance required by firefighters and their families.

WHEN: Wednesday, November 21st 11am-3pm

WHERE:
Rockaway Point Fire Department
204-26 Rockaway Point Blvd, Breezy Point, NY.
(Intersection of B 204 & Rockaway Point Blvd.)

MEDIA CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
cell: (917) 538-5629
chris@rc-pr.com

ON SITE CONTACT:
Bill Horan
President, Operation Blessing International
(757) 647-2020

November 9, 2012 - OBI NAMED AS ONE OF AMERICA'S TOP CHARITIES BY COMSUMERS DIGEST

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Operation Blessing International Named As One Of “America’s Top Charities” By Consumers Digest

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (November 8, 2012) – Consumers Digest has named the Virginia Beach-based Operation Blessing International as one of “America’s Top Charities.” Consumers Digest published the information in its December issue and on ConsumersDigest.com.

Two hundred and twenty one charities out of 2,400 were ranked in seven categories: development/distribution, educational/cultural, environment/wildlife, health, humanitarian, human services and religiously affiliated. According to Consumers Digest, the rankings are based on charities’ spending efficiency—that is, the percentage of generated income that’s spent on their mission and not on other costs, such as fundraising, marketing and administration. A charity had to distribute at least 65 percent of its total funds to its program(s) to make Consumers Digest’s list.

Operation Blessing International was named among the top three charities in the Humanitarian category, due to the organization’s 98.83% efficiency rating.

“We are honored to be recognized by Consumers Digest as one of ‘America’s Top Charities,’” said Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing International.

Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis.

In the United States, the organization is currently helping victims of hurricane Sandy in the New York City and coastal New Jersey area, providing more than 240,000 pounds of emergency food and supplies and serving upwards of 2,000 hot meals to residents. In addition to these efforts, the charity’s Hunger Strike Force currently delivers more than 2 million pounds of free food and relief supplies each week to a network of more than 120 community-based partners across the U.S. The products are then distributed by the partner organizations to roughly 4,400 local food pantries, where they are given to people in need. Since its inception, Operation Blessing International has distributed 1.3 billion pounds of food and relief aid, supplemented over 865 million meals, and transported some 35,000 truckloads that have driven over 28 million miles.

OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the 7th year in a row (2011), a feat that only 2% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity.

Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 264 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $3.3 billion to date. For more info log on to www.ob.org <http://www.ob.org>

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CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations LLC
(212) 966-4600
chris@rc-pr.com

November 5, 2012 - MERCURY ONE/GLENN BECK PARTNERS WITH OBI FOR HURRICANE SANDY RELIEF

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MERCURY ONE/GLENN BECK PARTNERS WITH OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL FOR HURRICANE SANDY RELIEF EFFORTS IN NYC & NJ NEW YORK, NY

(November 5, 2012) – Mercury One, the charity founded by Glenn Beck, has partnered with the humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International (OBI) to provide relief to Hurricane Sandy victims in New York City and coastal New Jersey. Mercury One has provided substantial funding for OBI’s efforts including the distribution of food, bottled water and relief supplies in addition to construction and clean-up efforts.

Since arriving in New York City and New Jersey area last Tuesday evening, the OBI team has aided storm victims in Manhattan, Far Rockaway (NY), and several towns in coastal New Jersey.

In the Lower East Side of Manhattan, the team set up in a low-income neighborhood last Friday morning that had been without electricity for four days. The OBI-Mercury One team distributed more than 160,000 pounds of food, bottled water and relief supplies (toiletries, cleaning supplies, diapers) to local residents. The supplies filled four semi-trailer trucks that had been shipped via Operation Blessing International’s Hunger Strike Force fleet, based in Virginia Beach, VA.

The team also set up a Mobile Kitchen on site that served 950 hot meals on Friday, the first hot meals residents had in days.

Yesterday, the team set up in Far Rockaway, NY and distributed an additional 40,000 pounds of relief supplies to residents from a semi-trailer truck.

In NJ, OBI continues to coordinate volunteers in order to help homeowners’ cleanup efforts and to help salvage belongings in coastal communities including Bayville and Mystic Island.

“Mercury One has answered the call to help hurricane victims in New York and New Jersey by providing substantial funding that will enable Operation Blessing to expand efforts to help more storm victims,” said Bill Horan, president of OBI.

Previously, the two charities teamed up as part of Mercury One’s Restoring Love event, held at Cowboys Stadium in Dallas in July. That event raised more than 300,000 pounds of donated food which Operation Blessing delivered to 11 cities via it’s fleet of Hunger Strike Force semi-trailer trucks.

For more information about Mercury One, please log on to www.mercuryone.org <http://www.mercuryone.org> .

For more information on Operation Blessing International, log on to www.ob.org <http://www.ob.org> .

ABOUT MERCURY ONE Mercury One is a non-profit 501(c)3 founded in November, 2011 in the vision of its founder Glenn Beck. Focusing on building communities, Mercury One has three main missions under which all of their initiatives fall: Restore- rather than fundamental transformation, we must bring America back to the values that made her exceptional. Faith- You cannot fix the country through politics, but rather by turning back to God and the Judeo-Christian principles that always provide answers. Entrepreneurship- Not just in the business sense, but Mercury One empowers individuals to change the communities
around them.

Since its inception, Mercury One has raised over $500,000 in less than 48 hours for tornado relief, raised thousands of
dollars for the Holocaust Museum of Houston, planned a women’s conference, planned a Day of Service for over 25,000 people, launched a nationwide food drive to 11 cities. To learn more, please visit mercuryone.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the 7th year in a row (2011), a feat that only 2% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 264 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $3.3 billion to date. For more info log on to
www.ob.org

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CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations LLC
(212) 966-4600
chris@rc-pr.com

November 1, 2012 - OBI's DISASTER RELIEF TEAMS ARRIVE IN MANHATTAN AND COASTAL NEW JERSEY

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL’S DISASTER RELIEF TEAMS ARRIVE IN MANHATTAN AND COASTAL NEW JERSEY

-Assisting in cleanup efforts in NJ, Volunteers Needed starting Saturday

-Truckloads of food, water and hygiene products to arrive in Manhattan this evening

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (November 1, 2012)–The disaster relief team from Operation Blessing International (OBI), one of the largest charities in America, has deployed to New York City and coastal New Jersey to help with relief efforts after Hurricane Sandy devastated the region on Monday.

Following initial relief efforts in its Virginia Beach hometown on Tuesday, the team, under the direction of Jody Herrington-Gettys, director of U.S. disaster relief, deployed a caravan of construction equipment and supplies to New Jersey, which began arriving yesterday. These include a state of the art Mobile Command Center with satellite communication equipment, multiple construction trailers filled with tools and safety equipment, box trucks filled with cots, ready-to-eat meals and water, a shower trailer and an 80kw generator unit.

Currently, OBI’s construction team is involved with cleanup efforts and helping residents salvage belongings in the hard-hit area of Bayville in Ocean County, New Jersey. Under the direction of Raymond McGregor, deployment manager for OBI, the construction team will set up a Cleanup Operations Center in Tuckerton, NJ, later today that will be used to coordinate large numbers of volunteers starting on Saturday at 8:30am. The charity is calling for local volunteers to help with major cleanup efforts including debris removal and gutting of homes (more info to follow). The Cleanup Operations Center is located at the Living Water Christian Center (1103 Radio Road, Tuckerton, NJ).

In Manhattan, OBI has partnered with seven local churches and will be setting up a point of distribution on the Lower East Side, at Public School 34/Franklin D. Roosevelt School (730 east 12 street). Three 53-foot semi-trailer trucks from OBI’s Hunger Strike Force fleet will arrive from Virginia Beach this evening filled with food, water, 150 indoor kerosene heaters and hygiene supplies that will be provided to residents in need. OBI will set up its mobile kitchen that has the capacity to feed 2,000 hot meals per day at the school this evening (aiming for 6pm).

Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing International, said, “Operation Blessing has responded to the biggest disasters in the United States and Hurricane Sandy rivals all of them. I can’t recall ever seeing such widespread devastation as we’re now seeing along the East Coast. This is truly an historic event. Hopefully the people in the United States that are not affected by this will be generous in their support of the victims.”

For more info log on to www.ob.org

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL: Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the 7th year in a row (2011), a feat that only 2% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 264 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $3.3 billion to date.
OBI’s domestic disaster relief team responds to dozens of major disasters each year in the United States.
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October 26 , 2012 - HURRICANE SANDY: OPERATION BLESSING PREPARES DOMESTIC DISASTER RELIEF

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HURRICANE SANDY: OPERATION BLESSING PREPARES DOMESTIC DISASTER RELIEF TEAM IN VIRGINIA

Group Will Pre-Stage In Virginia Beach In Case Local Effort Needed, With Eye To The North

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (October 26, 2012) – The domestic disaster relief team of Operation Blessing International (OBI) is preparing for relief efforts as Hurricane Sandy sets its course on the East Coast.

The team is pre-staging equipment, staff and supplies at its Virginia Beach headquarters in case relief efforts are needed in the Hampton Roads area, with the possibility of a deployment in the north should that be needed. The equipment includes:

–Mobile Kitchen – Capacity to feed approx. 2,000 meals per day with enough provisions on board for 6,000 meals before new supplies are needed –Mobile Command Center with communication technology such as VHF radio, satellite, satellite news feed, and a base of operations for the team –2 Construction Trailers with tools and safety equipment to equip our construction foremen and volunteers with the tools needed for debris removal, tarping roofs, flood clean-up and gutting homes –Box Truck with 100 cots, tarps and firing strips for 50 homes, water, MREs, and kerosene heaters –CAT 924 Loader for debris removal

–100 heaters in the event that cold weather comes in during power outages

–OBI’s fleet of Semi-Trailer Trucks (75 trailers and 18 power units) from its Hunger Strike Force are also standing by and will be utilized as needed

–Shower Trailer for volunteers

The team, under the direction of Jody Herrington-Gettys, director of U.S. disaster relief, will monitor the storm over the weekend and decide on Sunday where to deploy based on the projected track of the storm. “Our first priority is to serve the Hampton Roads community,” said Herrington-Gettys.
Should deployment be needed further north, however, OBI has already planned with partner organizations in NY, NJ and Rhode Island.

Operation Blessing’s Haiti office is currently responding to massive flooding in that country after then-Tropical Storm Sandy dumped upwards of 12 inches of rain. Today, OBI will deliver
food, water filtration units, chlorine, and toiletries to 55 families that lost their homes due to severe flooding along the river Grise near Croix de Mission, Haiti.

For more information, please log on to www.ob.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the 7th year in a row (2011), a feat that only 2% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 264 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $3.3 billion to date.
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For Interviews with Jody Herrington, contact:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@rc-pr.com

October 25, 2012 - OPERATION BLESSING PREPARES FOR TROPICAL STORM SANDY HIT IN HAITI

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Charity Producing Chlorine Around The Clock To Help Avert Cholera Outbreak

Port au Prince, Haiti (October 24, 2012) – With Tropical Storm Sandy expected to bring flooding rains to Haiti, the American humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International (OBI) has ramped up efforts to avert another cholera outbreak.

Haiti is currently home to the world’s largest cholera epidemic, which has claimed over 7,000 lives in 24 months.

Operation Blessing International, which has been working in Haiti since before the 2010 earthquake, has increased its production of sodium hypochlorite (food-grade bleach), utilizing their ClorTec CT-75 generation system. This device has the capability to produce 1200 gallons of liquid sodium hypochlorite daily, enough chlorine to disinfect 3.6 million gallons of drinking water each day. OBI is distributing this chlorine to hospitals, cholera clinics, orphanages, and tent city locations for the disinfection of drinking water, the treatment of gray water, surface disinfection and for general sanitation purposes.

“The heavy rains that are expected to begin in the next 24 to 36 hours will cause flooding and will spread cholera again,” said Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing International. “Since Haiti has no effective water disposal system, it is imperative that we deliver as much chlorine as possible to avert this silent killer.”

Since its arrival in Haiti in 2009, a main focus of OBI has been water purification. The charity installed potable water systems in the country’s hospital system and has drilled dozens of wells. After the earthquake, OBI brought in 35 WMI large-scale purification units, each unit having the capacity of providing 10,000 gallons of safe drinking water per day. Many units are still deployed in tent camps and strategic locations in Port Au Prince. At the height of the relief efforts, Operation Blessing was providing safe drinking water to over 100,000 people every day.

OBI was also a first responder to the cholera outbreak in October 2010 with water purification equipment, liquid chlorine and Lifesaver Jerrycans to the Artibonite region. OBI still operates five purification units in the region providing up to 50,000 gallons of safe water per day. The relief organization also worked with St. Damien’s/St. Luc’s children’s hospital in Tabarre to construct a cholera treatment center. The center has so far treated over 20,000 cholera victims.

For more information on OBI’s efforts in Haiti, or to make a donation to these efforts, please visit: www.ob.org

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL: Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the 7th year in a row (2011), a feat that only 2% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 264 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $3.3 billion to date.

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CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations LLC
(212) 966-4600
chris@rc-pr.com

August 31, 2012 - OBI SETS UP TWO LOCATIONS IN GREATER NEW ORLEANS AREA FOR RESIDENTS IN NEED

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

OPERATION BLESSING INTL. SETS UP TWO LOCATIONS IN GREATER NEW ORLEANS AREA FOR RESIDENTS IN NEED OF HELP — Call Out for Volunteers, Now –

NEW ORLEANS, LA (August 31, 2012) – Operation Blessing International (OBI), one of the largest international humanitarian organizations, has set up locations in Braithwaite and Arabi where residents in the greater New Orleans area impacted by Hurricane Isaac can receive help.

Moreover, OBI is calling for volunteers, who should go to the following location by 8A. tomorrow, Sat., Sept. 1 in order to receive their assignment:

-Living Cornerstone, 714 W. St. Bernard Parkway, Braithwaite. The locations for residents needing help are:

-Living Cornerstone, 714 W. St. Bernard Parkway, Braithwaite, which is on the border of St. Bernard Parish & East Plaquemines Parish. This will serve the Braithwaite community.

-ACF Outreach-Operation Blessing Command Center, 7451 West Saint Bernard Highway, Arabi.

Services at the Living Cornerstone location include:

-Work requests for local homeowners needing assistance will be provided, free, by volunteers in such areas as minor roof repair, blue roof/tarps, debris removal, and chain saw work

-A shower trailer with hot/cold showers for residents, who will be working on their homes in the future.
Services at the ACF/OBI Command Center in Arabi include:

-The only location that will serve a daily lunch at noon and a hot dinner at 6P.

– Work requests for local homeowners needing assistance will be provided, free, by volunteers in such areas as minor roof repair, blue roof/tarps, debris removal, and chain saw work.

On Thursday, some 2,223 meals were served at the Arabi site in a little over 2 hours, according to Jody Herrington-Gettys, OBI’s Director of U.S. Disaster Relief. “We set up the kitchen and have started spreading the word. We estimated 500 to 1000 people, but the response and need has been incredible.”

Anyone interested in volunteering can call OBI at 757-374-0944.

Log on to www.ob.org for the latest information

About Operation Blessing International
Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the 7th year in a row (2011), a feat that only 2% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

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CONTACT:
Roy Brunett
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
(919) 466-1559
roy@rc-pr.com
cell: 973-902-7291

August 30, 2012 - OBI DEPLOYS DISASTER RELIEF TEAM TO NEW ORLEANS NEW ORLEANS, LA

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(August 30, 2012) – Operation Blessing International, one of the largest international humanitarian organizations, has deployed its domestic disaster relief team to the greater New Orleans area following Hurricane Isaac.

Under the leadership of Jody Herrington-Gettys, Director of U.S. Disaster Relief, the OBI team pre-staged staff and equipment in Hattiesburg, MS in advance of the storm. Since the beginning of the storm, Herrington-Gettys has been speaking with local and national emergency management officials in addition to its network of nearly 300 partner organizations throughout the region to determine the area of greatest need. Based on those reports, OBI set up a base of operations for equipment and volunteer housing in St. Bernard Parish last night.

Today, OBI team members will assess damage in Plaquemines Parish, the hardest hit area. They have also been asked by the State EOC to serve hot meals in St. Bernard Parish, so they will be setting up their mobile kitchen, which is capable of serving 2,000 hot meals per day. Serving meals will start at 6 pm.

The OBI team on the ground currently includes a number of staff and equipment including a mobile command center, mobile kitchen, 2 construction trailers full of supplies, tools and clean-up supplies for over 100 volunteers, 1 Skid Steer for debris removal, a supply truck full of tarps, roofing supplies, 100 cots, ready-to-eat meals and water, a shower trailer, and an 80 KW generator. A 20-foot crane and CAT 924 loader have been deployed and will arrive on the ground tomorrow. In addition to this equipment, OBI also has an 18-ton crane, skid steer and a 20 Cubic Yard Dump Truck that can be deployed from the organization’s three national warehouses (Chesapeake, VA, Ocala, FL, and Grand Prairie, TX) if needed.

As part of its “Need Help/Want Help” program, Operation Blessing International will provide free volunteer labor to local residents who need assistance with the following services: blue roof tarps, debris removal, or chainsaw work. Residents can fill out work order requests either by calling 757-274-8650 or go to the ACF Outreach-Operation Blessing command center at 7451 West Saint Bernard Highway in Arabi.

OBI, which specializes in mass volunteer management, will be calling for volunteers shortly to take part in relief efforts including debris removal, roof repair, and more. OBI will also begin accepting work requests (for free) from local homeowners whose houses were damaged. Please stay tuned for more information, or log on to www.ob.org <http://www.ob.org> for the latest information. Anyone interested in volunteering can call 757-374-0944.

Operation Blessing Intl. is very familiar with New Orleans, having spent some two-and-a-half-years in the city following Hurricane Katrina. The charity, which was a first responder to that storm, provided a $60 million relief effort that included 265,000 hours of volunteer service, running a free medical and dental clinic and pharmacy that served over 30,000 people with free doctor care and free prescriptions, saving the city from a mosquito-born disease outbreak by treating thousands of stagnant swimming pools with mosquito-eating fish, preparing over 1 million free meals to emergency responders and volunteers,
donating an entire fleet of busses to St. Bernard Parish for transportation of relief workers and volunteers, and providing roughly $5 million in cash grants to local nonprofit organizations’ relief efforts. For their efforts, OBI has received many accolades from the city, state, and federal governments.

“We’re sorry to see our friends in New Orleans go through a hurricane again,” said Herrington-Gettys.
“There is a lot of heartbreak that this is really happening again. A lot of the people whose homes are full
of water are the same people who just rebuilt their homes from Katrina.”

About Operation Blessing International
Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the 7th year in a row (2011), a feat that only 2% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

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CONTACT:
Eddie Ward
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
eddie@rc-pr.com
cell: 917-864-6446

June 21, 2012 - OBI TO OPEN MAJOR DISTRIBUTION CENTER IN GRAND PRAIRIE, TX

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OPERATION BLESSING INTL. TO OPEN MAJOR DISTRIBUTION CENTER IN GRAND PRAIRIE, TX FOR DONATED FOOD AND RELIEF SUPPLIES

GRAND PRAIRIE, TX (June 21, 2012) – Operation Blessing International (OBI), one of the largest charities in America, will open a major distribution center for donated food and relief supplies in Grand Prairie, Texas on June 27.

This location will serve as the humanitarian organization’s newest staging point for transfers of millions of pounds of donated food and relief aid from the Southeast to the Southwest and will also serve as a regional headquarters for domestic disaster relief efforts. OBI also operates major distribution centers in Chesapeake, VA, Ocala, FL and Bristol, VA.

The new Grand Prairie facility features 45,000 square-feet of storage space with nine loading docks for tractor-trailer trucks and one loading dock with a drive-up ramp. It will provide several jobs locally, including 2-3 warehousemen and a driver.

Operation Blessing International projects that, within the next several years, some 30 million pounds of food and relief aid (750 tractor-trailer truckloads) will travel through this new facility, which will impact more than 1 million people each month.

OBI’s domestic hunger relief program currently delivers more than 2 million pounds of free food and supplies each week to a network of more than 120 community-based partners in dozens of cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington DC, Tampa, Nashville, Asheville, Buffalo, and many more. The products are then distributed by the partner organizations to roughly 4,400 local food pantries, where it is given to people in need. Since its inception, Operation Blessing International has distributed 1.3 billion pounds of food and relief aid, supplemented over 865 million meals, and transported some 35,000 truckloads that have driven over 28 million miles.

Steve O’Grady, vice president of operations and logistics for OBI, said, “Operation Blessing has identified Grand Prairie as an ideal hub for the expansion of our food distribution and disaster response programs. Given the increasing numbers of families in Texas and the surrounding states that are struggling in these tough economic times, Operation Blessing is now better positioned to meet their needs.”

The Grand Prairie facility will also serve as a pre-staging location for OBI’s domestic disaster relief team, which is a first-responder to dozens of major disasters each year. The facility will house supplies and equipment including a portable kitchen that can feed over 1,000 hot meals a day, enough tools and protective gear to equip 100 volunteers immediately after a disaster, a shower trailer, hundreds of cots and a large tent, an 80kW generator, and enough roofing supplies to fix 100 homes.

Jody Herrington-Gettys, director of domestic disaster relief, said, “By having our equipment centrally located in Texas, it gives us the ability to respond to disasters across the heartland of America and the West Coast within 24 hours.”

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2010, OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the 7th year in a row, a feat that only 2% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

For more information please log on to www.ob.org

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Contact:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@rc-pr.com

April 4, 2012 - OBI DEPLOYING U.S. DISASTER RELIEF TEAM TO TEXAS TORNADO AREA

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OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL DEPLOYING U.S. DISASTER RELIEF TEAM TO TEXAS TORNADO AREA

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (April 4, 2012) – Humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International (OBI) has deployed its domestic disaster relief team to the Dallas, TX area to help with tornado relief efforts.

An advance team led by U.S. disaster relief director Jody Herrington arrived in Dallas last night and will begin assessing damages this morning and meeting with local officials to determine the greatest needs.

Also today, OBI is deploying equipment and supplies from the organization’s warehouses in Chesapeake, VA, Ocala, FL, and Grand Prairie, TX including a mobile command center, multiple construction trailers, a mobile kitchen capable of feeding thousands each day, a skid steer for debris removal, and a truck filled with tarps and roofing supplies.

The team just recently returned from a 3-week long deployment in Harrisburg, IL to help with tornado relief. There, OBI coordinated more than 3,100 volunteers removing debris, cleaning homes and preparing thousands of meals for local residents. OBI also hosted members of the St. Louis Rams football team for cleanup efforts there, partnered with Future Farmers of America for farm cleanup, in addition to surprising a young mother, daughter and newborn baby with a renovated home, which made national headlines.

Stay tuned to www.ob.org for updates and more information.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL: Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the 7th year in a row (2011), a feat that only 2% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

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Jody Herrington, director of US disaster relief for the organization, will be available live from the disaster area via Skype later today…

Photos and b-roll will also be available…

CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations LLC
(212) 966-4600
chris@rc-pr.com

March 9, 2012 - ST. LOUIS RAMS TEAM UP WITH OBI TO HELP WITH HARRISBURG, ILLINOIS TORNADO RELIEF

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

St. Louis Rams Team Up With Operation Blessing Intl. To Help With Harrisburg, IL Tornado Relief Effort On Friday, March 9

HARRISBURG, IL – Players from the St. Louis Rams, along with cheerleaders, the team’s official mascot, Rampage, and members from the front office staff will head to Harrisburg on Friday to help humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International with its tornado cleanup efforts and to spend time with local high school students and residents.

The group will arrive in Harrisburg Friday morning and will team up with Operation Blessing International to volunteer with various ongoing cleanup efforts.

In the afternoon, the group will converge at the Harrisburg High School and will appear at the school assembly with 600 students. This event is also open to the public. The players will sign autographs afterwards.

“Our entire team, including the players, cheerleaders, mascot and staff, is looking forward to teaming up with Operation Blessing to bring some much needed assistance and hope to the Harrisburg community,” said Molly Higgins, vice president of corporate communications and civic affairs, St. Louis Rams. “The Rams pride ourselves on being great community partners and we consider our neighbors in Illinois to be part of our community. We hope our efforts help those impacted by the recent tornado and inspire others to join in the effort to clean up and rebuild this community.”

Jody Herrington-Gettys, director of US disaster relief for Operation Blessing Intl., said, “With a little more than a week having passed since the Leap Day tornadoes, life has been incredibly serious for so many, especially the children. Our hope is that this event would bring smiles and laughter to all.”

Operation Blessing Intl. was a first responder to the tornadoes, deploying its U.S. disaster relief team to Harrisburg within hours of the storm. Working in cooperation with Saline County Emergency Management, the humanitarian organization has coordinated more than 2,100 volunteers since Saturday removing debris, cleaning homes and preparing thousands of meals for local residents.

For more information or to donate to the efforts, please log on to www.ob.org

CONTACT:
CHRIS ROSLAN
ROSLAN & CAMPION PUBLIC RELATIONS
(212) 966-4600
CELL: 917-538-5629
CHRIS@RC-PR.COM <CHRIS@RC-PR.COM>

March 6, 2012 - 15 LOCAL HIGH SCHOOLS PARTNER WITH FUTURE FARMERS OF AMERICA, OBI, AND SALINE...

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For Immediate Release

FIFTEEN LOCAL HIGH SCHOOLS PARTNER WITH FUTURE FARMERS OF AMERICA, OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL, AND SALINE COUNTY OFFICE OF EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT TO CLEAN UP LOCAL FARMLAND ON WEDNESDAY, MARCH 7

HARRISBURG, IL (March 6, 2012) – Student volunteers from fifteen local high schools will converge on Saline County’s farmland on Wednesday to remove debris left in the wake of last week’s tornadoes.
Upwards of 350 students will meet on Wednesday morning (8:30am) at the Operation Blessing Intl. mobile command center, located at “The Foundation Building” at the Southeastern Illinois College Foundation Center (corner of Commercial Drive & Seright Street).

Representatives from the humanitarian organization Operation Blessing Intl., which is coordinating local volunteer efforts in cooperation with the Saline County Office of Emergency Management, will divide the students in groups and manage theday-long effort.

“With the spring season approaching, it’s critical that the farmer’s fields be ready for planting,” says Jody Herrington-Gettys, director of U.S. disaster relief for Operation Blessing International. “While we are also focusing on helping residents who have lost or damaged homes, we want the farmers to know they also have out support and we’ll do whatever we can to assist them.”
Students will be traveling around the county in school buses, stopping to assist farmers in multiple locations.

The students attend fifteen local high schools at take part in the Future Farmers of America (FFA) program. Some of the FFA schools involved include Harrisburg, Eldorado, Galatin County, Albion, West Richland, Nashville, Galatia, Hamilton, Ohley, Greyville, Sparta, Woodlawn, Cisne and West Frank.

Operation Blessing Intl. was a first responder to the tornadoes, deploying its U.S. disaster relief team to Harrisburg within hours of the storm. Working in cooperation with Saline County Emergency Management, the humanitarian organization has coordinated more than 1,800 volunteers since Saturday removing debris, cleaning homes and preparing thousands of meals for local residents.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL: Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the 7th year in a row (2011), a feat that only 2% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

For more information please log on to www.ob.org

CONTACT:
CHRIS ROSLAN
ROSLAN & CAMPION PUBLIC RELATIONS
(212) 966-4600
CELL: 917-538-5629
CHRIS@RC-PR.COM

March 1, 2012 - OBI DEPLOYING U.S. DISASTER RELIEF TEAM TO TORNADO AREA

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OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL DEPLOYING U.S. DISASTER RELIEF TEAM TO TORNADO AREA

–Relief Organization Mobilized–

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (March 1, 2012) – Operation Blessing International (OBI) is dispatching equipment, supplies and personnel to Illinois to provide relief to those impacted by the recent tornadoes.

According to reports, a severe storm system moved across the Midwest and Western/Central plains on Wednesday, February 29, bringing tornado & severe weather damage to several states. Officials have confirmed several fatalities and more than 100 injuries with homes and businesses either damaged or destroyed.

Under the direction of Jody Herrington-Gettys, OBI dispatched personnel to the disaster area by Wednesday evening with additional staff, equipment and supplies to arrive later today. The equipment arriving today includes a construction trailer packed with tools and volunteer supplies, the OBI Mobile Command Center, a skid steer to remove debris, and a mobile kitchen that is capable of serving thousands of hot meals per day.

In addition, OBI has other heavy equipment on standby including a CAT924 front-end loader and a 20-ton crane, as well as a box truck full of cots and volunteer housing supplies. The equipment will be deployed as needed for the relief effort.
OBI will meet with local emergency management officials and will set up a base of operations. Once established, the organization will begin accepting work requests from local residents needing help and will also put out a call for volunteers wishing to help the cleanup efforts under the coordination and management of OBI team leaders.

Stay tuned to www.ob.org for more information.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL: Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the 7th year in a row (2011), a feat that only 2% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

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CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations LLC
(212) 966-4600
chris@rc-pr.com

February 27, 2012 - 10 NEW BOATS TO JAPANESE FISHERMEN DEVASTATED BY TSUNAMI

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Operation Blessing Int’l And SAP Solidarity Fund To Deliver 10 New Boats To Japanese Fishermen Devastated By Tsunami Custom Made Boats, Built by Maine Company, to be Presented on March 10 in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (February 27, 2012) – Operation Blessing International (OBI) and multinational software company, SAP, will present 10 new fishing boats to Japanese fishermen whose livelihoods were ruined in the 2011 earthquake and tsunami.
As part of the Virginia Beach-based humanitarian organization?s ongoing efforts to help Japanese fishing communities devastated by the disaster, OBI commissioned 20 boats to be built by General Marine of Biddeford, ME. The first 10 boats were funded by a generous donation from SAP Solidarity Fund through its Tohoku Earthquake Aid and Relief Strategy (SAP TEARS) humanitarian program.

SAP Japan?s CSR TEARS (Tohoku Earthquake Aid and Relief Strategy) team and OBI staff will officially present the new 10-boat mini-fleet to fishermen in ceremonies on March 10 in Kesennuma, Miyagi Prefecture, Japan, the day before the one-year anniversary of the disaster.

“We are so thankful for SAP?s generous sponsorship of these first ten boats of OBI?s program,” said Bill Horan, OBI president. “The delivery of the 10 boats will be most helpful, since there remains a critical need. Today, there is a waiting list as long as a year, even longer, because Japanese boat builders are simply overwhelmed. We hope this will ease the burden for some,” said Horan.

OBI is committed to help multiple fishing communities, which estimate 5,000 boats were lost in the tsunami. Since the 2011 disaster, OBI has been scouring Japan and has found more than 50 reliable used boats and motors that the charity purchased and delivered to selected families. Since those boat donations were „a drop in the ocean of need? due to thousands of fishermen without work and boats, Horan and OBI commissioned General Marine to build the 20 new boats, which are based on a design that OBI developed in consultation with the local fishermen. In addition to fishing, the boats will be used for oyster and seaweed cultivation, harvesting shellfish and catching octopus.

In another project, OBI provided laptop computers to the JF Miyagi Fisheries Cooperative, for the fishermen to reach out to the nation via their own Web page. Since the project?s launch, the cooperative has received pre-orders worth several million dollars for seafood to be delivered when the industry is revitalized.

OBI also provided $650,000 worth of seaweed and oyster cultivation equipment to the Urato Islands, which are famous for oysters. OBI provided anchors, rope, scallop shells used for cultivating oysters, floats, nets, small trucks, and computers. Due to OBI’s swift action, the oystermen were able to harvest in the same year as the tsunami, a timeline that was unthinkable by most in the community. In recognition of this achievement, the Mayor of Shiogama City honored OBI for getting them back on their feet so quickly.

Recently, OBI placed an order with a Chinese manufacturer to produce a special rope used by seaweed cultivators that is currently hard to find in Japan because of huge demand since the disaster. By delivering this rope, OBI is determined to help cultivators along the coast get back to work and see the return of income.

In the coming months, OBI hopes to continue its boat donation program and has found a manufacturer in China to produce a 23-foot fishing boat similar to a model favored by local Japanese fishermen.

“We will be launching a new sponsorship program where community groups, churches and other organizations across Japan and elsewhere will be able to donate to the cost of building new boats for fishing families.”

One of the first relief organizations on the ground in Japan, hours after the earthquake struck, OBI has delivered tons of relief supplies and equipment to tens of thousands of survivors through the charity?s Tohoku Operations Center in Tomiya, north of Sendai, Japan. To date, OBI has provided assistance to victims in Shiogama, Urato Islands (Katsurajima, Nonoshima, Sabusawa), Ishinomaki, Onagawa, Ogatsu, Tome, Minami Sanriku, Kessenuma, Watari, Yamamoto , Rikuzentakata, Otsuchi, Yamada, and Miyako, an area stretching 184 miles along the tsunami devastated coastline of Miyagi and Iwate Prefectures.

For more information log on to www.ob.org

In Japanese, go to www.objapan.org

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL: Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2010, OBI was awarded Charity Navigator?s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the 7th year in a row, a feat that only 2% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

ABOUT SAP:
As market leader in enterprise application software, SAP (NYSE: SAP) helps companies of all sizes and industries run better. From back office to boardroom, warehouse to storefront, desktop to mobile device – SAP empowers people and organizations to work together more efficiently and use business insight more effectively to stay ahead of the competition. SAP applications and services enable more than 183,000 customers (includes customers from the acquisition of Sybase) to operate profitably, adapt continuously, and grow sustainably. For more information, visit www.sap.com.

CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations Inc
(212) 966-4600
chris@rc-pr.com

January 10, 2012 - HAITI MAKING PROGRESS AS 2ND ANNIVERSARY OF QUAKE NEARS

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HAITI MAKING PROGRESS AS 2ND ANNIVERSARY OF QUAKE NEARS

— Operation Blessing International still present, while many others have left —

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (January 10, 2012) – On Jan. 12, 2010, a 7.0 magnitude earthquake with an epicenter less than 20 miles from Haiti’s capital, Port-au-Prince, killed an estimated 316,000, injured a million, made homeless 1.5 million to 1.8 million, and either collapsed or severely damaged an estimated quarter-million commercial buildings and residences. Some 52 aftershocks measuring 4.5 or greater were recorded within 12 days following the initial quake.

As the 2nd anniversary of this major disaster approaches, a progress report by Operation Blessing International (OBI), one of the relief organizations still on the ground in the impoverished Caribbean nation still working and aiding the victims, shows that significant progress is being made but there is still a great need for support.

According to OBI’s president, Bill Horan, while Haiti remains the poorest nation in the hemisphere, many positive and encouraging things are happening, including:

–Better basic infrastructure development emerging especially in the water sector

–There is a better government in place and more people around the world are aware of Haiti’s struggle and are willing to help

–Humanitarian groups have started many new initiatives, fueled by quake relief donations. But what is needed most today, aside from more housing for those in tent camps, is what was needed before the quake hit.
Yet, while Horan states there are positives, he also says there are a number of areas that still need improvement in Haiti:

–Sufficient access to basic resources still limited to the majority of the population

–Smoother importation procedures, as bureaucracy is hindering foreign interest in investing in new businesses because of lengthy waits and expense of clearing shipments through Customs.

–Haiti needs better security. The police need modern communication equipment; there is no 911-type emergency service.

–Many humanitarian organizations that exhausted their quake funds have left, with only a few remaining, including OBI.
“For many Haitians, life has returned to normal, but for those who lost homes, life is still completely upside down,” said Horan. “For those who want to help, support only the relief organizations that are getting traction and can prove it.”

Horan cited several of the numerous projects undertaken and still in progress by OBI including:

–OBI constructed a Tilapia Aquaculture facility in Port Au Prince. This tilapia farm will have a yearly output of up to 50,000 lbs. of fish — very important for Haiti where many people, especially children, suffer from protein deficiencies. Fish is highly desired, but stocks have declined from over fishing, meaning most fish consumed is imported, and expensive. An added bonus to this project is that excess water will irrigate a field of vegetables alongside the tanks. This water has a high level of nutrients and will decrease or eliminate the amount of additional fertilizer necessary for plant growth.

–Home for disabled orphans, Zanmi Beni, built by OBI that is run in conjunction with Dr. Paul Farmer’s Partners in Health. This is a home for some 50-orphaned children with varying degrees of disability.

–OBI hosts U.S. medical teams every month. The first of these were groups of doctors and nurses from Mayo Clinic that provided support to the cholera clinic and outpatient clinic at St. Luc’s Hospital. Teams have also included specialist surgical teams who provided essential surgeries in the St. Damien’s surgical facility.

–Completed construction of a multipurpose emergency / surgical medical facility at St. Luc’s Family Hospital. This facility will house an emergency department with numerous patient bays, two surgical suites, and both pre and post operative care rooms.

–OBI partnered with the Clinton Foundation to install a number of donated tanks for rainwater catchment in villages surrounding Lake Azuei. OBI will build community centers in these villages that will double as a rainwater collection system, channeling the water to connected storage tanks for villager use. This project will begin soon

–A main focus of OBI has been water purification with 35 large units shipped in following the quake. Each unit has the capacity of providing 10,000 gals. of safe drinking water per day. Many units are still deployed in camps and strategic locations in Port Au Prince. At the height of the relief efforts, Operation Blessing was providing safe drinking water to over 100,000 people everyday.

–OBI was a first responder to the Cholera Outbreak in October 2010 with water purification equipment, liquid chlorine and Lifesaver Jerrycans to the Artibonite region. OBI still operates five purification units in the region providing up to 50,000 gals. of safe water per day. The relief org. also worked with St Damien’s / St Luc’s hospital in Tabarre to construct a cholera treatment center. The center has so far treated over 20,000 cholera victims.

–Installed a ClorTec CT-75 sodium hypochlorite generation system that has the capability to produce 1200 gals. of liquid sodium hypochlorite (food grade bleach), daily. This is enough chlorine to disinfect 3.6 million gals. of drinking water each day. OBI immediately began distributing this chlorine to hospitals, cholera clinics, orphanages, etc. for the disinfections of drinking water, the treatment of gray water, surface disinfection and for general sanitation purposes. Severn Trent Services donated the ClorTec unit to OBI.

–Installed a complete water treatment system at St. Damien’s Children’s Hospital

–Drilled over 30 wells since the earthquake in various communities and camps. The well drilling program is about to increase significantly with the purchase of a new drilling rig.

–Built a large multipurpose building at Zanmi Beni children’s home. The facility includes a large kitchen for meal preparation, large dining hall with seating for 100, two-storage depots, and a room being outfitted as a bread bakery. Construction was completed in June, with the bakery to go online in December. OBI also built a 30 bedroom, two-story dorm to house the children.

–Distributed 3,400 wheelchairs through ongoing partnership with the Free Wheelchair Mission.

–OBI partnered with various pharmaceutical companies to ship over $150,000,000 worth of medicine for distribution through the national ministry of health hospital network.

–Partnered with the U.S. Military to bring free medical care to three villages in the Artibonite region, the same region heavily affected last year by the cholera outbreak. The clinics lasted 10 days in each village, and included free checkups, medicines and dental care. People treated varied from 700-1000 per day.

–Distributed over 20,000 pairs of Toms shoes to children in various camps and orphanages throughout the country.

For more information on OBI’s efforts in Haiti, or to make a donation to these efforts, please visit: www.ob.org

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL: Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the 7th year in a row (2011), a feat that only 2% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

# # #

CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations LLC
(212) 966-4600
chris@rc-pr.com

October 26, 2011- OBI RESPONDING TO DEADLY EARTHQUAKE IN EASTERN TURKEY

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OBI RESPONDING TO DEADLY EARTHQUAKE IN EASTERN TURKEY

OBI and longtime partner, The German Charity Humedica, Team-Up To Provide Relief

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (October 26, 2010) — Operation Blessing International (OBI) and its longtime disaster relief partner, the German charity Humedica, are in Turkey to provide relief for victims of a 7.2.magnitude earthquake that hit the eastern part of the nation last Sunday (Oct. 23).

To date, more than 430 have died with some 1,352 reported injured, as rescue teams continue to search for survivors
beneath the rubble. Turkey is particularly vulnerable to earthquakes because it sits on major geological fault lines,
according to the United States Geological Survey (USGS).

OBI and a Humedica medical team arrived in the city of Van on Tuesday evening (10/25) and then set up a field hospital
at a local gym in Ercis. Both OBI and Humedica are working with Turkish government medical teams to help victims.

Today, OBI secured and distributed two truckloads of bottled water, 3,500 ready to eat meals, diaper kits and other
materials to a camp with some 170 displaced families.

Here are brief video reports and photo galleries on initial relief efforts:
Video #1: http://www.ob.org/_video/video_player.asp?videoName=dr_102611_Turkey
Video #2: http://www.ob.org/_video/video_player.asp?videoName=dr_102711_Turkey

Photo Gallery: Hopes in Turkey’s Tent Cities: http://www.flickr.com/photos/operationblessing/sets/72157627852997041/show/
Photo Gallery: Relief for Turkey Quake Victims: http://www.flickr.com/photos/operationblessing/sets/72157627985779982/show/

According to news reports, an aftershock with a magnitude of 5.4 shook the province of Van. The Kandilli Observatory
and Earthquake Research Institute said the epicenter of the aftershock was Degirmenozu, between Van and Ercis, which
was worst hit.

For more information or to donate, please log on to www.ob.org

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief,
medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis.
OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the 7th year in a row (2011),
a feat that only 2% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient
charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th
largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235
million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

# # #
Contact:
Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

September 1, 2011- 40 BOATS TO JAPANESE FISHERMEN IDLED SINCE QUAKE-TSUNAMI

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Operation Blessing Intl. Providing 40 Boats To Japanese Fishermen Idled Since Quake-Tsunami

– Delivery set for Sept. 4th –

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (Sept. 1, 2011) – Japanese fishermen whose way-of-life was severely impacted following the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami, are getting help from the American humanitarian organization, Operation Blessing International (OBI), who will deliver 40 fishing boats to local fishermen in Hikado Fishing Harbor (Kessenuma, Japan) who have been out of work since the disaster. The boat delivery is the first of what could be a donation of hundreds of boats by OBI in
the coming weeks to several months.

When the 8.9 magnitude earthquake struck, the most powerful known to hit the island nation and one of the five most powerful ever since modern day record-keeping began, Japan’s fishing industry was nearly decimated as thousands of boats and entire
seaweed and shellfish cultivation operations were destroyed.

“The earthquake wiped out the means of making a living for thousands of traditional seaweed, shellfish, and conventional fishing families,” said OBI president Bill Horan. “Many of the boat builders were also destroyed, so there is currently an extended waiting time for new boats to be built – up to a year. That is simply too long of a wait for these hard-working fishermen, so we combed the country and found good used boats and motors that met our standards. Come Sept. 4 we will deliver 40 boats and motors
to selected families, all with children,” said Horan.

But this is just the first step. Horan said he found a boat builder in the U.S.A. who specializes in workboats, and it is very likely that OBI will be able to place an order for at least 20 boats, possibly more.
“If this pilot project works, we’ll be in a position to offer our donors the opportunity to adopt boats for Japanese fishermen and their families,” Horan said.

One of the first relief organizations to arrive, hours after the earthquake struck, OBI delivered tons of food, water and kerosene to survivors in devastated areas. In addition, the charity delivered industrial grade generators, refrigerators and washing machines to the isolated Urato Islands lying off the coast of Miyagi.

More recently, the charity has focused on helping fishing communities that lost homes, workplaces, boats, fishing equipment, nets, oyster and seaweed cultivation apparatus to the tsunami. In one project, OBI provided laptop computers to the JF Miyagi Fisheries Cooperative, for the fishermen to reach out to the nation via their own Web page. Since the project’s launch, the cooperative has received pre-orders worth several million dollars for sea produce to be delivered when the industry is revitalized.

In another ongoing project, OBI provided fishermen on the Urato Islands with oyster and seaweed cultivation equipment and gill nets. The gill net fishermen are already producing good catches of flatfish and other varieties that are being sold at the reopened Shiogama Fish Market, one of four major fishing ports on the Miyagi Coast, and the only port able to reopen since the earthquake.

On June 1, OBI opened its Tohoku Operations Center in the town of Tomiya, just north of Sendai, strategically located to provide quick access for OBI teams reaching out to various parts of the disaster zone. From April through August, Operation Blessing
conducted eyeglass clinics in 18 locations along the coast of Miyagi and Iwate Prefecture providing free eye exams and prescription glasses to almost 2,000 survivors living in shelters and temporary housing. This unique program provides glasses to survivors who lost their glasses to the tsunami. To date, the organization has provided assistance to disaster victims in Shiogama, Urato Islands (Katsurajima, Nonoshima, Sabusawa), Ishinomaki, Onagawa, Ogatsu, Tome, Minami Sanriku, Oya, Motoyoshi, Kessenuma, Rikuzentakata, and Otsuchi.

For more information log on to www.ob.org or, in Japanese, www.objapan.org

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the 7th year in a row (2011), a feat that only 2% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

# # #

CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

August 26, 2011- OBI PREPARED FOR MAJOR HURRICANE RESPONSE IN HAMPTON ROADS AREA

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OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL PREPARED FOR MAJOR HURRICANE RESPONSE IN HAMPTON ROADS AREA

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (August 26, 2011) – Operation Blessing International (OBI) is prepared for a major relief effort should Hurricane Irene strike the Hampton Roads area as predicted.

The humanitarian organization’s domestic disaster relief team, which has its headquarters in Virginia Beach, has pre-staged staff and equipment in order to provide disaster relief resources immediately after the storm passes and a level of support during the storm.

The team, led by Jody Herrington-Gettys, director of U.S. disaster relief for OBI, has partnered with local officials including the Virginia Beach Emergency Operations Center (EOC) and the Virginia Beach Emergency Manager to coordinate response.

To prepare for a rapid response, OBI has pre-staged an array of heavy equipment from Ocala, Florida at its headquarters near the Christian Broadcasting Network and Regent University campuses. Current in place or en route are:

-Mobile Command Center

-Mobile kitchen equipped to feed 2500+ meals per day

-70 KW Generator with the wiring needed to power entire buildings.

-Two Clean-up/Construction Trailers packed full supplies, tools, and equipment to coordinate/manage volunteer teams to help residents recover their belongings and clean-up their property

-40K Square Ft. of roofing material including tarps and wood -Shower Trailer – Equipped with 8 showers (hot and cold water) which be available for residents, volunteers and/or staff -Skid Steer

-Used to clear debris from roadways and private property

-Box truck full of relief supplies such as MREs, water, hygiene kits, and more

-CAT 924 Loader: Used for clearing roadways for emergency personnel and home owners

-20 Ton Peterbuilt Crane Additionally, OBI’s Chesapeake warehouse is stocked with some 200 cots, a 40′ X 60′ large tent, several 10 X 20 tents, food and many other supplies that will augment volunteer operations, including setting up a POD (Point of Distribution) and feeding operations.

Jody Herrington-Gettys said, “Operation Blessing is a first responder to disasters all over the world, providing life sustaining resources within hours. Now we are faced with a potentially historic hurricane right here at home. Our equipment and seasoned staff are safely positioned in Virginia Beach and ready to provide the same life sustaining resources to the Hampton Roads community immediately after the storm passes.”

VOLUNTEERS NEEDED:
Should there be extensive damage in the Hampton Roads community, OBI will be accepting volunteers in teams of three or more people (no individuals) to help remove debris, repair homes and serve hot meals. Volunteers must provide their own transportation to and from job sites and OBI will provide lodging, food, tools, work order coordination and management. Out-of-Town Volunteers wishing to help must call OBI’s office of National Volunteer Management at 757.226.3407 or via e-mail at volunteer@ob.org. Out-of-Town Volunteers must register at least 48 hours in advance. For more information on volunteer opportunities please stay tuned to www.ob.org

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the 7th year in a row (2011), a feat that only 2% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.
So far in 2011, OBI’s domestic disaster relief team has responded to tornadoes in Joplin, MO, Deltaville, VA and Birmingham, AL. During those efforts, the charity has coordinated more than 36,000 volunteer hours, delivered more than 91,000lbs of food, provided nearly 29,000 meals and led efforts with partner organizations including The Home Depot on a number of rebuilding projects.

# # # #
CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

July 20, 2011- OBI TO DELIVER HUMANITARIAN AID TO SOUTH SUDAN NEXT WEEK

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OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL TO DELIVER HUMANITARIAN AID TO SOUTH SUDAN NEXT WEEK

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (JULY 21, 2011) – The international humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International (OBI) will deliver critical relief supplies to the new country of South Sudan starting next week. Bill Horan, president of the charity, made the announcement today.

Operation Blessing International has worked in Darfur and South Sudan for several years offering medical, educational and other relief efforts. Representatives from the charity were invited to the Celebration of Independence event in Juba earlier this month, where officials of the new South Sudan government requested that OBI donate certain medicines and supplies to be used for emergency medical relief for refugees in and around Juba.

OBI is responding by sending:

-750,000 doses of Mebendazole, a highly effective medication in the fight against internal parasites. Intestinal worms pose serious health problems in developing countries where food is hard to come by. In many cases, the parasites consume as much as 25 percent of the food that an infested person eats, thus depriving the body of nutrition. Young children are exceptionally at risk. Other results of worm infestation are a weakened immune system, chronic sickness, stunted growth, a reduced cognitive ability, headaches and stomach pains.

-Two complete World Health Organization (WHO) Emergency Health Kits. Each kit, as designed by the WHO, includes all the components necessary to operate a field medical clinic for 10,000 people for 90 days. Each emergency kit contains ten identical boxes, each one meant for 1000 people, and each consisting of a basic and supplementary unit. The basic unit is intended for use by primary health care workers with limited training and located in remote areas. It contains non-injectable medications, medical supplies and some essential equipment, accompanied by simple treatment guidelines. The supplementary unit contains medication, renewable supplies and equipment needed by doctors working in first- or second-referral health facilities. Basic equipment in the kits includes a complete sterilization set and items to help provide for clean water at the health facility.

-In addition to the medical supplies, Operation Blessing is sending a shipment of nonfood items such as tents, blankets, jerry cans, water purification tablets, sanitary packs, and soap. -OBI is flying in a chlorine generator capable of producing enough sodium hypochlorite (food grade chlorine) to disinfect 360,000 gallons of water a day. This generator was requested by the teaching hospital in Juba, since potable water is a problem there. OBI currently uses similar generators in both Haiti and Mexico, providing clean drinking water to thousands of people daily.

OBI president Bill Horan and David Darg, director of international disaster relief and special projects for the charity, will travel to South Sudan next week to meet with government leaders to discuss future humanitarian relief efforts.
“South Sudan has turned an important new page in its history by becoming its own nation, however there is still a significant humanitarian need here that needs to be addressed,” said Bill Horan. “Operation Blessing looks forward to working with the new government to continue offering assistance where it is needed.”

About Operation Blessing International:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row (2009), a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

# # #
NOTE- The OBI team will have a BGAN satellite unit and can offer b-roll video from efforts in South Sudan. For interviews with Bill Horan or David Darg from Juba, please contact:

Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

May 27, 2011- OB INTL. ARRIVES IN DEVASTATED JOPLIN FOR TORNADO RELIEF

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OPERATION BLESSING INTL. ARRIVES IN DEVASTATED JOPLIN FOR TORNADO RELIEF

Volunteers Needed For Cleanup Efforts Beginning Friday

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (May 27, 2011) – The Virginia Beach-based humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International (OBI) has arrived in Joplin, MO for tornado relief efforts. Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing International, made the announcement today.

The charity’s domestic disaster relief team, under the direction of Jody Herrington-Gettys, arrived on Wednesday and set up a base of operations at The Bridge, a Joplin youth ministry (3405 S. Hammons Blvd.). Here, OBI staff are partnering with The Bridge distributing relief supplies, coordinating volunteers and accepting work order requests from local homeowners.
The charity has also set up a work order intake station at the FEMA Disaster Relief Center to accept work orders from residents whose homes were damaged by the tornado.

The charity has already delivered three trailer-truckloads containing over 90,000 pounds of ready-to-eat meals, drinks, canned foods, pasta and hygiene items that are being distributed by hundreds of teen volunteers at The Bridge.
OBI is also transporting a caravan of equipment from Birmingham, Alabama, where it has spent the last several weeks helping local residents recover from the tornadoes that struck there late April. The convoy includes a CAT924 front end loader, 20-ton crane, skid steer, 2 construction and clean-up trailers packed with tools and volunteer supplies, the OBI Mobile Command Center, a mobile kitchen that is capable of serving thousands of hot meals per day, and a box truck full of cots and volunteer housing supplies.

“As we drove into Joplin, the scenes of destruction where unimaginable,” said Jody Herrington-Gettys. “But once we saw how the faith-based community here has rallied together to help those in need, our spirits soared. Hundreds of volunteers are providing comfort to local residents who have lost everything, not only through relief supplies, but also through sharing love and hope.”

Residents Needing Help:
Residents needing help cleaning up their homes and/or blue roof installation can submit work requests with Operation Blessing International at either the FEMA Disaster Relief Center (First United Methodist Church, 501 W Byers) or The Bridge (3405 S. Hammons Blvd). For more information please phone 757.274.8650.

Want to Help:
The charity will be accepting out-of-town volunteer teams (two or more people) beginning on Monday. Volunteers must provide their own transportation to and from job sites and OBI will provide lodging, food, tools, work order coordination and management. Out-of-Town Volunteers wishing to help must call Jolyn Turner, National Volunteer Manger, at 757.226.3407 or via e-mail at volunteer@ob.org. Out-of-Town Volunteer must register at least 48 hours in advance.

Local volunteers (Joplin area) please meet at The Bridge (3405 S. Hammons Blvd) beginning Friday by 8:15 AM. Work assignments and orientation will take place at 8:30 AM. The volunteer/work day will be 8:30AM-4:30PM. For questions please call OBI’s on-site volunteer coordinator at 757.374.0944.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row (2009), a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

# # #
FOR INTERVIEWS WITH JODY HERRINGTON-GETTYS PLEASE CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

May 2, 2011 - OBI HELPING TORNADO RELIEF IN BIRMINGHAM SUBURB OF PRATT CITY, ALABAMA

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OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL HELPING TORNADO RELIEF IN BIRMINGHAM SUBURB OF PRATT CITY, ALABAMA

Relief Group Seeking Volunteers; Local Homeowners Can Submit Work Request Orders

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (May 2, 2011) – Operation Blessing International’s (OBI) domestic disaster relief team has deployed to Pratt City, Alabama, a suburb of Birmingham that was devastated by tornadoes. OBI left its Virginia Beach, VA headquarters on Thursday (April 28) and arrived in Birmingham later that evening. The convoy included a mobile command center, mobile kitchen that is capable of serving thousands of hot meals daily, along with a 20-ton crane, Cat 924 loader, 20 cubic yard dump truck, construction trailer and skid steer.

Under the direction of Jody Herrington-Gettys, director of U.S. disaster relief for Operation Blessing International, the team is working directly with the Jefferson County Emergency Operations Center. OBI has set up a base of operations at Westwood Baptist Church and has served over 7,765 meals to first responders and search and rescue teams from its mobile kitchen on the site.

NEED HELP:
OBI is currently accepting work orders from homeowners. Requests can be submitted at Daniel Payne Middle School (1500 Daniel Payne Hwy Birmingham). If you need help with debris removal and cleanup in the Pratt City area, please call 757.274.8650 or come to the school to fill out a work request form from 8:30AM–4:00PM Monday–Saturday.

WANT TO HELP:
If you would like to volunteer with Operation Blessing to help residents in the Pratt City area, please call 757.226.3407. Alternately, you can volunteer on-site Monday–Saturday by arriving at Daniel Payne Middle School at 8:15AM. The volunteer workday is from 8:30AM–4:30PM. The charity has limited lodging availability for out-of-town volunteers, however they must register by calling 757.226.3407 at least 48 hours in advance of arrival.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row (2009), a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

# # #
FOR INTERVIEWS WITH JODY HERRINGTON-GETTYS PLEASE CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

April 26, 2011- RELIEF ORGANIZATION BLASTS FALSE REPORT ON ITS HAITI MOSQUITO CONTROL PROGRAM

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Operation Blessing Did Not Import Gambusia Holbrooki Fish Into Haiti; Haitian Government Allowed Group to use Gambusia Affinis

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (April 26, 2011) – A widely circulating blog containing false and erroneous information prompted Bill Horan, president of the charitable relief organization Operation Blessing International (OBI), to issue the following statement regarding its relief effort and its mosquito control program in Haiti:

“There is false and misleading information currently circulating on the Internet, and it is important to correct and set the record straight. Operation Blessing International did NOT bring gambusia holbrooki fish into Haiti. As we have done with every mosquito control project we undertake, we painstakingly researched the presence of different species of gambusia in Haiti?s waters. We do this to ensure that only fish already present are introduced. OBI did this research in Haiti and never introduced gambusia holbrooki as is being incorrectly reported,” said Horan.

Moreover, Horan noted that OBI?s partner on the project is Dr. Val Abe, an esteemed Haitian aquaculture expert, founder of the Haitian charity Caribbean Harvest, and one of Time Magazine?s 100 Most Influential People 2010.

“Dr. Abe specifically requested gambusia affinis, since his research showed that the affinis had previously been introduced into Haiti?s waters and also because they are the most effective at mosquito control,” Horan said.

Furthermore, both Haiti?s Ministry of Agriculture and Ministry of Environment spent over a year thoroughly vetting the charitable relief organization?s plan to bring gambusia affinis into Haiti. Both Ministries approved the plan in writing, giving OBI full permission to import the gambusia affinis.

“OBI?s intention is to only release the fish into mosquito-infested water that will completely dry out in the warm weather, such as drainage canals, large puddles and standing water around tent camps. OBI has no plan to distribute the fish into open water systems such as rivers and lakes,” Horan said.

Operation Blessing International?s mosquito fish program in Haiti is modeled after its successful “Bug Busters” program in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. Beginning in 2006, OBI staff and volunteers worked with local and federal authorities to raise and stock gambusia in thousands of stagnant swimming pools around the city. As a result of this project, OBI was credited by the City of New Orleans as having averted an outbreak of West Nile Virus. In fact, a portion of OBI?s program in New Orleans is ongoing, five years after Katrina, now being managed by The City of New Orleans Mosquito Control.

Steve Sackett, retired City of New Orleans entomologist and marine biologist for the State of Louisiana said, “New Orleans came to a standstill after Hurricane Katrina. Operation Blessing came in, offered to help with mosquito control using an environmentally friendly approach, and knocked the ball out of the park with its „Bug Busters? program.”

Horan concludes; “The fact is gambusia affinis are the most effective in controlling mosquitoes and are used in many countries around the world to help relieve human pain and suffering from malaria and other diseases on a large scale, which speaks directly to the mission of Operation Blessing International.”

For more information please visit www.ob.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. OBI was awarded Charity Navigator?s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row (2009), a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

# # #
For interviews with Bill Horan, please contact:
Chris Roslan
Dera, Roslan & Campion Inc.
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

April 18, 2011 - OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL RESPONDING TO LOCAL VIRGINIA TORNADOES

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OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL RESPONDING TO LOCAL VIRGINIA TORNADOES

-Charity Asking For Local Volunteers To Help With Cleanup-

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (April 18, 2011) – Operation Blessing International, the 6th largest international charity, is responding to a devastating series of tornadoes right in its own backyard, with a disaster relief team deployed to Deltaville, Virginia.

Deltaville is a small community of roughly three thousand residents. Some 25 homes were completely destroyed by the storms, with another 40 severely damaged.

The team, led by the charity’s director of U.S. disaster relief Jody Herrington-Gettys, left its Virginia Beach headquarters yesterday with a convoy including a mobile command center, a portable kitchen that can feed thousands, a utility trailer, a skid steer and other debris removal equipment. They immediately set up the portable kitchen at the Philippi Christian Church (17276 General Puller Highway) to provide free hot meals to storm victims and emergency responders last night and all day today. Also today, the OBI team is using heavy equipment to help with debris removal.

OBI will be accepting volunteers Tuesday (April 19) through Saturday (April 23) to help residents clean debris. Anyone interested in volunteering should meet at Philippi Christian Church (17276 General Puller Hwy, Deltaville) at 8:30am each day. All volunteers should wear long pants (jeans OK) with closed-toe shoes. OBI will provide lunch, tools, and management. Each day will wrap up by 4:30pm. Volunteers needing more information please phone (757) 374-0944.

Residents needing help with clean up should phone (757) 274-8650, or go to Philippi Christian Church (17276 General Puller Hwy, Deltaville) to fill out a work request form.

Bill Horan, president of OBI, said, “I just got back from Japan where OBI is serving tsunami victims and a few days later, here we are assisting fellow Virginia residents who are victims of this weekend’s tornadoes. The damage in Japan is more widespread, but the pain of losing one’s home is hard to put into words in any language.”

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row (2009), a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

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FOR INTERVIEWS WITH BILL HORAN OR JODY HERRINGTON-GETTYS PLEASE CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

April 6, 2011 - OBI TO DEPLOY 20 INDUSTRIAL ELECTRICAL GENERATORS TO THE URATO ISLANDS, JAPAN

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LET THERE BE LIGHT: OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL TO DEPLOY 20 INDUSTRIAL ELECTRICAL GENERATORS TO THE URATO ISLANDS, JAPAN

Leesburg, Florida Company, PowerTech, Manufacturing Generators; Will Ship From Orlando To Japan On Friday, April 8

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (April 6, 2011) – The international humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International (OBI) has purchased 20 industrial-grade electrical generators from Leesburg, Florida-based PowerTech Generators that will ship from Orlando to Japan this Friday, April 8, 2011.

The generators will be deployed around the Urato Islands, a fishing community consisting of four islands. The earthquake and tsunami destroyed the oyster cultivation equipment and seaweed farms the residents depend on for their livelihood. Plus, the underwater electrical cable supplying the four islands was badly damaged and is not expected to be repaired for six months.
On a trip to the Urato Islands last week, Operation Blessing International president Bill Horan learned about the need for electricity and acted quickly to provide the generators. Using funds given by the charity’s donors specifically for Japanese disaster relief, OBI purchased the twenty, 6.6-kilowatt diesel generators from Leesburg-based PowerTech.

“We looked all over Japan for diesel generators, but they were sold out everywhere. It became clear that the fastest way to acquire them would be to have them built in the USA. PowerTech, a leader in the manufacturing of industrial generators, was ready and able to build the units at lightning speed and at the custom voltage needed for use in Japan. Our longtime partner DHL also agreed to transport the units at cost.” The 20 generators will be flown from the Orlando airport to Tokyo this Friday and delivered to the islands on April 12th. The units will be deployed around the four islands and will supply enough electricity to provide strategic needs including ice making, refrigeration, lights and communication equipment, since communication with the islands is currently not possible with the electricity out of service.

Said Horan, “Besides the physical benefits these generators will provide, they will also provide hope in the hearts of those stricken by the disaster. Donors from all over America are bringing light to a dark place through Operation Blessing. We are living our faith in a most significant way.”

Operation Blessing International was a first responder to the disaster, with David Darg, the charity’s director of international disaster relief, arriving roughly 72 hours after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. To date, OBI has delivered emergency relief supplies including thousands of pounds of rice, bread, fruit, warm clothing, cooking stoves, candles and canned food, bottled water, hygiene supplies, and kerosene that have helped thousands of survivors in cities including Rikuzen Takata, Shiogama, and Ishinomaki. The charity also hosted three eye care clinics in Shiogama that provided over 450 survivors with free eyeglasses.

To donate to this effort or learn more about Operation Blessing International’s relief efforts in Japan or humanitarian work in 23 other countries, please log on to www.ob.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row (2009), a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

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FOR INTERVIEWS PLEASE CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

May 30, 2011 - NEW EYEGLASSES FOR 1,400 JAPAN QUAKE/TSUNAMI SURVIVORS

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NEW EYEGLASSES FOR 1,400 JAPAN QUAKE/TSUNAMI SURVIVORS: OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL HOSTING THREE FREE EYE CLINICS THIS WEEKEND

SHIOGAMA, JAPAN (March 30, 2011) – The Virginia Beach-based humanitarian organization, Operation Blessing International will be providing 1,400 survivors of the earthquake and tsunami in Japan with free prescription eyeglasses and reading glasses this weekend when the charity hosts three free eye clinics.

The clinics will take place on Friday (10am-4pm), Saturday (9am-4pm) and Sunday (9-4pm) in Shiogama. On hand at each clinic will be an optometrist, a lens technician, and a leadership team from Operation Blessing International including president Bill Horan, director of international disaster relief David Darg, and Japan disaster relief manager Don Thomson. Patients will have the option to choose from 5 different frames. OBI will initially be offering free prescription glasses to 800 people and free reading glasses to 600 people.

Operation Blessing International was a first responder to the disaster, with David Darg, the charity’s director of international disaster relief, arriving roughly 72 hours after the March 11th earthquake and tsunami. To date, OBI has delivered emergency relief supplies including thousands of pounds of rice, bread, fruit, warm clothing, cooking stoves, candles and canned food, bottled water, hygiene supplies, and kerosene that have helped thousands of survivors in cities including Rikuzen Takata, Shiogama, and Ishinomaki.

“In addition to our distributions of vital supplies such as food and fuel, we found out that there was a need for everyday items such as eyeglasses,” said Darg. Many tsunami victims lost all their possessions including prescription glasses, some as they fled from the wave, others when their homes were destroyed. Being able to see clearly is a good first step in helping the survivors to deal with their loss and begin to look forward to recovery.”

Darg added, “Thanks to the generosity of our donors, Operation Blessing International has been able to purchase the 1,400 pairs of glasses needed for this effort.”

To donate to this effort or learn more about Operation Blessing International’s relief efforts in Japan or humanitarian work in 23 other countries, please log on to www.ob.org or www.myowneye.org

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row (2009), a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

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FOR INTERVIEWS WITH BILL HORAN OR DAVID DARG IN JAPAN PLEASE CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

March 24, 2011 - OBI DELIVERS 4 TONS OF RELIEF SUPPLIES TO SHELTERS, HOSPITAL IN ISHINOMAKI, JAPAN

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For Immediate Release

OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL DELIVERS 4 TONS OF RELIEF SUPPLIES TO SHELTERS, HOSPITAL IN ISHINOMAKI, JAPAN

–Charity Purchases 1.5 Tons Of Rice From Local Farmer For Distribution In Hard-Hit Areas–

ISHINOMAKI, JAPAN (March 24, 2011) – The Virginia Beach-based Operation Blessing International (OBI) disaster relief team has delivered 4 tons of emergency supplies to shelters and the general hospital in the city of Ishinomaki today.
The shelter supplies included rice, water, bread, fruit, warm clothing, cooking stoves, candles and canned food.

There are 200 shelters in Ishinomaki alone, housing approximately 15,000 people. At one location, the Japanese military helped the OBI team, led by David Darg, to unload boxes of relief supplies from its truck.

Darg arrived in Japan roughly 72 hours after the disaster and has been leading a team of local volunteers delivering relief supplies in several hard-hit areas. In the first week of the disaster, the team managed to serve 2,500 displaced Japanese with essential food, water and fuel supplies despite limited resources, snow and difficult travel conditions.

Said Darg, “In the last week, our donors have responded in big way and now OBI is moving in with large truckloads of supplies. Today, we met with a local rice farmer and purchased 1.5 tons of rice which will be used to feed thousands of displaced Japanese in shelters every day for weeks to come.”

In addition to supplying the shelters, the OBI team visited the general hospital in Ishinomaki where they unloaded food and hygiene supplies to help serve some of the 500 patients and hundreds of staff members.
Tomorrow, the team will return to the city of Shiogama to distribute supplies specifically requested by the city mayor, especially thermal underwear.

Adds Darg, “The mayor told us that people were badly in need of warm underwear since many had lost all their clothing in the disaster. We purchased hundreds of pairs of men’s and women’s underwear and socks. We will also deliver the first truckload of rice and 4 large truckloads of water to Shiogama, supplies that are badly needed as we heard reports of some parts of the city getting very desperate.”

To follow OBI’s efforts, see photos from the relief operation, or to donate, please visit www.ob.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row (2009), a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

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FOR INTERVIEWS WITH DAVID DARG IN JAPAN PLEASE CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

March 17, 2011 - OBI DELIVERS LARGE QUANTITY OF RICE TO DEVASTATED RIKUZEN TAKATA, JAPAN

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OBI DELIVERS LARGE QUANTITY OF RICE TO DEVASTATED RIKUZEN TAKATA, JAPAN

Snow, Lack Of fuel, Impassable Roads Making Relief Efforts Difficult

RIKUZEN TAKATA, JAPAN (March 17, 2011) — For the last two days the Operation Blessing International (OBI) disaster relief team has supplied food and water to over 1,500 people despite heavy snow, a lack of fuel, impassable roads, and the nuclear threat.

Yesterday the OBI team, under the direction of David Darg, director of international disaster relief, drove to the city of Oshu, where, thanks to the charity’s donors, they were able to purchase a large amount of rice at a supermarket. Darg had learned about the situation in Rikuzen Takata, a completely devastated area to the North that had only just been made accessible and was desperately low on food.

The team drove north through the mountains and a heavy snowstorm with whiteout conditions, only to arrive to a scene of total devastation unlike anything David Darg had seen before.

Darg said, “Since 2005, I have responded to dozens of major disasters around the world. In all my experience, I have never seen destruction like I saw in Rikuzen Takata today. Thousands of homes had been disintegrated into millions of fragments of wood. One three story building that must have been 70 feet tall gave clues to how high the Tsunami waters were; one resident told us that people taking refuge on the roof were standing in water up to their waists! The military had just bulldozed some of the roads clear, leaving walls of debris 25 feet high that we walked through like a maze. The debris was a mixture of wooden homes, household items and mud.

It is believed around 10,000 people were either killed or are still missing right here.”

OBI set up at one of 50 shelters, a school housing over 1,000 people, many of whom were sleeping in the auditorium. “The leadership at the shelter were so grateful when we told them we had rice. They are feeding the 1000 people in the shelter and 200 more who are without food. Up until now, the center had only been able to provide bread in very limited amounts and this was difficult, especially for the elderly who were very hungry.”

The rice that OBI provided should last the shelter one week.

On Tuesday, the team provided food and drinking water for 250 people who have set up a makeshift shelter in a school building in Shiogama, a city also decimated by the disaster.

Said Darg, “Families have moved into the classrooms and are sleeping on the floors on blankets. Outside, some of the families were burning wood in a metal can to keep warm; a sight that I’m told is very unusual for Japan where electricity and fuel networks are widespread. The food and water we had in the van was unloaded into the school kitchen and within 2 hours was being served to everyone in the shelter.”

Next, OBI is planning to distribute kerosene for the heaters in the shelters, as the temperature remains below freezing.

For more information please log on to www.ob.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row (2009), a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

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For interviews with David Darg in Japan, or Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing International, from their Virginia Beach headquarters, please contact:
Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

March 15, 2011- OBI DISTRIBUTING CLEAN WATER AND FOOD IN HARD HIT SENDAI, JAPAN

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For Immediate Release

OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL DISTRIBUTING CLEAN WATER AND FOOD IN HARD HIT SENDAI, JAPAN

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (March 15, 2011) – A disaster relief team from Operation Blessing International (OBI), the 6th largest international humanitarian organization, has arrived in Sendai, Japan and is distributing clean drinking water and emergency food rations today.

David Darg, international disaster relief director for the charity, is leading the effort. Darg arrived in Japan from Haiti over the weekend, where he has been on the ground directing OBI’s longtime relief programs since last year’s devastating earthquake.
In Japan, the OBI team is planning to expand the distributions over the coming days to include emergency relief supplies and electrical generators.

Also, OBI has staged a medical team and supplies in the Philippines should they be needed in the relief effort.

For more information please log on to www.ob.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row (2009), a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

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For interviews with David Darg in Japan, or Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing International, from their Virginia Beach headquarters, please contact:
Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

March 11, 2011- OBI PREPARING TO DEPLOY MEDICAL TEAM TO JAPAN FROM PHILIPPINES OFFICE

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For Immediate Release

OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL PREPARING TO DEPLOY MEDICAL TEAM TO JAPAN FROM PHILIPPINES OFFICE

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (March 11, 2011) – Operation Blessing International (OBI), the 6th largest international humanitarian organization and first responder to many major disasters, is preparing to deploy a medical team to Japan from the charity’s Manila office.

The leader of the team is Dr. Kim Pascual, executive vice president and chief operating officer for Operation Blessing Philippines. “Dr. Kim” has led the organization’s crisis response teams in Iraq, Indonesia, Philippines and various other areas of the world. Joining the Operation Blessing team will be members of IsraAid, an Israeli humanitarian organization that OBI has partnered with for earthquake relief in Haiti in 2010. The Operation Blessing-IsraAid teams are currently staging at the Operation Blessing Philippines office located in Manila, preparing their gear and supplies until they are ready to deploy in the coming days.
OBI is also poised to send medical and humanitarian relief supplies from locations in the U.S.A. either by ship or aircraft, and possibly deploy additional personnel from the Philippines and other locations into the hard-hit area.

For more information please log on to www.ob.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row (2009), a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.
Operation Blessing has worked extensively in the Philippines for over a decade. Under the direction of Dr. Kim Pascual, the charity has earned the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) of the Year by the Philippines government four times in recent years.

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For interviews with Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing International, please contact:
Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

February 2, 2011- OBI TEAMS UP WITH ABC EXTREME MAKEOVER

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OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL TEAMS UP WITH ABC EXTREME MAKEOVER: HOME EDITION AND TRADEMARK CONSTRUCTION TO HELP VIRGINIA BEACH FAMILY

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (February 2, 2011) – Operation Blessing International (OBI), the Virginia Beach-based international humanitarian organization that helps millions around the globe each year, has teamed up with ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Trademark Construction to rebuild the home of a local family.

Beverly and Fred Hill-Burdette have shared their home with over thirty-five foster children in the last fifteen years, and along with their two biological children they have formally adopted six girls. In addition to sharing their home, the family helps the local community through a mission to feed and clothe the homeless. Their home is in need of extensive renovation.

OBI learned of a critical need within the project just five days before the construction was to begin. Jody Herrington, U.S. disaster relief director for the charity, called Trademark Construction, the builder, to offer the charity’s full assistance. When Herrington learned that the greatest need for the project was $20,000 in lumber and several other basic building materials, Operation Blessing International did not hesitate to provide the funds to cover the costs.

This week Operation Blessing International is heavily involved on the construction site, providing 17 of its seasoned disaster relief staff to help with the rebuild, providing two OBI construction trailers packed with tools, making available the use of its Mobile Command Center, first used in Hurricane Katrina relief, to the builder, providing heaters for several of the staff tents, and also providing use of a 28′ box truck to support the project. Says Herrington, “We are honored to team up with such professionals as ABC Extreme Makeover: Home Edition and Trademark Construction to provide hope to a local family and rally together with our community right here at home on a project that will change lives forever!”

The episode will air on ABC in several weeks.

The Emmy award winning reality program “Extreme Makeover: Home Edition,” now in its 8th season, is produced by Endemol USA, a division of Endemol Holding. It’s executive-produced by Brady Connell and George Verschoor. David Goldberg is Chairman, Endemol North America. The show airs Sundays from 8:00-9:00 p.m., ET on ABC.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row (2009), a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. In November 2010, Forbes named OBI as the 6th most efficient charity in America. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

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CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
Dera, Roslan & Campion Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

November 17, 2010- OPERATION BLESSING FUNDS CHOLERA ISOLATION WARD FOR HAITI HOSPITAL

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OPERATION BLESSING FUNDS CHOLERA ISOLATION WARD FOR HAITI HOSPITAL

“Cholera Nonexistent In Haiti For Decades, Now Will Leave Lasting Legacy Of Misery”

Port au Prince, Haiti (November 17, 2010) – As the Cholera outbreak escalates in Haiti, humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International (OBI) has partnered with St. Luc Hospital and St. Damien Pediatric Hospital to fund a new isolation ward for the treatment of patients with the disease.

Bill Horan, president of OBI, said, “Fear is everywhere in Haiti right now. Cholera is often perceived as a death sentence. Cholera victims, because of the threat of the contagious disease, are not allowed to enter taxis, most clinics or hospitals in the country. The city morgue will not accept bodies because morgue workers are frightened that they will catch cholera from the corpses. People living in neighborhoods around the garbage dump are so frightened that cholera will come in with a load of garbage, that they stand in the streets blocking traffic and throwing stones to break the windshields of trucks that approach with loads of garbage. It’s like a modern day medieval plague.”

Horan met with the hospital staff three weeks ago when Cholera was first reported in St. Marc. “At the time, the threat of Cholera was looming in Port au Prince and the hospital staff wanted to prepare for that by creating an isolation ward. The team at St. Damien and St. Luc had decided to turn an adjacent soccer field into an isolation ward, and Operation Blessing International did not hesitate to help fund this project.”

The new facility consists of a triage area, a hand washing station, five large tents with beds, a separated area for pediatric patients, an isolated latrine and laundry, and a disposal area for contaminated waste that is pumped into trucks for removal.

Says Horan, “Cholera victims, as well as many patients who think they might have cholera are welcomed by the staff of St Damien and St Luc’s each day. Treatment, which is free, includes antibiotics, injections to inhibit vomiting, hydration medications and intra-venous units of live-giving fluids.

To further assist the hospitals, OBI staff in Port au Prince has been running two chlorine generators around the clock in anticipation of an expanded outbreak. The generators produce 120 gallons of chlorine solution every 12 hours, which is packaged in 5-gallon plastic jugs for distribution. OBI teams have delivered hundreds of gallons of bleach to the hospitals and families all over the area for use in disinfecting their homes, laundry and drinking water.

In addition, OBI continues to operate 35 water filtration and chlorination units throughout the capital and in the areas to the North hardest hit by the outbreak. Each unit is capable of producing up to 10,000 gallons of clean water each day.
Horan adds, “An ominous aspect of this disease, unknown here for many decades, is that some of the bacteria will survive and flair up during rainy seasons for years to come. Earthquakes and hurricanes happen and cause extreme suffering, but eventually, there is an end to it. Cholera will likely add to Haiti’s burden for a very long time.”

For more information on OBI humanitarian efforts in Haiti or around the world, please log on to www.ob.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2009, OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row, a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. Forbes, which currently ranks OBI as one of “America’s Most Efficient Charities,” awarded OBI a perfect 100% rating in fundraising efficiency and 99% efficiency in charitable commitment. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

OBI has been working in Haiti on HIV/AIDs initiatives for more than 5 years. During 2009, OBI expanded their efforts in Haiti to also focus on projects with Partners in Health (PIH) and the Haiti Ministry of Health. Those efforts include providing potable water systems for PIH hospitals, launching a nationwide anti-parasite initiative to treat all school-age children and partnering in an innovative microenterprise fish farm project to help some of Haiti’s most impoverished families.

When the 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck in Haiti, OBI mobilized its international disaster relief teams and provided emergency aid to tens of thousands of Haitians in the most devastated areas. Included in the relief efforts, OBI donated over 120 tons of medicine to the Haitian Ministry of Health, ran a medical clinic inside the Sylvio Cator Soccer Stadium where displaced people had set up a camp, and deployed over 30 water purification plants throughout Port-au-Prince – including in National Stadium and in General Hospital, the largest hospital in Haiti. OBI’s ongoing efforts include water purification efforts to combat the cholera outbreak, support of numerous schools, orphanages and tent camps with food, water and relief supplies, in addition to establishing Zanmi Beni, a home for disabled orphans and abandoned children in partnership with Zanmi Lasante (PIH).

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For Interviews, photos or broadcast-quality videos please contact:
Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

November 8, 2010 - OBI PARTNERS WITH GOV'T OF CAYMAN ISLANDS TO HELP NEIGHBOR, ST. LUCIA

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VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (November 8, 2010) – Humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International (OBI) has partnered with the government of the Cayman Islands for a disaster relief effort to help the devastated Caribbean island of St. Lucia.

Hurricane Tomas hit St. Lucia hard last week, with electricity, telephone and clean water service out across most of the island. More than a dozen people were killed and damage assessment has been difficult due to storm debris.

Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing International, received a telephone call over the weekend from McKeeva Bush, Premier of the Cayman Islands, asking if OBI could join with the government of Cayman in an effort to airlift relief supplies to St Lucia. Initially, OBI will be providing non-perishable food including MREs (meals ready to eat) that will be airlifted into St. Lucia on Wednesday morning along with other relief supplies donated by the people of the Cayman Islands.
Horan and David Darg, international disaster relief director for OBI, will accompany the supplies to St. Lucia on Wednesday and will meet with local officials to better assess other critical needs.

OBI is also readying two WMI water filtration/purification plants that are each capable of filtering and disinfecting 10,000 gallons of water per day. OBI has used WMI machines in over 15 countries during the past five years and currently operates 35 of them in Haiti at various locations including Haiti’s largest hospital in Port-au-Prince and the hospital in St Marc, the center of the current cholera outbreak. The WMI units are to arrive in St. Lucia later this week, where David Darg will assist with their installation and training locals in the operation and maintenance of the equipment. Darg is currently on the ground in Haiti managing the charity’s humanitarian efforts there.

Bill Horan said, “We have partnered with the Cayman government following several Caribbean disasters including their own, when Hurricane Ivan ravaged Grand Cayman in 2004. The people of the Cayman Islands are very generous and always show a willingness to share their own resources with other island nations in times of natural disaster. In this case, the offer of sending a Cayman Airways 737 has opened an opportunity for Operation Blessing to reach out to the people of St Lucia. This is what synergy is all about.”

For more information on OBI humanitarian efforts please log on to www.ob.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2009, OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row, a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. Forbes, which currently ranks OBI as one of “America’s Most Efficient Charities,” awarded OBI a perfect 100% rating in fundraising efficiency and 99% efficiency in charitable commitment. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

# # #
CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

November 4, 2010 - TOMAS HAS POTENTIAL TO BE A PERFECT STORM OF SUFFERING FOR HAITI

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Port au Prince, Haiti (November 4, 2010) – As Haiti is bracing for what may become its second cataclysmic event of 2010, the humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International (OBI) has mobilized its disaster relief team and is ready to respond.

Bill Horan, president of OBI, said, “As Tropical Storm Tomas moves relentlessly towards the beleaguered island nation, storm clouds of fear hang heavy in the superheated air of Port-au-Prince as a confluence of horrible events aligns into what may become…a perfect storm of suffering.”

The quake-ravaged capital is home to over a million people living in tents and makeshift shelters. Horan says that hurricane-force winds would likely rip the tents to shreds, strip camp dwellers of any shelter, and leave them more vulnerable than they already are. “There are no storm shelters to hunker down in, no place to hide.”

In addition, sanitary conditions in the camps are marginal. “Torrential rains would flood thousands of latrines and cause millions of gallons of raw sewage and human waste to flood the city, downing children and contaminating most drinking water,” adds Horan.

Should the rains come, Horan says the recent outbreak of Cholera “could spread like gasoline thrown into a campfire, as contaminated rivers burst their banks and poison meager water supplies.”

Operation Blessing International is staged and ready to respond in the following ways:

  • Prepared truck-mounted WMI water purification unit that can be immediately driven to hardest hit areas and up to 10,000 gallons of clean water daily to affected communities
  • Two additional WMI units readied for emergency water filtration if needed
  • Producing liquid chlorine round-the-clock for additional water purification
  • Assembled emergency kits for 200 families consisting of sheet metal, wood planks, plastic tarp, hammer, nails, disinfectant liquid, a portable water filtration unit and ready to eat meals.
  • Debris Removal: Chainsaws ready to help clear roads and remove obstructive debris
  • Boat access: 17-foot aluminum boat with outboard motor to deliver relief supplies and medical teams to communities cut off by flooding.
  • Medical partnership: OBI has partnered with St Luc hospital to deploy medical teams as needed

For more information on OBI humanitarian efforts in Haiti or around the world, please log on to www.ob.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2009, OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row, a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. Forbes, which currently ranks OBI as one of “America’s Most Efficient Charities,” awarded OBI a perfect 100% rating in fundraising efficiency and 99% efficiency in charitable commitment. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

OBI has been working in Haiti on HIV/AIDs initiatives for more than 5 years. During 2009, OBI expanded their efforts in Haiti to also focus on projects with Partners in Health (PIH) and the Haiti Ministry of Health. Those efforts include providing potable water systems for PIH hospitals, launching a nationwide anti-parasite initiative to treat all school-age children and partnering in an innovative microenterprise fish farm project to help some of Haiti’s most impoverished families.
When the 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck in Haiti, OBI mobilized its international disaster relief teams and provided emergency aid to tens of thousands of Haitians in the most devastated areas. Included in the relief efforts, OBI donated over 120 tons of medicine to the Haitian Ministry of Health, ran a medical clinic inside the Sylvio Cator Soccer Stadium where displaced people had set up a camp, and deployed over 30 water purification plants throughout Port-au-Prince – including in National Stadium and in General Hospital, the largest hospital in Haiti. OBI’s ongoing efforts include water purification efforts to combat the cholera outbreak, support of numerous schools, orphanages and tent camps with food, water and relief supplies, in addition to establishing Zanmi Beni, a home for disabled orphans and abandoned children in partnership with Zanmi Lasante (PIH).

# # # #
For on-the-ground interviews, photos or broadcast-quality videos please contact:
Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

November 2, 2010 - OBI PREPARING FOR HURRICANE STRIKE IN HAITI

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With 1 Million People Still Living In Tents, Plus Current Cholera Outbreak, Storm Has Potential To Be Extremely Devastating, Says Bill Horan

Port au Prince, Haiti (November 2, 2010) – Operation Blessing International (OBI) is preparing for a possible hurricane strike later this week as Tomas spins nearer to the island nation. Current National Hurricane Center predictions show the storm intensifying as it passes southeast of Jamaica and then turns north directly towards Haiti later this week.
Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing International, says, “If Tomas strikes Haiti as a major hurricane, this has the potential to be one of the biggest disasters in recent memory. There are over one million vulnerable people living in tents, and there’s also an outbreak of cholera – which would only escalate as torrential rains cause flooding, spread disease and contaminate drinking water. It’s unfathomable to think what might happen.”

To prepare for this storm, Operation Blessing International has mobilized its disaster relief team in Haiti. Today, David Darg, international disaster relief director for the charity, readied a WMI water purification plant for deployment on a truck so that it can be sent to the hardest hit area within hours of the storm. The unit is able to produce up to 10,000 gallons of clean drinking water each day. OBI currently operates 33 WMI purification units in and around Port-au-Prince as well as in areas hit by recent cholera outbreak.

The team also prepared a number of portable family-sized water purifiers and other supplies including tarps and non-perishable food. Depending on the path of the storm, the team will be staged in either Port au Prince or Jacmel.

OBI is also continuing its efforts to combat the cholera outbreak. One of the first responders in the St. Marc region, the team has deployed five WMI water purification plants including three in remote villages that were using the contaminated river for drinking water, one unit that was flown by a UN helicopter to another remote village last Thursday, and one installed yesterday in St Marc’s central hospital at the request of Partners In Health, who is managing the outbreak on behalf of the Haiti Ministry of Health. OBI has also distributed dozens of Lifesaver Jerry cans in the area.

For more information on OBI humanitarian efforts in Haiti or around the world, please log on to www.ob.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2009, OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row, a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. Forbes, which currently ranks OBI as one of”America’s Most Efficient Charities,” awarded OBI a perfect 100% rating in fundraising efficiency and 99% efficiency in charitable commitment. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

OBI has been working in Haiti on HIV/AIDs initiatives for more than 5 years. During 2009, OBI expanded their efforts in Haiti to also focus on projects with Partners in Health (PIH) and the Haiti Ministry of Health. Those efforts include providing potable water systems for PIH hospitals, launching a nationwide anti-parasite initiative to treat all school-age children and partnering in an innovative microenterprise fish farm project to help some of Haiti’s most impoverished families.

When the 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck in Haiti, OBI mobilized its international disaster relief teams and provided emergency aid to tens of thousands of Haitians in the most devastated areas. Included in the relief efforts, OBI donated over 120 tons of medicine to the Haitian Ministry of Health, ran a medical clinic inside the Sylvio Cator Soccer Stadium where displaced people had set up a camp, and deployed over 30 water purification plants throughout Port-au-Prince – including in National Stadium and in General Hospital, the largest hospital in Haiti. In the first month of the disaster, OBI distributed 1702 pallets of emergency supplies, food, water and medication with total weight of 2,416,559 lbs (1208 tons). OBI’s ongoing efforts include support of numerous schools, orphanages and tent camps with food, water and relief supplies, in addition to establishing Zanmi Beni, a home for disabled orphans and abandoned children in partnership with Zanmi Lasante (PIH).

# # # #
For on-the-ground interviews, photos or broadcast-quality videos please contact:
Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

October 27, 2010 - OBI AND CHKD TEAM UP TO PROVIDE FREE MEDICAL TREATMENT TO YOUNG GIRL FROM HAITI

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Operation Blessing International and Children’s Hospital Of The King’s Daughters Team Up To Provide Free Medical Treatment To Young Girl From Haiti

NORFOLK, VA – The humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International has partnered with Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters to provide free medical treatment for a 7-year-old girl from Haiti who was suffering from severe osteomyelitis, an acute bone infection, and sickle cell anemia.

Adianne Norce needed an operation to drain a pocket of infection that had walled itself off inside the bone, and medical teams in Haiti were unable to staunch the infection.

After a week of treatment, Adianne is being discharged. While Adianne will still need months of treatment at CHKD, “We are all praying that this infection has been eradicated,” said Dr. Donald Lewis, chairman of pediatrics at CHKD. “The CHKD family has been honored to participate in the care of this beautiful child and to help get her on the path to recovery.

Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing, came across Adianne several months ago in a local hospital near Port-au-Prince while performing humanitarian work. The girl, who was suffering because the surgical procedure required is not available in Haiti, captured the hearts of Horan and others from the charity and they decided to help her try and get the medical treatment that she needed.

Horan, working with Virginia Beach physician Dr. John Kenerson, reached out to CHKD and they agreed to provide the treatment at no cost. The charity and hospital then spent the next several weeks securing passports for Adianne and her father as well as a medical visa from the U.S. State Department.

Operation Blessing flew Adianne and her father from Haiti to Norfolk earlier this month. She was admitted to the hospital and underwent surgery last week. On Tuesday, she was discharged to the home of a host family where she will recover and be monitored by health workers for the next several weeks, before returning to her home in Haiti.

Operation Blessing made arrangements through the U.S. State Department and was able to get her to CHKD. A CHKD medical team led by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Carl St. Remy, whose parents were from Haiti, was able to perform the surgery, isolate the germ causing the infection and begin a targeted antibiotic regimen.

“Adianne has been suffering with serious illness for years, yet she is an amazing little girl who radiates peace and joy,” said Horan. “We are so grateful that CHKD has decided to help her, and we look forward to seeing her recover in the coming weeks so that she may return to her family a healthy and happy little girl.”

ABOUT CHKD:
Children’s Hospital of The King’s Daughters is the only freestanding children’s hospital in Virginia and serves the medical and surgical needs of children throughout greater Hampton Roads, the Eastern Shore of Virginia and northeastern North Carolina.
The not-for-profit hospital was founded in 1961 and last year handled approximately 6,200 inpatient admissions and 219,500 outpatient specialty, surgical and emergency room visits, addressing routine and complex illnesses, injuries and chronic conditions. The CHKD Health System operates primary care pediatric practices, surgical practices, multi-service Health Centers and satellite offices throughout its service region.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2009, OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row, a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. Forbes, which currently ranks OBI as one of “America’s Most Efficient Charities,” awarded OBI
a perfect 100% rating in fundraising efficiency and 99% efficiency in charitable commitment. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

# # # #
For Interviews please contact:
Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

October 21, 2010 - OPERATION BLESSING FUNDS CHOLERA ISOLATION WARD FOR HAITI HOSPITAL

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OBI RESPONDING TO POTENTIAL CHOLERA OUTBREAK IN HAITI

18 Deaths Reported, 500 Admitted To Hospital Since 7am Wednesday

St. Marc, Haiti (October 21, 2010) – Virginia Beach-based humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International (OBI) is responding to a suspected outbreak of cholera after 18 deaths and nearly 500 people being admitted to the local hospital in the last 24 hours with severe abdominal illness. According to local doctors from Partners In Health, which runs the local hospital, over 400 cases were admitted Wednesday from 7am to 7pm, with another 100 overnight. The hospital is treating a similar number of new patients today and has requested that OBI assist in immediate efforts to disinfect drinking water in the surrounding area.

Today, OBI is sending a team headed by David Darg, its international disaster relief director, from Port au Prince to St. Marc today with a WMI water purification plant that can supply up to 10,000 gallons of clean drinking water each day. In addition to the WMI unit, OBI will be utilizing one of its new Sanilec-6 water purification devices to supply enough chlorine-equivalent solution to purify another 120,000 gallons of water on site.

Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing International, said, “The lack of safe drinking water was a problem in Haiti even before the earthquake. One of the main reasons we came here last year was because none of the hospitals had running potable water systems – doctors and patients were actually bringing their own water with them to the hospital! We have worked with our partners at Zamni Lasante (Partners In Health) to rectify this in Port au Prince and Belladere, but there is still much to be done throughout the rest of the country.”

To combat these water problems, OBI recently partnered with Severn Trent Services, the leading supplier of water and wastewater treatment systems. The charity purchased three Sanilec-6 Portable Sodium Hypochlorite Generators, two of which arrived in Haiti last week. The other unit is en route to Mexico. These units generate a chlorine-equivalent solution that purifies large quantities of water, and OBI has been running them 24/7 since their arrival in the country.

OBI has been working in Haiti on HIV/AIDs initiatives for more than 5 years. During 2009, OBI expanded their efforts in Haiti to also focus on projects with Partners in Health (PIH) and the Haiti Ministry of Health. Those efforts include providing potable water systems for PIH hospitals, launching a nationwide anti-parasite initiative to treat all school-age children and partnering in an innovative microenterprise fish farm project to help some of Haiti’s most impoverished families.

When the 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck, OBI mobilized its international disaster relief teams and provided emergency aid to tens of thousands of Haitians in the most devastated areas. Included in the relief efforts, OBI donated over 120 tons of medicine to the Haitian Ministry of Health, ran a medical clinic inside the Sylvio Cator Soccer Stadium where displaced people had set up a camp, and deployed over 30 water purification plants throughout Port-au-Prince – including in National Stadium and in General Hospital, the largest hospital in Haiti — that are each capable of providing some 10,000 gallons of safe water daily. In the first month of the disaster, OBI distributed 1702 pallets of emergency supplies, food, water and medication with total weight of 2,416,559 lbs (1208 tons). OBI’s ongoing efforts include support of numerous schools, orphanages and tent camps with food, water and relief supplies, in addition to establishing Zanmi Beni, a home for disabled orphans and abandoned children in partnership with Zanmi Lasante (PIH).

For more information on OBI humanitarian efforts in Haiti or around the world, please log on to www.ob.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2009, OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row, a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. Forbes, which currently ranks OBI as one of “America’s Most Efficient Charities,” awarded OBI a perfect 100% rating in fundraising efficiency and 99% efficiency in charitable commitment. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 23rd largest charity and the 6th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 235 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.7 billion to date.

# # # #
For Interviews, photos or broadcast-quality videos please contact:
Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

September 8, 2010 - TINY FISH FROM MISSISSIPPI TO DEPART FOR HAITI EARTHQUAKE RELIEF PROJECT

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TINY FISH FROM MISSISSIPPI TO DEPART FOR HAITI EARTHQUAKE RELIEF PROJECT THIS FRIDAY, SEPT. 10

Anti-Malaria Project Part of Long-Term Humanitarian Program By Operation Blessing International

TCHULA, MS (SEPTEMBER 8, 2010) — This Friday, September 10, some 2,000 tiny fish in Mississippi will be traveling to Haiti to play an integral role in a large earthquake relief project by the international humanitarian organization, Operation Blessing International (OBI).

The fish, tiny minnows called Gambusia, eat many times their body weight in mosquito eggs and larvae and are used as a natural, “green” mosquito deterrent in many countries around the world. OBI used them extensively in New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina. There, OBI staff and volunteers worked with local and state authorities to raise and stock these native, mosquito-eating minnows in thousands of stagnant swimming pools around the city. As a result of this project, OBI was credited by the city of New Orleans as having averted an outbreak of West Nile Virus.

Haiti marks the last stand of malaria in the western hemisphere – it remains the only country where the disease is still an epidemic. To combat this and improve the health of millions, OBI has launched a long-term humanitarian project called TEACH A NATION TO FISH. The three-part project includes unleashing the mosquito-eating Gambusia fish in Haiti’s infested waterways, plus running a microenterprise tilapia farming project and stocking food-fish back into the country’s depleted lakes and reservoirs.

The Gambusia to be used in Haiti are currently being raised in Tchula by Thompson Fish Hatchery (4160 Bee Lake Rd). Early Friday morning, hatchery staff will put the fish into special aerated containers and the fish will be driven to the airport in Yazoo, MS. A team leader from OBI will arrive from the organization’s Virginia Beach headquarters, in a private plane owned by a donor to the charity, at roughly 11am and meet the fish. They will then fly from Yazoo to Fort Pierce, Florida, spend the night and then depart for Port-au-Prince early Saturday morning. A partner charity, Missionary Flights International, has agreed to fly the fish the rest of the way. The fish will arrive in Port-au-Prince on Saturday at roughly noon.

In Haiti, OBI is working in partnership with Dr. Valentine Abe, recently named by Time Magazine as one of the Top 100 Most Influential People In The World for a fish-farming project he runs. Together, they have built a new fish hatchery where the Gambusia will be put into rearing tanks. In a very short time, the 2,000 fish will multiply to hundreds of thousands. When enough fish are available, OBI staff, working in concert with the Haiti Department of Agriculture, will then stock the fish into mosquito-infested waters around the country. Once in the waters, the fish will multiply even more, resulting in millions of Gambusia.

OBI has been working in Haiti on HIV/AIDs initiatives for more than 5 years. During 2009, OBI expanded their efforts in Haiti to also focus on projects with Partners in Health (PIH) and the Haiti Ministry of Health. Those efforts include providing potable water systems for PIH hospitals, launching a nationwide anti-parasite initiative to treat all school-age children and partnering in an innovative microenterprise fish farm project to help some of Haiti’s most impoverished families.

When the 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck, OBI mobilized its international disaster relief teams and provided emergency aid to tens of thousands of Haitians in the most devastated areas. Included in the relief efforts, OBI donated over 120 tons of medicine to the Haitian Ministry of Health, ran a medical clinic inside the Sylvio Cator Soccer Stadium where displaced people had set up a camp, and deployed 30 water purification plants throughout Port-au-Prince – including in National Stadium and in General Hospital, the largest hospital in Haiti — that are each capable of providing some 10,000 gallons of safe water daily. In the first month of the disaster, OBI distributed 1702 pallets of emergency supplies, food, water and medication with total weight of 2,416,559 lbs (1208 tons). OBI’s ongoing efforts include support of numerous schools, orphanages and tent camps with food, water and relief supplies, in addition to establishing Zanmi Beni, a home for disabled orphans and abandoned children in partnership with Zanmi Lasante (PIH).

For more information on TEACH A NATION TO FISH or other OBI humanitarian efforts in Haiti or around the world, please log on to www.ob.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2009, OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row, a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. Forbes, which currently ranks OBI as one of “America’s 200 Largest Charities” as well as one of “America’s Most Efficient Charities,” awarded OBI a perfect 100% rating in fundraising efficiency and 99% efficiency in charitable commitment. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 39th largest charity and the 7th largest international charity.

Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 215 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.1 billion to date.

# # # #
PHOTOS AND BROADCAST QUALITY VIDEO AVAILABLE
Contact:
Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

August 4, 2010 - OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL RESPONDING TO DEADLY PAKISTAN FLOODING

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OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL RESPONDING TO DEADLY PAKISTAN FLOODING

OBI Teams Up With Longtime Partner, German Charity Humedica To Provide Relief

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (August 4, 2010) — Operation Blessing International (OBI) has teamed up with its longtime disaster relief partner, the German charity Humedica, to provide flood relief in Pakistan. Due to the worst monsoon flooding in 80 years, some 2.5 million people have been affected and 1,500 are feared killed.

Kumar Periasamy, OBI’s Director for International Operations and Programs will arrive in Pakistan in the coming days and will work with Humedica to provide medical relief and to distribute food, clean drinking water and emergency building supplies to thousands. The OBI-Humedica team plans to set up a medical clinic in Peshawar, a city in northwest Pakistan, which is currently being used as a refugee center for the hardest hit area. The team will provide medication to combat a host of water-borne illness, since clean drinking water is scarce.

Operation Blessing International has provided humanitarian relief in Pakistan as recently as 2009 when it helped 60 families who were attacked by extremists. OBI also provided relief in 2007 when 400,000 people were displaced by flooding caused by torrential rains in southern Pakistan.

For more information log on to www.ob.org

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL: Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 23 countries on a daily basis. In 2009, OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row, a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. Forbes, which currently ranks OBI as one of “America’s 200 Largest Charities” as well as one of “America’s Most Efficient Charities,” awarded OBI a perfect 100% rating in fundraising efficiency and 99% efficiency in charitable commitment. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 39th largest charity and the 7th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 215 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.1 billion to date.

# # #
Contact:
Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

July 27, 2010 - OBI LOOKS TO EXPAND SUSTAINABLE GRAIN BANK PROGRAM IN NIGER

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OBI Looks To Expand Sustainable Grain Bank Program In Niger
As 8 Million Face Hunger

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (July 27, 2010) — A severe drought that has gripped Niger is threatening up to 8 million people with hunger, nearly half of the country’s population. International aid agencies are ramping up efforts and calling for help in order to ward off a major catastrophe.

Since 2006, Operation Blessing International (OBI), the 7th largest international charity, has been establishing a network of 17 self-sustainable grain banks in the country. Located in the Diagourou region, an area roughly 180km (112 miles) from the capital consisting of small subsistence farms, the 17 grain banks were originally designed to provide grain to 10,000 residents. However, due to the growing shortage brought on by a recent drought, the grain banks have reduced the amount that a person can purchase in order to stretch the existing supply to support 22,000 people, or half the region’s population.

The OBI grain banks consist of masonry buildings that each hold 100 bags of grain totaling 1,000 kilograms (2,205 lbs). A special steering committee of village elders is selected to manage the stores of grain in each facility. To initially stock the grain bank, OBI uses donated funds to purchase the grain.

Each May, near the end of the 9-month dry season, food supplies run out and the market price of grain skyrockets due to low supply. Being subsistence farmers, the villagers are not able to afford the higher prices and thus would go hungry if not for the grain banks.

Bill Horan, president of OBI, said, “The grain banks play a critical role. During the harvest, villagers sell their grain to the grain bank and receive income to provide for their families. During the hungry season, when grain prices skyrocket on the open market, villagers are then able to purchase what they need from the grain bank at below-market prices – the lowest possible price. The income the grain bank receives is then saved until the next growing season when the committee will use the money to purchase more grain locally from the villagers. By creating this self-sustaining cycle, these grain banks not only benefit the local economy and provide income to the villagers, they also ensure a year-round supply of food.”

To date, the program has supported over 570,000 people.

Due to the recent drought, OBI is looking to expand the program even further in order to support the remaining 23,000 villagers who are not currently included in the program. Rich Danzeisen, Vice President of International Programs and Operations for OBI, said, “That would mean doubling our capacity either by providing twice as much grain at each grain bank or by building more facilities. Due to the success of this project, word is spreading in the region and Diagourou has been growing in population because our grain bank villages have become like cities of refuge; the villagers know that food is available and see the success of the program and are relocating there. The need is overwhelming.”

Within Diagourou, OBI hopes to build ten additional grain banks to provide better geographic coverage. The cost of building and stocking one facility is $5,800 USD. Seeing the success in Diagourou, other villages are asking for a program in their region as local leaders struggle to find food for their communities.

Horan said, “The conditions here are quickly growing to a similar degree of severity to what we saw in 2005, when millions faced starvation. Families desperate to find food are traveling many miles looking for food. Others are making plans to move permanently to locations near our grain banks. Mothers bring their children to our staff who are now suffering acute malnutrition and ask for emergency intervention.”

For more information or to donate, please visit www.ob.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 22 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2009, OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4-star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row, a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. Forbes, which currently ranks OBI as one of “America’s 200 Largest Charities” as well as one of “America’s Most Efficient Charities,” awarded OBI a perfect 100% rating in fundraising efficiency and 99% efficiency in charitable commitment. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 39th largest charity and the 7th largest international charity. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 215 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.1 billion to date.

# # #
Photographs and B-roll of OBI’s Niger grain banks in operation are available upon request.
CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

June 11, 2010 - OBI PARTNERS WITH LSU AGCENTER TO HELP CRAB FISHERMEN IN LOUISIANA

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OBI PARTNERS WITH LSU AGCENTER TO HELP CRAB FISHERMEN IN LOUISIANA Unique Aquaculture Program Based On Soft-Shell Crabs Will Provide Crabbers With Approximately $14,000 Increased Annual Income

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (June 11, 2010) — Operation Blessing International (OBI), the 7th largest international charity, is working in partnership with LSU AgCenter/Louisiana Sea Grant Program and the Louisiana Seafood Promotion and Marketing Board (LSPMB) to help crab fishermen and their families still reeling from Hurricane Katrina but also now hit hard by the oil spill in the Gulf of Mexico.

With new government estimates putting the oil spill at between 12,000 and 19,000 barrels a day, the U.S. government has declared a “fishery disaster” in Louisiana and surrounding states. Louisiana’s $2.4 billion seafood industry supplies roughly 40 percent of the domestic seafood supply and employs over 27,000 people. The state is the second-largest domestic seafood harvester and the top provider of shrimp, oysters, crawfish and crabs. On Friday, NOAA increased the area closed to fishing in the Gulf of Mexico by 20% to 60,683 square miles.

The OBI-LSU AgCenter project is based on a unique soft-shell crab shedding system developed by Louisiana Sea Grant and implemented by LSU after Hurricane Katrina as part of their recovery work. The system enables crab fishermen to reserve certain hard-shell crabs just before they shed (called Busters) and keep them in holding tanks until they do shed and can then be sold as soft-shell crabs. The system consists of a series of shallow tanks, PVC piping and a water pump that circulates salt water over the crabs in the tanks.

Soft-shell crabs typically sell for more than twice as much as hard-shell crabs, a result of their being much more difficult and unpredictable to harvest.

OBI is providing the initial funding for 25 soft-shell crab shedding sets. One set of tanks will generally yield 600 dozen soft crabs in a season, averaging 10 to 12 dozen per week with peaks as high as 36 dozen per week. Each set is expected to increase each family’s income by approximately $14,000 annually, with all 25 sets adding up to a combined $350,000 in the first year alone.

With proper maintenance, each system is expected to operate for 7 to 10 years before minor replacement parts may be needed.

Bill Horan, president of OBI, said, “Many of the fishermen and their families in the Gulf still have not recovered from the loss of income and the struggle after Hurricane Katrina. Now, the oil spill has only made things worse for them. These soft-shell crab systems will help these families not only increase their incomes today, but also over the long-term.”

Anyone wishing to donate to this project may do so at www.ob.org. 100% of all donated funds will go directly to purchasing additional sets for families. Any donated amount is welcome. The sets, which cost OBI approximately $2,000 each, are being manufactured in Westwego, Louisiana, thus helping the local economy further.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 22 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2009, OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row, a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. Forbes, which currently ranks OBI as one of “America’s 200 Largest Charities” as well as one of “America’s Most Efficient Charities,” awarded OBI a perfect 100% rating in fundraising efficiency and 99% efficiency in charitable commitment. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 39th largest charity and the 7th largest international charity. In 2009, OBI responded to 43 disasters. Most recently, OBI mobilized teams and funded major relief and recovery efforts in Haiti, Italy, Myanmar, the Sichuan Province of China, Rift Valley in Kenya, Bangladesh, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, the Darfur region of Sudan, Pakistan, Somalia, India, Indonesia, Mozambique and the Philippines. OBI has also made headlines as a first responder to U.S. hurricanes, floods and tornadoes as well as the tsunami disaster in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. In addition to directing major disaster relief efforts, OBI has often filled the role of logistical arm to organizations including the International Red Cross, the Salvation Army, UNICEF and the United Nations World Food Program. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 215 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.1 billion to date.

May 15, 2010 - KANSAS CITY CHIEFS & ROYALS TEAM UP WITH OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL

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KANSAS CITY CHIEFS & ROYALS TEAM UP WITH OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL FOR 9TH ANNUAL CHARITY FOOD DISTRIBUTION EVENT ON MAY 15

3,000 Families To Receive Food Bags, Meet Sports Heroes

KANSAS CITY, MO (May 15, 2010) – The humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International (OBI) is joining forces again with the Kansas City Chiefs, the Kansas City Royals and Hy-Vee, Inc. to host a massive charity food distribution program that will provide over 6,000 bags of groceries to more than 3,000 local families.

The event, now in its ninth year, will take place from 10:30am-12:00pm on Saturday, May 15 at the Hostess Brands lot (East 30th & Troost Ave.) in Kansas City, MO. Members of OBI, players and representatives from the two teams, and corporate volunteers will be on hand to distribute bags of shelf-stable food and fresh produce including potatoes, onions, canned goods, pasta and beverages.

Volunteers from AT&T, Sprint, Ericsson, Thrivent and other local community agencies will pack the 6,000 bags to be distributed to the event attendees. In addition to the grocery items, more than 1,000 special gift bags filled with dolls, stuffed animals, snacks and books for children will be distributed. The festivities will include Kansas City Chief & Royals players and mascots signing autographs.

“These economic hard times have made it difficult for millions of Americans just to put food on the table,” said Britni Capps, Director, Procurement & Corporate Relations for Operation Blessing International. “In Kansas City, we are incredibly grateful to the Chiefs, Royals and Hy-Vee Inc., our many volunteers who donate their time, and especially to our valued donor partners, most notably American Italian Pasta Co., ConAgra Foods, Allens Inc., Williams Foods, Inc., HK Anderson, Jubilee Jam, McCormick & Co., Farm Fresh Direct and General Mills, who have gone above and beyond in their generosity.”

For more than a decade, Operation Blessing International has partnered with professional sports teams and individual athletes for hunger and disaster relief projects. OBI first teamed up with the NFL in 1998 after hearing about Green Bay Packer Reggie White’s efforts to assist local community food programs. Along with events with the Carolina Panthers & Baltimore Ravens, OBI continues to coordinate annual events with the Jacksonville Jaguars (eleven years running), Washington Redskins (eight years) and Kansas City Chiefs and Royals (nine years). In addition to the NFL food distribution events, OBI has also partnered with NBA All-Star and Olympic gold medalist Dwyane Wade and NBA All-Star Chris Paul from the New Orleans Hornets on domestic disaster relief projects.

Anyone interested in learning more or helping to keep OBI’s hunger programs delivering nutritious food and essential supplies to thousands facing hunger and poverty, please visit www.ob.org

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 22 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2009, OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row, a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. Forbes, which currently ranks OBI as one of “America’s 200 Largest Charities” as well as one of “America’s Most Efficient Charities,” awarded OBI a perfect 100% rating in fundraising efficiency and 99% efficiency in charitable commitment. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 39th largest charity and the 7th largest international charity.

Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 215 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.1 billion to date.

OBI’s Hunger Strike Force (HSF) has delivered and given away more than 960 million pounds of food since 1992. Its fleet of trailer trucks transports a weekly average of 2 million pounds of food and relief supplies to a network of 120 community-based partners in the USA. The food is then distributed to roughly 4,400 local food pantries and hunger relief agencies nationwide.
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Contact:
Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

February 7, 2010 - SHOW YOUR HEART 4 HAITI CAMPAIGN TO HELP EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS

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For Immediate Release

SHOW YOUR HEART 4 HAITI CAMPAIGN TO HELP EARTHQUAKE VICTIMS

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (February 7, 2010) — This Valentine’s Day, the international humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International (OBI) is encouraging Americans to think outside the chocolate box and give love and support to the people of Haiti with the Show Your Heart 4 Haiti campaign (www.showheart4haiti.org).

Instead of exchanging chocolate, flowers and candy to loved ones, OBI is suggesting a donation be made that will provide medical care, food, water and other relief efforts directly to the earthquake victims. With the rebuilding process just beginning, there is an incredible need for funds to help restore this devastated country. OBI has pledged 100% of donations will go to Haiti relief.

A new website created for the campaign, www.showheart4haiti.org, allows viewers to post messages of love and hope and also features a “Show Your Heart” campaign video with uplifting photographs from Haiti. The music clip featured in the video is from an original song, “Hope in Love,” written and performed by Sarah Pate. For a $5 donation toward Haiti relief, viewers can download the full-length version of the song. Additionally, donations of $25 or more will receive a Show Your Heart 4 Haiti wristband.

To help spread awareness, OBI is utilizing social networking sites, such as Facebook, Twitter and MySpace, to encourage members to upload their own heart-and-hands photo or message.

OBI has been working in Haiti on HIV/AIDs initiatives with a USAID grant for more than 5 years, and during 2009, OBI expanded their efforts in Haiti to also focus on projects with Partners in Health (PIH) and the Haiti Ministry of Health. Those efforts include providing potable water systems for PIH hospitals, launching a nationwide anti-parasite initiative to treat all school-age children and starting an innovative microenterprise fish farming project to help some of Haiti’s most impoverished families. Currently, OBI’s efforts are focused entirely on providing emergency relief and recovery for the Haitian people.

Since the 7.0 magnitude earthquake, OBI mobilized its international disaster relief teams and has provided emergency aid to tens of thousands of Haitians in the most devastated areas. Included in the relief efforts, OBI ran a medical clinic inside the Sylvio Cator Soccer Stadium, where more than 2,500 displaced people are camping. The charity also has installed 8 water purification plants throughout Port-au-Prince – including in National Stadium and in General Hospital, the largest hospital in Haiti — that are each providing some 10,000 gallons of safe water daily. OBI also loaded a United States Navy ship with 290 tons of emergency supplies such as baby food, additional water purification units, and bottled water that arrived last week.

“Your compassionate response for the people of Haiti is making such a difference, allowing us to provide medical care, clean water, as well as feeding thousands of hungry children and families,” said Bill Horan, President of Operation Blessing International. “Will you join us now in showering them with timely messages of love and support?”

Please visit www.showheart4haiti.org to take part in Show Your Heart 4 Haiti, or also www.ob.org for up to the minute information on OBI and its Haiti efforts.
# # # #
CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

January 21, 2010 - OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL HAITI UPDATES

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL HAITI UPDATES:
–Medical Clinic In Soccer Stadium Enters 5th Day–
–OBI To Install Water Purification Plant In National Stadium–
–OBI Delivering Hospital Equipment To Partners In Health–

PORT-AU-PRINCE (January 21, 2010) – Operation Blessing International is conducting the following earthquake relief efforts in Haiti today:

MEDICAL CLINIC
A medical clinic being run by Operation Blessing International (OBI) and a team of doctors from the Israeli charity, IsraAID (www.israaid.org.il), continues for a fifth day at the the Sylvio Cator Soccer Stadium (downtown PAP, next to General Hospital). Twelve doctors have been treating patients for days, along with assistance from Operation Blessing International staff and local volunteers. Roughly 2,500 people left homeless by the quake are camping in the stadium. Many are sick and injured, and when OBI arrived there was only one doctor in the stadium.

WATER PURIFICATION PLANT
Today OBI will be setting up a water purification plant in the National Stadium, where a humanitarian team from Israel is running a large field hospital. Called the Living Water™ Treatment System by Water Missions International (WMI), the unit will deliver up to 10,000 gallons of safe water daily. Yesterday, OBI installed a similar unit in nearby General Hospital, the largest hospital in Haiti, which has not had a source of clean water since the earthquake. Both WMI units were borrowed from partner charity, Samaritan’s Purse, also on the ground in Haiti. OBI currently has 10 additional WMI units being shipped to Haiti on the U.S. Navy ship, Sacagawea, to arrive over the weekend.

HOSPITAL EQUIPMENT
OBI is delivering a truckload of hospital equipment to Dr. Paul Farmer’s organization, Partners In Health, at General Hospital in Port-au-Prince. This equipment was donated by Americans to the charity, Missionary Flights International (MFI) specifically for Haiti earthquake relief.

OBI has been working to help the people of Haiti since May 2009 and had staff on the ground when the earthquake hit. The charity mobilized its international disaster relief team under the direction of David Darg, who arrived on Friday (Jan. 15th). The charity has been involved in a number of efforts including sourcing trucks to break the logistical logjam at the airport, delivering search and rescue teams to the quake zone, sourcing and installing a water purification plant at General Hospital in Port-au-Prince, as well as setting up a makeshift medical clinic with a team of 12 doctors from IsraAID (www.israaid.org.il) in the local soccer stadium. OBI also has dispatched a team of Spanish-speaking doctors from El Salvador who are currently helping with earthquake victims on the border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Operation Blessing International will send 100% of all money donated directly to the Haiti relief effort. To donate money or for more information on Operation Blessing International’s efforts please log on to www.ob.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 22 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2009, OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row, a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. Forbes, which currently ranks OBI as one of “America’s 200 Largest Charities” as well as one of “America’s Most Efficient Charities,” awarded OBI a perfect 100% rating in fundraising efficiency and 99% efficiency in charitable commitment. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 39th largest charity and the 7th largest international charity.

Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 215 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.1 billion to date.

# # # FOR INTERVIEWS: Chris Roslan Cell: 917-538-5629 chris@drcpublicrelations.com

January 20, 2010 - OPERATION BLESSING INTL. RESTORES CLEAN WATER TO HAITI’S LARGEST HOSPITAL

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OPERATION BLESSING INTL. RESTORES CLEAN WATER TO HAITI’S LARGEST HOSPITAL

OBI Delivers And Sets Up Water Purification Unit In Port-Au-Prince’s General (National) Hospital That Will Provide Up To 10,000 Gallons Of Clean Water Daily

PORT-AU-PRINCE (January 20, 2010) – Operation Blessing International (OBI) has delivered and set up a water purification plant in Haiti’s largest hospital today, General Hospital (also called National Hospital), restoring clean water to the facility.
The 700-bed hospital has a staff of 2,000, yet does not have running potable water. Prior to the earthquake the hospital had been purchasing truckloads of potable water and pumping that water into holding tanks. Since the quake, the trucks have not been operating and the hospital has been without clean water.

Operation Blessing International has been working with the hospital since before the earthquake. At the request of the office of the United Nations Special Envoy For Haiti, OBI has been undertaking an assessment of the water systems in all ten of the General Hospitals in the country, none of which have running potable water systems. OBI’s Haiti national director, Eric Lotz, was working at the General Hospital in Port-Au-Prince when the quake hit.

After the devastation, when the water trucks stopped operating, the hospital’s administration asked OBI to connect a reverse osmosis system the hospital had purchased some time ago but was not able to get operating. The hospital has three water wells, however each is contaminated. In order to supply safe water from a contaminated well, OBI, yesterday, was able to source a WMI purification plant from partner charity Samaritan’s Purse. OBI delivered the unit and its team has been working round the clock since yesterday to set it up. The clean water began flowing at roughly 2pm Eastern today.

Called the Living Water™ Treatment System by Water Missions International (WMI), the unit uses alum as a coagulant, garnet and anthracite for filtration with a back wash system so that it can be used indefinitely with no filter replacement costs, and a chlorinator for biological purification. The unit will produce up to 10,000 gallons of filtered water per day.

OBI currently has 10 additional WMI units being shipped to Haiti on the U.S. Navy ship, Sacagawea, to arrive over the weekend.
OBI has been working to help the people of Haiti since May, 2009and had staff on the ground when the earthquake hit. The charity mobilized its international disaster relief team under the direction of David Darg, who arrived on Friday (Jan. 15th). The charity has been involved in a number of efforts including sourcing trucks to break the logistical logjam at the airport, delivering search and rescue teams to the quake zone, as well as setting up a makeshift medical clinic with a team of 12 doctors from IsraAID (www.israaid.org.il) in the local soccer stadium. OBI also has dispatched a team of Spanish-speaking doctors from El Salvador who are currently helping with earthquake victims on the border of the Dominican Republic and Haiti.

Operation Blessing International will send 100% of all money donated directly to the Haiti relief effort. To donate money or for more information on Operation Blessing International’s efforts please log on to www.ob.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 22 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2009, OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row, a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. Forbes, which currently ranks OBI as one of “America’s 200 Largest Charities” as well as one of “America’s Most Efficient Charities,” awarded OBI a perfect 100% rating in fundraising efficiency and 99% efficiency in charitable commitment. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 39th largest charity and the 7th largest international charity.

Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 215 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.1 billion to date.

# # # FOR INTERVIEWS: Chris Roslan Cell: 917-538-5629 chris@drcpublicrelations.com

January 19, 2010- OBI DEPLOYS SPANISH-SPEAKING TEAM OF DOCTORS FROM EL SALVADOR TO HAITI

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OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL DEPLOYS SPANISH-SPEAKING TEAM OF DOCTORS FROM EL SALVADOR TO HAITI-DOMINICAN REPUBLIC BORDER

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (January 19, 2010) – Operation Blessing International (OBI) is deploying a team of Spanish-speaking doctors from El Salvador to the Dominican Republic today in order to help hospitals and medical camps on the border with Haiti that have been flooded with victims from the Haiti earthquake.

The team, which will arrive tonight, consists of eight doctors whose specialties include abdominal surgery, public health, orthopedic surgery, family medicine, pharmacy, pediatrics, plastic surgery and internal medicine. Tomorrow morning they will travel by military vehicles to the Haitian border, where local hospitals and medical camps set up by the government have been overrun with victims from the earthquake.

Jordan Durso, OBI’s regional director in Latin America, is coordinating the effort with authorities in the Dominican Republic, who will send the team to where the need is greatest. Durso anticipates being deployed to the town of Jimani, the main gateway to Haiti where many wounded are arriving.

OBI has been working to help the people of Haiti since May, 2009and had staff on the ground when the earthquake hit. The charity mobilized its international disaster relief team under the direction of David Darg, who arrived on Friday (Jan. 15th). The charity has been involved in a number of efforts including sourcing trucks to break the logistical logjam at the airport, delivering search and rescue teams to the quake zone, repairing and servicing a reverse osmosis water treatment plant at Haiti’s largest hospital, as well as setting up a makeshift medical clinic with a team of 12 doctors from IsraAID (www.israaid.org.il) in the local soccer stadium. OBI has also loaded 291 tons (16 truck loads) of critical relief supplies, including ten high-production water purification plants, onto the US Navy ship Sacagawea that will depart for Haiti today.

Operation Blessing International will send 100% of all money donated directly to the Haiti relief effort. To donate money or for more information on Operation Blessing International’s efforts please log on to www.ob.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 22 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2009, OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row, a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. Forbes, which currently ranks OBI as one of “America’s 200 Largest Charities” as well as one of “America’s Most Efficient Charities,” awarded OBI a perfect 100% rating in fundraising efficiency and 99% efficiency in charitable commitment. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 39th largest charity and the 7th largest international charity.

Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 215 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.1 billion to date.

# # # FOR INTERVIEWS: Chris Roslan Cell: 917-538-5629 chris@drcpublicrelations.com

January 18, 2010 - OBI LOADING U.S. NAVY SHIP WITH OVER 200 TONS OF CRITICAL RELIEF SUPPLIES

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OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL LOADING U.S. NAVY SHIP WITH OVER 200 TONS OF CRITICAL RELIEF SUPPLIES AND 10 HIGH-PRODUCTION WATER PURIFICATION PLANTS

OBI Water Purification Expert To Travel On Ship

USNS Sacagawea To Leave Norfolk Tuesday, January 19 around 4pm

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (January 18, 2010) – Operation Blessing International (OBI) has secured space onboard the USNS Sacagawea to transport critical disaster relief supplies to help the victims of the earthquake. The ship is being loaded today and tomorrow morning and is expected to depart from Norfolk around 4pm Tuesday (January 19).

Operation Blessing International will be shipping:
(7) Truckloads of bottled water (175,000 ½-liter bottles)
(3) Truckloads of baby food (60 tons)
(10) WMI water plants (each capable of purifying 10,000 gallons a day)
350 LifeSaver water bottles (family size water purifiers) 5
800 Ready-to-eat meals
2750 Gallons of diesel fuel

In addition to the cargo, OBI’s’ water purification expert Joe Scott, a retired U.S. Navy Sea Bee equipment operator, will travel onboard the ship in order to install the WMI water purification plants upon their arrival in Port-au-Prince.

Called the Living Water Treatment System by Water Missions International (WMI), the units use alum as a coagulant, garnet and anthracite for filtration with a back wash system so that they can be used for up to 5 years with no filter replacement costs, and a chlorinator for biological purification. Each unit will produce up to 10,000 gallons of filtered water per day.

The ship will reach Guantanamo, Cuba, in five days. The cargo will be unloaded and U.S. Navy helicopters will transport the supplies to OBI’s temporary headquarters at the Port-au-Prince airport.

OBI has been working to help the people of Haiti since May, 2009and had staff on the ground when the earthquake hit. The charity mobilized its international disaster relief team under the direction of David Darg, who arrived on Friday (Jan. 15th). The charity has been involved in a number of efforts including sourcing trucks to break the logistical logjam at the airport, delivering search and rescue teams to the quake zone, repairing and servicing a reverse osmosis water treatment plant at Haiti’s largest hospital, as well as setting up a makeshift medical clinic with a team of 12 doctors from IsraAID (www.israaid.org.il) in the local soccer stadium.

Operation Blessing International will send 100% of all money donated directly to the Haiti relief effort. To donate money or for more information on Operation Blessing International’s efforts please log on to www.ob.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 22 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2009, OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row, a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. Forbes, which currently ranks OBI as one of “America’s 200 Largest Charities” as well as one of “America’s Most Efficient Charities,” awarded OBI a perfect 100% rating in fundraising efficiency and 99% efficiency in charitable commitment. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 39th largest charity and the 7th largest international charity.

Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 215 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.1 billion to date.

# # # FOR INTERVIEWS: Chris Roslan Cell: 917-538-5629 chris@drcpublicrelations.com

October 30, 2009 - CONCERT IN ORLANDO THIS SUNDAY TO RAISE MONEY FOR TYPHOON VICTIMS

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For Immediate Release

FILIPINO MUSIC STAR GARY V TO HOST BENEFIT CONCERT IN ORLANDO THIS SUNDAY TO RAISE MONEY FOR TYPHOON VICTIMS

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (October 30, 2009) – Filipino music star Gary V will perform a benefit concert this Sunday at the Florida Hospital Church (2800 N Orange Ave, Orlando) to raise money for the many victims of the recent typhoons in the Philippines. This announcement was made today by Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing International (OBI), the beneficiary of the “Gary V: A Wave Of Hope” event.

Tickets for “Gary V: A Wave Of Hope” are $25, with 100% of the money raised going directly to disaster relief in the Philippines. The concert is sponsored by Grace Fellowship Church, Orlando Fl.

Gary V, who is currently touring the USA, has dominated the music scene in the Philippines for more than twenty-five years. To date, he has released 26 albums, earned multi-platinum status, and won the Best Male Performer in the prestigious Awit Awards eleven times. Operation Blessing International has worked extensively in the Philippines for over a decade, with regional headquarters in Manila. Under the direction of Dr. Kim April C. Pascual, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Operation Blessing International Philippines, the charity has earned the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) of the Year by the Philippines government for 4 out of the last 6 years. Most recently, OBI has launched a major response to three typhoons that have struck the country, having helped over 168,000 people in October. OBI is currently preparing for a fourth typhoon, Mirinae, which is expected to hit Manila this weekend. “The devastation we’ve seen with two typhoons that occurred only seven days apart is inconceivable,” said Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing International. “Every penny raised by this concert as well as money donated through our website (www.ob.org) will be wire transferred to our Manila office where it will be spent on medicines and emergency food packages.”

SPECIAL SHOW ANNOUNCEMENT:

“Gary V: A Wave Of Hope”
A concert to benefit typhoon victims in the Philippines
Sunday, Nov.1, 2009
5:00pm
Florida Hospital Church (2800 N Orange Ave, Orlando, FL)

For more information on the concert please contact (407) 403-1650 or email PiaVP18@aol.com.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 22 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2009, OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row, a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. Forbes, which currently ranks OBI as one of “America’s 200 Largest Charities” as well as one of “America’s Most Efficient Charities,” awarded OBI a perfect 100% rating in fundraising efficiency and 99% efficiency in charitable commitment. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy currently ranks OBI as the 39th largest non-governmental organization and 7th largest international charity.

In 2008, OBI responded to 33 disasters in 16 foreign countries as well as 7 major domestic disasters. Most recently, OBI mobilized teams and funded major relief and recovery efforts in Italy, Myanmar, the Sichuan Province of China, Rift Valley in Kenya, Bangladesh, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, the Darfur region of Sudan, Pakistan, Somalia, India, Indonesia, Mozambique and the Philippines. OBI has also made headlines as a first responder to U.S. hurricanes, floods and tornadoes as well as the tsunami disaster in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand.

Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 215 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.1 billion to date.

# # #

CONTACT:
Chris Roslan/Stacey Kaspin
Dera, Roslan & Campion Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

October 5, 2009 - OBI DISASTER RELIEF EFFORTS NOW UNDERWAY

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OBI DISASTER RELIEF EFFORTS NOW UNDERWAY IN INDIA, VIETNAM, THE PHILIPPINES AND INDONESIA

– OBI Will Send 100% Of Donations Directly To Disaster Relief Efforts –

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (October 5, 2009)–The humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International (OBI) has expanded its disaster relief efforts into India and Vietnam, in addition to major ongoing operations in Indonesia and the Philippines.

In Indonesia, OBI has over 40 relief workers on the ground helping earthquake victims in Padang and the surrounding area, including four medical teams in addition to a logistics and distribution team. The charity is focusing on reaching remote villages cut off since last week’s earthquake due to landslides, where thousands have died and many more are buried in the rubble. In addition to providing medical care to victims, OBI is distributing thousands of shelter kits containing mattresses, blankets and other materials to provide temporary shelters to victims, as well as thousands of family survival kits containing food, water and emergency provisions.

In the Philippines, which has been hit by two typhoons in over a week, Operation Blessing International’s disaster relief teams have helped more than 97,000 victims with relief such as emergency food and water, medical care and cleanup assistance. Today, OBI secured $151,000 worth of emergency medicines from long-time partner Medical Assistance Programs International (MAP), which international shipping company DHL—another key partner with OBI—has agreed to fly into Manila later this week. OBI has an office in the hard-hit city of Manila, where 80 percent of buildings were flooded.

In India, OBI is responding to record-breaking flooding that has killed 270 people and left millions homeless following torrential rains over the weekend. The charity has its national headquarters in Hyderabad and has been providing humanitarian efforts in the country since 1998, helping millions through clean water projects, medical missions, disaster relief and microenterprise operations.

In Vietnam, OBI is delivering emergency meals to thousands in Quang Namin the aftermath of Typhoon Ketsana, which affected some 3 million in that country. Since Friday, OBI has delivered over 3,000 emergency meals in flooded areas only accessible by boat. Workers are also preparing to purchase large quantities of tin in order to repair some of the hundreds of homes damaged by the storms.

Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing International, said, “The last week has seen an unprecedented amount of disasters in Asia with tens of millions displaced. Operation Blessing International is helping in four of the hardest-hit countries, but we would like to expand efforts to assist victims. Cash donations are badly needed at this time, and OBI will send 100% of all donations received directly to these disaster relief efforts.”

To donate or read more about OBI’s efforts, please log on to www.ob.org

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 22 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2009, OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row, a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. Forbes, which currently ranks OBI as one of “America’s 200 Largest Charities” as well as one of “America’s Most Efficient Charities,” awarded OBI a perfect 100% rating in fundraising efficiency and 99% efficiency in charitable commitment. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy recently ranked OBI as the 58th largest non-governmental organization and 9th largest international charity.

In 2008, OBI responded to 33 disasters in 16 foreign countries as well as 7 major domestic disasters. Most recently, OBI mobilized teams and funded major relief and recovery efforts in Italy, Myanmar, the Sichuan Province of China, Rift Valley in Kenya, Bangladesh, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, the Darfur region of Sudan, Pakistan, Somalia, India, Indonesia, Mozambique and the Philippines. OBI has also made headlines as a first responder to U.S. hurricanes, floods and tornadoes as well as the tsunami disaster in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. In addition to directing major disaster relief efforts, OBI has often filled the role of logistical arm to organizations including the International Red Cross, the Salvation Army, UNICEF and the United Nations World Food Program.

Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 215 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $2.1 billion to date.

# # # #

FOR INTERVIEWS WITH BILL HORAN, CONTACT:

Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

October 2, 2009 - OBI LAUNCHES EMERGENCY DISASTER RELIEF EFFORTS IN PADANG, INDONESIA

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OBI LAUNCHES EMERGENCY DISASTER RELIEF EFFORTS IN PADANG, INDONESIA

“Devastation is much worse than what has been reported,” says OBI director

PADANG, INDONESIA (October 2, 2009)–Disaster relief specialist Operation Blessing International (OBI) is responding to a 7.6 magnitude earthquake here which has left over 1,100 dead and many thousands more seriously injured. OBI, which has a major presence in the country through its regional headquarters in Jakarta, has four medical teams on the ground in the hard hit city of Padang, with 25 doctors and nurses providing emergency medical relief. OBI loaded an Indonesian Navy vessel in Jakarta yesterday with two ambulances, electrical generators drums of fuel and thousands of emergency kits. The ship will arrive in Padang on Saturday. In addition, four OBI trucks loaded with relief supplies arrived in Padang today, with additional non-medical OBI team members distributing shelter kits and other critical relief supplies.

OBI is also setting up two logistics bases, one in Pekanbaru and the other in Jakarta.

OBI has joined with longtime partner, the airborne charity Mission Aviation Fellowship, who is flying in the medical teams and supplies. Additionally, OBI has teamed up with another longtime partner, the German charity Humedica, who is sending a medical team that will operate from OBI’s base in Padang.

Says Mark McClendon, Operation Blessing International’s director on the ground, “The situation here is very urgent, with many areas still completely unreachable and no way to help the victims there. The devastation is much worse than what the media has reported so far.”

OBI has worked in Indonesia since opening the Jakarta regional headquarters in 1998, helping over 850,000 people to date. The charity was a first responder to the 2004 tsunami, where it operated and built numerous medical clinics, treated over 180,000 patients and gave away over $27 million dollars worth of medicine. OBI also distributed over 136,000 care packages and more than 52 tons of food. Since the tsunami, OBI Indonesia has built or refurbished hundreds of boats, with each boat supporting the economic needs of three families. OBI affiliates have also provided over 306 boats and have created 208 other livelihood projects including brick factories in Rigah and Lhok Kruet, where over 100,000 bricks were produced and used to build new homes.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 22 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2009, OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row, a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. Forbes, which currently ranks OBI as one of “America’s 200 Largest Charities” as well as one of “America’s Most Efficient Charities,” awarded OBI a perfect 100% rating in fundraising efficiency and 99% efficiency in charitable commitment. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy recently ranked OBI as the 58th largest non-governmental organization and 9th largest international charity.

In 2008, OBI responded to 33 disasters in 16 foreign countries as well as 7 major domestic disasters. Most recently, OBI mobilized teams and funded major relief and recovery efforts in Italy, Myanmar, the Sichuan Province of China, Rift Valley in Kenya, Bangladesh, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, the Darfur region of Sudan, Pakistan, Somalia, India, Indonesia, Mozambique and the Philippines. OBI has also made headlines as a first responder to U.S. hurricanes, floods and tornadoes as well as the tsunami disaster in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. In addition to directing major disaster relief efforts, OBI has often filled the role of logistical arm to organizations including the International Red Cross, the Salvation Army, UNICEF and the United Nations World Food Program.

Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 209.3 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $1.7 billion to date.

# # # #

FOR INTERVIEWS WITH MARK McCLENDON ON THE GROUND:

Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

September 28, 2009 - OBI LAUNCHES EMERGENCY DISASTER RELIEF IN MANILA TO HURRICANE VICTIMS”

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OBI LAUNCHES EMERGENCY DISASTER RELIEF IN MANILA TO AID FROM “HURRICANE KATRINA OF THE PHILIPPINES”

MANILA, PHILIPPINES (September 28, 2009)–Disaster relief specialists Operation Blessing International (OBI) are responding to Typhoon Ondoy (Ketsana), which dumped 13.5 inches of rainfall–an entire month’s worth–in just six hours, leaving the city 80 percent flooded. News reports confirm over 100 deaths so far and many people are stranded on rooftops throughout Manila as roadways are submerged. An estimated 300,000 residents are displaced.

OBI has an office in Manila and has worked extensively in the Philippines for over a decade. Under the direction of Dr. Kim April C. Pascual, Executive Vice President and Chief Operating Officer for Operation Blessing International Philippines, the charity has earned the Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) of the Year by the Philippines government for 4 out of the last 6 years.

Dr. Kim, whose own home is underwater, is on the ground directing the relief and recovery operations. Currently, OBI teams are moving quickly to:

  • Mobilize food and water distributions
  • Deploy medical teams to hardest-hit areas
  • Partner with local groups to begin flood clean-up and recovery efforts

Already, OBI teams have been able to feed more than 5,000 affected residents and will continue to expand relief efforts to reach more victims.

Dr. Kim said, “This is Hurricane Katrina of the Philippines. Almost a month’s worth of rainfall has submerged riverbank cities like Marikina and Pasig, and buried neighboring cities and provinces under ravaging floodwaters, putting the whole region under a state of calamity.”

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 22 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2009, OBI was awarded Charity Navigator’s coveted 4 star rating for sound fiscal management for the fifth year in a row, a feat that only 4% of rated charities have ever achieved. Forbes, which currently ranks OBI as one of “America’s 200 Largest Charities” as well as one of “America’s Most Efficient Charities,” awarded OBI a perfect 100% rating in fundraising efficiency and 99% efficiency in charitable commitment. Additionally, the Chronicle of Philanthropy recently ranked OBI as the 58th largest non-governmental organization and 9th largest international charity.

In 2008, OBI responded to 33 disasters in 16 foreign countries as well as 7 major domestic disasters. Most recently, OBI mobilized teams and funded major relief and recovery efforts in Italy, Myanmar, the Sichuan Province of China, Rift Valley in Kenya, Bangladesh, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, the Darfur region of Sudan, Pakistan, Somalia, India, Indonesia, Mozambique and the Philippines. OBI has also made headlines as a first responder to U.S. hurricanes, floods and tornadoes as well as the tsunami disaster in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. In addition to directing major disaster relief efforts, OBI has often filled the role of logistical arm to organizations including the International Red Cross, the Salvation Army, UNICEF and the United Nations World Food Program.

Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 209.3 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $1.7 billion to date.

# # # #

FOR INTERVIEWS WITH DR. KIM:

Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

July 30, 2009 - OBI LAUNCHES TELEVISION SERIES SHOWING INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN EFFORTS IN ACTION

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OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL LAUNCHES TELEVISION SERIES SHOWING INTERNATIONAL HUMANITARIAN EFFORTS IN ACTION

Weekly TV Series To Debut August 1 On The Enlace Television Network In Latin America, United States And Spain

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (July 30, 2009)–Operation Blessing International (OBI) has teamed up with theEnlace Television Network, CBN WorldReach and Channel 27 Guatemala to produce a weekly television series chronicling the humanitarian organization’s relief efforts all around the world and the impact of those efforts on the lives of people in need. This announcement was made today by Bill Horan, president of OBI.

The 30-minute weekly magazine-style show is called “Operacion Bendicion” and is hosted by Latin American television personality Alejandra Castellanos. The program, which is produced in the U.S.A. and Guatemala, follows the international relief efforts of OBI, telling dramatic stories of people helping others in their local towns and communities around the world, and featuring in-depth interviews with relief workers, volunteers, and the people whose lives have been affected. “Operacion Bendicion” is produced by Sandra Smith with Beatriz Viera at CBN WorldReach headquarters in Virginia Beach, with additional production taking place at Channel 27 Guatemala.

The series will launch on August 1 on the Enlace Television Network (5pm Eastern). The Enlace Television Network provides programming to the Hispanic community throughout Latin America, South America as well as the United States and Spain.

The first episode takes viewers to India where OBI helps a little girl receive life-saving heart surgery, and also to Guatemala where a sick child is helped through the donation of some unlikely farm animals. Viewers then travel to Thailand where OBI provides a water-well to an orphanage in need of clean drinking water and also helps a family start a new business.

The ongoing weekly series continues with episodes featuring similar stories from Mexico, Guatemala, Cambodia, Philippines, El Salvador, Ukraine and many more.

Sandra Smith, producer of “Operacion Bendicion,” said, “This program gives us the opportunity to show powerful examples of the importance of generosity and how giving your time or resources impacts countless people’s lives. We are hoping it will inspire others to get involved and volunteer in their own communities and/or donate resources to relief efforts.”

Each show will invite viewers to participate in the relief efforts, directing them to the “Operacion Bendicion” website (www.operacionbendicion.com) for more information.

“We learned about Operation Blessing International’s many efforts to help the people of Latin America and wanted to help the charity expand those efforts,” said Cesar Espanol, director of marketing and public relations for the Enlace Television Network. “We are very excited to help with this outreach and hope this will play a role in both increasing OBI’s work in the region and also inspiring other ministries as well.” Bill Horan, president of OBI, said, “We are eternally grateful to Enlace for providing this tremendous opportunity to share our story to an international audience. Millions of people around the world donate to charities, but they never really get to see the results of their generosity because the news media only report the headlines. This program will show how OBI is making a real difference in the lives of people purely through the generosity of donors and volunteers.”

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:

Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 22 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2007, OBI responded to a record 20 disasters in 14 countries. Most recently, OBI funded major humanitarian efforts in Italy, the Sichuan Province of China, Myanmar, Kenya, Bangladesh, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, the Darfur region of Sudan, Pakistan, Somalia, India, Indonesia, Mozambique and the Philippines. OBI has also made headlines as a first responder to U.S. hurricanes, floods and tornadoes as well as the tsunami disaster in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. In addition to directing major humanitarian efforts, OBI has often filled the role of logistical arm to humanitarian organizations including the International RedCross, the Salvation Army, UNICEF and the United Nations World Food Program. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 202.7 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $1.4 billion to date.

# # # #

CONTACT:

Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

June 30, 2009 - OBI'S HUNGER STRIKE FORCE EXPANDS PARTNERSHIP WITH KINGSWAY CHARITIES

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OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL’S HUNGER STRIKE FORCE EXPANDS PARTNERSHIP WITH KINGSWAY CHARITIES

OBI To Operate Food Distribution Warehouse Serving Appalachia

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (June 30, 2009)–Operation Blessing International (OBI) and Bristol, Virginia-based Kingsway Charities have expanded their longtime partnership. Under the new arrangement, OBI’s Hunger Strike Force will operate a 23,000 square-foot food distribution site in Kingsway’s warehouse for at least the next five years, enabling OBI’s Hunger Strike Force to greatly expand its hunger relief efforts throughout Appalachia. John Gregory, president of Kingsway Charities and OBI president Bill Horan made this announcement today.

For 15 years, Kingsway Charities had been a partner in OBI’s Hunger Strike Force, operating its own food distribution site in Bristol. Over the past 5 years, the Hunger Strike Force has delivered over 29.6 million pounds of food and relief aid into the Appalachian region of the U.S., and of that, some 13.7 million pounds specifically to the Kingsway Charities facility. However, Kingsway Charities discontinued its program in January due to financial restraints, and began looking for an organization to take over operations of the warehouse and continue the outreach. Due to its extensive experience in hunger relief, Kingsway Charities chose to expand its partnership with Operation Blessing International.

Now that the expanded partnership is in place, OBI’s Hunger Strike Force will begin operations of a regional food distribution site from the Kingsway Charities building. Initially, OBI anticipates distributing as much as 2-to-5 truckloads per week, 175,000 pounds of food, hygiene and additional relief aid into Appalachia, along with utilizing the Bristol warehouse as a distribution hub to stage and transport up to 200,000 pounds of additional product per week to other neighboring states and regions. OBI hopes to be fully operational by the end of the summer and expects to distribute approximately 15 million pounds in the first 12 months.

John Gregory, President of Kingsway Charities stated, “We’re extremely excited to expand the partnership with Operation Blessing International’s Hunger Strike Force. The need in Appalachia in this current economy is great and we are eager to unite with such an experienced ministry.”

Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing stated, “We are grateful to Kingsway for this opportunity. The current recession is pushing an ever-increasing number of Americans into the ranks of the ‘newly made poor.’ By combining Operation Blessing’s trucking fleet and food resources with Kingsway’s strategically-placed facility and multi-denominational church network, we will leverage our mutual strengths, and as a result, feed more people than either of us could have on our own.”

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International is one of the largest non-profit, humanitarian organizations in America, providing strategic hunger and disaster relief, medical aid, clean water and community development in 22 countries around the world on a daily basis. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 202.7 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $1.4 billion to date. OBI’s Hunger Strike Force (HSF) has delivered and given away more than 1 billion pounds of food, hygiene and relief aid since 1992. Its fleet of trailer trucks transports a weekly average of 2 million pounds of food and relief supplies to a network of 120 community-based partners in the USA. The food is then distributed to roughly 4,400 local food pantries and hunger relief agencies nationwide.

# # #

CONTACTS:

Kingsway Charities
276-466-3014

Operation Blessing International
Chris Roslan/DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600

June 11, 2009 - OBI'S ANNUAL ANTI-PARASITE PROGRAM TO KICK OFF IN MEXICO JUNE 13-19

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For Immediate Release!

OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL’S ANNUAL ANTI-PARASITE PROGRAM TO KICK OFF IN MEXICO JUNE 13-19

Tens Of Millions Of People In Latin America, And Now Africa, To Be Cured Through OBI’s Program Combining Free Medication With Hands-On Preventative Training

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (June 11, 2009)–The humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International (OBI) will kick off its annual anti-parasite program this year on June 13-19 in Mexico. The global program, which has recently focused on Latin America, has been expanded to include the Ivory Coast in Africa and will help tens of millions of people this year through free medication and hands-on preventative training. OBI president Bill Horan made these announcements today.

Intestinal worms pose serious health problems and are one of the top ten causes of death in children under five. According to the ministries of health in Latin America, it is estimated that 73.4 million school-aged children in the countries that OBI is working in are infected. Lack of proper hygiene makes the population susceptible to infestation, which can also occur through walking barefoot in infested soil, eating unwashed food, and exposure to animal and human waste.

The OBI program will commence June 13-19 in Mexico, where OBI is working in conjunction with the Mexican Ministry of Health to distribute an initial 1.5 million free doses of the anti-parasite medication Albendazole. The medication will be given to high-risk populations in the 125 poorest municipalities in the country, covering 7 states: Chiapas, Durango, Guerrero, Nayarit, Oaxaca, Puebla and Veracruz. Since the medication requires a second treatment six months after the initial dose, a second treatment will be given later this year.

In November, OBI will then launch its program in Latin America with an initial distribution of medication that will treat millions of children in Colombia, Ecuador, El Salvador, Honduras, Nicaragua, Guatemala and Peru. Six months later (May 2010), OBI will provide a second dose of the medication to those same children. A similar plan will take place in the Ivory Coast, with millions of children receiving two doses in a six-month timeframe beginning later this year. All told, the charity expects to distribute 26 million doses of free medication in addition to providing hands-on training to tens of millions this year alone.

In each country, OBI is working in conjunction with the government and thousands of churches that will distribute the medication and also provide basic hygiene training to combat future infestation. OBI is providing the medication, supervision and management of each program, along with providing anti-parasite educational materials designed by the World Health Organization.

Albendazole and Mabendazole are highly effective against a variety of internal parasites including pin worms, roundworms, tapeworms, whipworms and hookworms. In many cases, the worms consume as much as 25 percent of the food that an infested person eats, thus depriving the body of nutrition. This is especially harmful in a developing country where food is hard to come by. Young children are exceptionally at risk. Other results of worm infestation are a weakened immune system, chronic sickness, stunted growth, a reduced cognitive ability, headaches and stomach pains.

OBI’s anti-parasite campaign has been in place since 2003 and has treated over 22 million children to date in countries including China, India, Indonesia, Cambodia, Philippines, Laos, Nigeria, Niger, Guatemala, Peru and Mexico. In October 2008, for the fifth time, OBI treated approximately 2 million women and children in one day in Peru utilizing a network of 2000 churches and over 42,000 volunteers. In Guatemala, OBI has worked with the Departments of Health and Education to facilitate the de-worming of Guatemala’s entire population of over 2.1 million school age children in 2005 and 2006.

Says Bill Horan, “Children infested with parasites are always hungry, often sick, miss lots of school and suffer in terrible ways ranging from non-stop belly aches to stunted growth, chronic disease and muddled minds. With a pill costing less than a nickel and some very basic hygiene training, we can change all that.”

To donate, volunteer, or read updates on OBI’s efforts, please log onto www.ob.org and/or www.myowneyes.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 22 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2008, OBI responded to 33 disasters in 16 foreign countries as well as 7 major domestic disasters. Most recently, OBI mobilized teams and funded major relief and recovery efforts in Myanmar, the Sichuan Province of China, Rift Valley in Kenya, Bangladesh, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, the Darfur region of Sudan, Pakistan, Somalia, India, Indonesia, Mozambique and the Philippines. OBI has also made headlines as a first responder to U.S. hurricanes, floods and tornadoes as well as the tsunami disaster in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. In addition to directing major disaster relief efforts, OBI has often filled the role of logistical arm to organizations including the International Red Cross, the Salvation Army, UNICEF and the United Nations World Food Program. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 209.3 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $1.7 billion to date.

# # # #

Contact:

Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

April 1, 2009 - DISASTER RELIEF CHARITY CALLS FOR VOLUNTEERS IN NORTH DAKOTA

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DISASTER RELIEF CHARITY CALLS FOR VOLUNTEERS IN NORTH DAKOTA

FARGO, ND – Disaster relief specialists Operation Blessing International (OBI) are coordinating the volunteer efforts for flood relief in the city of Linton, ND as well all of Emmons county. Volunteers, both from the local area and from around the USA are needed to remove flood debris and clean houses.

Anyone living in the greater Fargo area that would like to volunteer should report to the Emmons County Court House (100 4th St. NW, Linton) on Friday and/or Saturday mornings by 8:00am. Then, starting Monday, all volunteers should report to OBI’s volunteer base camp, which will be located at St. Anthony’s Catholic Church (613 N. Broadway St., Linton).

OBI is also accepting teams of volunteers from anywhere in the USA and will provide all meals, lodging and supervision. Volunteers will have to arrange their own travel. All volunteers must be 18 years of age and must sign up in teams of at least two people. OBI will provide separate sleeping quarters for men and women. Cots are available, but volunteers are responsible for bringing blankets, sleeping bags, pillows, and towels for showers. Volunteers are needed next week to help residents remove debris and sheet-rock from their flooded homes. OBI will provide all personal protective equipment and tools. Volunteers should wear work clothes with work boots/hard-soled shoes.

Volunteers are asked to report to the above locations by 8:00 AM and will be deployed with a construction foreman by 8:30AM each day. Volunteers will work from 8:30 AM-4:30 PM each day. Lunch and water will be provided.

Local Volunteer Questions: Please call 701.321.0180
Out-of-Town Volunteers: Please call 757.226.3407

Operation Blessing International’s disaster relief team arrived in North Dakota last week and is coordinating with volunteer relief agencies and local officials to bring relief to rural and poor areas that are not receiving much aid. OBI has deployed a mobile kitchen unit, which can feed up to 1,500 hot meals a day, to help support emergency management officials and first responders. OBI has adopted the small town of Linton, ND, and is helping residents, many of whom are elderly and disabled, to salvage their belongings. OBI is also taking work orders from families who need recovery assistance, assembling teams of volunteers and dispatching construction/clean-up trailers packed with personal protective equipment and tools for volunteer clean-up crews arriving this week.

To donate, volunteer, or read updates on OBI’s efforts, please log on to www.ob.org and/or www.myowneyes.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 22 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2008, OBI responded to 33 disasters in 16 foreign countries as well as 7 major domestic disasters. Most recently, OBI mobilized teams and funded major relief and recovery efforts in Myanmar, the Sichuan Province of China, Rift Valley in Kenya, Bangladesh, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, the Darfur region of Sudan, Pakistan, Somalia, India, Indonesia, Mozambique and the Philippines. OBI has also made headlines as a first responder to U.S. hurricanes, floods and tornadoes as well as the tsunami disaster in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. In addition to directing major disaster relief efforts, OBI has often filled the role of logistical arm to organizations including the International Red Cross, the Salvation Army, UNICEF and the United Nations World Food Program. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 209.3 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $1.7 billion to date.

# # # #

To interview Jody Herrington, director of U.S. disaster relief for OBI, please contact:
Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

March 31, 2009 - VIRGINIA EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION TO PRESENT AWARD TO OBI ON THURSDAY, APRIL 2

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VIRGINIA EMERGENCY MANAGEMENT ASSOCIATION TO PRESENT AWARD TO OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL ON THURSDAY, APRIL 2

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (March 31, 2009) – The Virginia Emergency Management Association will present the Virginia Beach-based humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International (OBI) with their annual award honoring a nonprofit organization, government group or business for helping emergency management within the commonwealth of Virginia.

The award will be presented to OBI president Bill Horan and OBI’s director of U.S. disaster relief, Jody Herrington at a special luncheon to be held this Thursday, April 2 at the Hampton Roads Conference Center. Virginia Emergency Management Association president Hui-Shan Walker and past president Douglas Young will present the award in front of 300 guests.

Previous recipients of award include the Virginia Department of Emergency Management, Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active In Disaster (VOAD), and the nonprofit organization God’s Pit Crew.

Doug Young, past president of the Virginia Emergency Management Association, said, “Operation Blessing International was chosen because of their years of humanitarian service and disaster relief efforts in the Commonwealth of Virginia. From floods and hurricanes to last year’s devastating tornadoes in Suffolk, OBI has always been among the first on the ground when disaster strikes and usually one of the last to leave after the cleanup.”

For more information about the Virginia Emergency Management Association, please visit www.vemaweb.com.

To donate, volunteer, or read updates on OBI’s efforts, please log on to www.ob.org and/or www.myowneyes.org.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 22 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2008, OBI responded to 33 disasters in 16 foreign countries as well as 7 major domestic disasters. Most recently, OBI mobilized teams and funded major relief and recovery efforts in Myanmar, the Sichuan Province of China, Rift Valley in Kenya, Bangladesh, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, the Darfur region of Sudan, Pakistan, Somalia, India, Indonesia, Mozambique and the Philippines. OBI has also made headlines as a first responder to U.S. hurricanes, floods and tornadoes as well as the tsunami disaster in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. In addition to directing major disaster relief efforts, OBI has often filled the role of logistical arm to organizations including the International Red Cross, the Salvation Army, UNICEF and the United Nations World Food Program. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 209.3 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $1.7 billion to date.

# # # #

Contact:

Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

March 23, 2009 - CHRIS PAUL TAKES A TIMEOUT TO PREPARE THE BIG EASY FOR HURRICANE SEASON

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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 23, 2009

CONTACT
Steven Jumper of Impact Strategies
240-481-0638
sjumper@impactstrategiesllc.com

CHRIS PAUL TAKES A TIMEOUT TO PREPARE THE BIG EASY FOR HURRICANE SEASON
NBA All Star Advocates Safety and Preparedness, while distributing survival kits

[New Orleans, LA]– New Orleans Hornets All-Star Chris Paul and 4 Survival To Go joined forces with Operation Blessing International to distribute 150 emergency survival kits to New Orleans area residents on Monday, March 23, 2009.

As a part of The Chris Paul Foundation’s ongoing efforts to help rebuild New Orleans, The Foundation announced its Safety and Preparedness Initiative and partnership with Operation Blessing International, a worldwide humanitarian relief organization, to solicit pledges from businesses, colleagues and fans to help reach their goal of distributing 3,000 preparedness kits prior to this year’s hurricane season. Anyone interested in supporting the campaign can log onto www.chrispaul3.com to purchase a kit for $50 and the kits will be distributed throughout the NOLA community over the coming months.

Each 4 Survival To Go Emergency Preparedness Kit includes vital supplies needed to survive an emergency for 72 hours. The compact, portable bag includes emergency food/water, a prepaid phone card, self-powered flashlight with am/fm radio, duct tape, disposable camera along with many other essential tools. The kit can be stored in the home, office or vehicle.

“During my time with the Hornets, I’ve grown extremely close to the people of New Orleans,” Paul said. “We have all been through a lot and I’m happy to be working with Operation Blessing and 4 Survival To Go to help bring our community the resources they need to prepare during times of emergency.”

“We are proud to join with The Chris Paul Foundation and 4 Survival To Go in this critical initiative,” Pam Erickson, Operation Blessing International, said. “There is no community that better appreciates the importance of emergency preparedness than New Orleans and we believe the resources and information that we will distribute will empower the people we reach.”

The Chris Paul Foundation: The Chris Paul Foundation provides support to community based organizations that promote education, health, sports and social responsibility. Chris Paul and his family created the CP3 Foundation in partnership with The Winston-Salem Foundation to support a variety of charitable causes. Since its inception in 2006, the CP3 Foundation has raised more than $250,000 to benefit programs throughout Winston-Salem and New Orleans. For more information, visit www.chrispaul3.com

Operation Blessing International: OBI has touched the lives of more than 209.3 million people in 105 countries and all 50 states, providing food and relief supplies, goods and services valued at more than $1.7 billion. During last year alone, OBI picked up and delivered over 100 million pounds of relief supplies and responded to a record 20 disasters in 14 countries. For more information on OBI, visit www.ob.org

About 4 Survival To Go: Founded by two female friends, 4 Survival To Go is dedicated to increasing awareness on the benefits of being prepared before a disaster strikes by promoting and educating consumers with resources and products. 4 Survival to wants communities to be prepared for disasters before they happen. For more information, visit www.4survivaltogo.com
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January 23, 2009 - 1 BILLION POUNDS OF FOOD AND RELIEF PRODUCTS DELIVERED

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Operation Blessing International To Celebrate Major Milestone On Jan. 28:

1 BILLION POUNDS OF FOOD AND RELIEF PRODUCTS DELIVERED!

VIRGINIA BEACH (January 23, 2009) – Operation Blessing International (OBI), one of the largest charities in America, will celebrate a major milestone on Wednesday, January 28th when its Hunger Strike Force (HSF) program reaches 1 billion pounds of food and relief aid delivered since the program’s inception in 1992.

Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing International, said, “30 years ago, Pat Robertson founded Operation Blessing International as a pipeline to the poor; a conduit between those willing to help and those who need help. What Dr Robertson started as a local effort to assist the poor in Tidewater, Virginia has grown into a worldwide humanitarian organization offering not only hunger relief, but clean water, medical services, disaster relief and a myriad of programs for orphans and at-risk children.”

The Hunger Strike Force is OBI’s largest domestic program. With warehouses strategically located in Florida, California and Virginia, HSF currently delivers over two million pounds of free food and supplies each week to a network of more than 120 community-based partners in dozens of cities including New York, Los Angeles, Chicago, Atlanta, Washington DC, Tampa, Nashville, Asheville, Buffalo, and many more. The products are then distributed by the partner organizations to roughly 4,400 local food pantries, where it is given to people in need.

OBI transports the products to the partners via OBI’s fleet of 18 tractor-trailer trucks and 75 trailers, traveling close to 2 million miles last year alone. In delivering the 1 billion pounds, OBI has logged 28,000 truckloads and over 21 million miles in the USA to date.

The 1 billion pounds are broken down as follows:
• 865 million pounds of food (non-perishable, fresh produce, canned, dry mixes, drinks)
• 95 million pounds of hygiene & relief aid (soap, shampoo, toiletries, diapers)
• 42 million pounds of disaster response goods (packaged food, water, building materials)

While the program has made a tremendous impact – the food delivered has supplemented over 684 million meals to date — the Hunger Strike Force is facing new challenges, making it tougher to provide free food for those in need. The program has recently seen a 343% increase in partner applications from food pantries around the country that are badly in need of provisions. This alarming increase, according to OBI, is the result of a surge in the numbers of Americans who are suffering from the current economic recession, the mortgage crisis, and skyrocketing costs.

In addition, other new obstacles have arisen including the rise of discount food brokers, as well as food manufacturers having to decrease the amount of food donated to charities.

Given these new challenges, OBI has to do more with less in order to satisfy its network’s needs. The success of the Hunger Strike Force is largely due to the generosity of its corporate food donors such as the Rich Products Corporation, which increased its donation of food by over 9% from 2007-2008 to keep up with the rising demand.

Horan adds, “There have always been some hungry people in America, but never as many as we are seeing now. Loss of jobs has created a huge new demographic of newly-made poor Americans. Folks who have never had to ask for help before are turning to churches and relief agencies for help in feeding their families. OBI’s Hunger Strike Force is struggling to keep up. We need cash donations to keep our fleet of trucks rolling in the battle against hunger.”

For more information or to donate: www.ob.org

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 22 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2008, OBI responded to 33 disasters in 16 foreign countries as well as 7 major domestic disasters. Most recently, OBI mobilized teams and funded major relief and recovery efforts in Myanmar, the Sichuan Province of China, Rift Valley in Kenya, Bangladesh, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, the Darfur region of Sudan, Pakistan, Somalia, India, Indonesia, Mozambique and the Philippines. OBI has also made headlines as a first responder to U.S. hurricanes, floods and tornados as well as the tsunami disaster in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. In addition to directing major disaster relief efforts, OBI has often filled the role of logistical arm to organizations including the International Red Cross, the Salvation Army, UNICEF and the United Nations World Food Program. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 202.7 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $1.4 billion to date.

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Contact:
Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

January 15, 2009 - WHITE HOUSE HIGHLIGHTS OBI IN FINAL REPORT ON FAITH BASED AND COMMUNITY INITIATIVES

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WHITE HOUSE HIGHLIGHTS OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL IN FINAL REPORT ON FAITH BASED AND COMMUNITY INITIATIVES

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (January 13, 2009) – In a new report issued this week, Innovations in Compassion: A Final Report to the Armies of Compassion, Virginia Beach-based organization Operation Blessing International (OBI) is highlighted by President Bush and the White House Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives (FBCI) for its domestic and international disaster relief and recovery operations.

The report provides a summary of the 8-year-old Faith-Based and Community Initiative and how the program has “brought life changing aid to millions in need.” A section of the report, “Natural Disasters: Effective Disaster Preparation, Response and Recovery,” describes how, in such disasters, “faith-based community organizations play a vital role in volunteer and community organizing, fund-raising and other operations that build the foundation for community revitalization.”

OBI is featured in a highlighted section describing how the FBCI helped the charity partner with the Federal Emergency Management Agency for disaster relief work following the Tennessee tornadoes in 2008, as well as a photo of an OBI volunteer in action. The highlighted section includes a quote from Jody Herrington, director of US disaster relief, stating, “In the aftermath of the recent hurricanes, tornadoes and other natural disasters, FEMA has been very supportive in helping Operation Blessing International connect with officials on Federal, State and local levels to begin providing disaster relief efforts within hours of the devastation.”

To date, OBI has partnered with the federal agency for relief following Hurricane Katrina in New Orleans, the Tennessee tornadoes, and last year’s Hurricane Ike in Texas.

OBI was also asked to participate in Department of Homeland Security Regional Partnership Trainings, hosted by the DHS FBCI Center in collaboration with local emergency management agencies. The purpose of these events was to educate communities on disaster preparedness and what organizations like OBI have to offer. Jody Herrington spoke at two of these events.

Bill Horan, president of OBI, said, “When disasters strike, victims need help and they need it quickly. Government always tries to help, but immediate action is often slowed by a headwind of bureaucracy and political bickering. Officials from FBCI have helped build a bridge over these traditional obstacles and expedited cooperative efforts between fast-moving organizations like Operation Blessing International and government agencies. The result is faster and more efficient delivery of resources and relief to disaster victims. We are honored to be featured in the White House report and thank the FBCI for their efforts.”

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 22 countries around the world on a daily basis. In 2008, OBI responded to 33 disasters in 16 foreign countries as well as 7 major domestic disasters. Most recently, OBI mobilized teams and funded major relief and recovery efforts in Myanmar, the Sichuan Province of China, Rift Valley in Kenya, Bangladesh, Mexico, Nicaragua, Peru, the Darfur region of Sudan, Pakistan, Somalia, India, Indonesia, Mozambique and the Philippines. OBI has also made headlines as a first responder to U.S. hurricanes, floods and tornados as well as the tsunami disaster in Indonesia, Sri Lanka, India and Thailand. In addition to directing major disaster relief efforts, OBI has often filled the role of logistical arm to organizations including the International Red Cross, the Salvation Army, UNICEF and the United Nations World Food Program. Founded in 1978, Operation Blessing International has touched the lives of more than 202.7 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $1.4 billion to date.

# # # #

Contact:
Chris Roslan
DRC Inc. Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
chris@drcpublicrelations.com

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