Press Release

Press Releases

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.

2017 Press Releases

October 23, 2017 - OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL, AFSCME, OPERATION AGUA TO PROVIDE SAFE WATER

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AFT, Operation Blessing International, AFSCME, Hispanic Federation Launch Operation Agua to Provide Safe Water to Puerto Rico Families

Initial Goal of 100,000 Individual Water Filtration Systems, 50 Large-Capacity Safe-Water Devices to Be Crowdsourced by Individuals and Partners

WASHINGTON (October 23, 2017) — Responding to the water crisis in Puerto Rico, the AFT, Operation Blessing International, the American Federation of State, County and Municipal Employees and the Hispanic Federation launched Operation Agua to crowdsource contributions and provide a reliable source of safe drinking water to families across Puerto Rico.

Operation Agua’s initial goal is to purchase and distribute 100,000 individual water filtration systems for households and classrooms, and 50 large-capacity clean-water devices to a network of nonprofit organizations, union offices, schools, and other community-based groups to provide stable and reliable sources of safe water.

A single $30 contribution provides an in-home purifier that requires no electricity and provides more than 10 gallons of safe water per day to a family. And $5,000 delivers a disinfectant generator that can disinfect 150,000 gallons per day—enough safe water for thousands of people.

“People in Puerto Rico are enduring their second month without electricity, safe drinking water or adequate food. This is a national emergency the likes of which I have never seen, and the federal government continues to fail in its responsibility to help our fellow citizens,” said AFT President Randi Weingarten. “When I was in Puerto Rico, I saw children collecting water in contaminated streams; AFT nurses have treated people suffering from dehydration and in danger of contracting deadly diseases from drinking dangerous water; and Puerto Rico’s teachers, many of whom are without water themselves, are working to reopen schools, but these schools need clean drinking water. Operation Agua isn’t a substitute for federal action, which we continue to fight for, but a necessary intervention to get as much clean water as quickly as we can to care for people in serious need.”

The massive damage caused by Hurricane Maria and the lack of electricity and clean water on the island of Puerto Rico continue to threaten the health, safety and lives of millions of American citizens. People are resorting to collecting water in contaminated waterways, or from runoff, and there are reports of some even drinking from toxic Superfund sites. And the danger is not over for those with running water; because water-treatment plants are still not operational, tap water may be tainted with raw sewage.

“Operation Blessing has been working nonstop to help residents of Puerto Rico with a focus on providing safe water, as it remains in critically short supply even a month after the hurricane,” said Operation Blessing International President Bill Horan. “I am ecstatic about the launch of Operation Agua and partnering with the AFT, AFSCME, the Hispanic Federation and other like-minded organizations. The synergistic energy generated by this joint effort will enable us to exponentially expand efforts to provide safe water solutions to vulnerable families all over Puerto Rico.”

This unique coalition brings together relationships with manufacturers, experience providing clean water across the globe, partnerships with shipping and transport workers and corporations, and access to a regional and school-based infrastructure across the island to deliver clean water to people.

“Public service workers are tirelessly struggling to rebuild their communities throughout Puerto Rico, but have not received the support they need from Washington to get the job done,” said AFSCME President Lee Saunders. “AFSCME is proud to join this effort and calls on Congress and the president to listen to the cries for help from their own citizens. The people of Puerto Rico cannot be left behind.”

Operation Agua will use multiple water purification devices, including:
– The Kohler Clarity Filter, which works on gravity—no electricity is needed—removes over 99 percent of bacteria and protozoa to meet the World Health Organization’s interim-level water-quality guidelines, and one unit can filter up to 10.5 gallons of water per day, meeting the drinking water needs of a typical family;
– The De Nora SANILEC 6 system, which uses an electrolytic process to produce 50 gallons of powerful sodium hypochlorite disinfectant every eight hours, using only 15 pounds of common salt, 50 gallons of water and 110-volt electricity. Each gallon of sodium hypochlorite (chlorine) can disinfect up to 3,000 gallons of otherwise contaminated water;
– The Water Mission Erosion Chlorinator, which uses a simple chlorination technique that allows for consistent dosing using chlorine tablets in a low-maintenance applicator. The unit can disinfect up to 20 gallons per minute and does not require electricity; and
– The Parker Hannifin Aqua Matic and Aqua Whisper Pro 1800-2, which are reverse osmosis water filtration systems capable of purifying salt water (Aqua Matic), brackish or fresh water (Aqua Whisper Pro). Normally used on large boats, these units can purify up to 75 gallons per minute, or 1,800 gallons in 24 hours.

Operation Agua continues to seek additional partners and financial support. One hundred percent of contributions go to fund the purchasing and delivery of water filtration and purification systems.

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing humanitarian services such as strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 39 countries in the last year. Forbes currently 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 321 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $4.86 billion.

# # #

CONTACT:
Chris Roslan (Operation Blessing)
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
[email protected]

March 22, 2017 - OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL RESPONDING TO DEADLY FLOODING IN PERU

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Operation Blessing International Responding To Deadly Flooding In Peru

Charity Deploying Safe Water Efforts In Isolated Communities Including Chlorine Generators, Filters & Purification Tablets, Water Backpacks

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (March 23, 2017) – Operation Blessing International’s Peru branch (OBP) is responding to what Peruvian authorities have deemed as the worst flooding to hit that country in the past two decades. A series of storms has brought intense rains, flooding and landslides that have killed 72 people to date, with many thousands left without shelter or safe water.

Operation Blessing Peru is responding with its staff in Lima, mobilizing volunteers and providing support and logistics to the humanitarian group’s partner organizations including the Red Cross (Cruz Rojo), Alliance Church of Agustine (Alianza Iglesia de Agustino) and Camino de Vida Church.

Starting today, OBP is mobilizing trucks to transport staff and Red Cross teams to reach isolated communities that have been cut off from receiving aid, such as Puente Piedra, Pachamac, Cieneguilla and Santa Rosa. OBP will mobilize four trucks, including two, 5-ton trucks for these efforts and will distribute emergency aid to an estimated 350 families.

In Carapongo, a community of 5,000 people outside of Lima, OBP mobilized dozens of volunteers to help with the cleanup from four mudslides that have left 250 homes either submersed in mud or destroyed completely.

OBP is also attempting to reach other communities that have been isolated by the flooding, including the departments of Trujillo and Chiclayo, which have been without safe water for days.

“Safe water is an extremely critical need right now,” said Sandra Arbaiza, national director of
Operation Blessing Peru. “The municipal water supply has been shut off and bottled water supplies have run out. People living in isolated communities have been without water for several days now. Operation Blessing is deploying safe water efforts including SE200 Community Chlorine Maker units, H2g0 portable chlorine units, Kohler Clarity water filters, Aquatab purification tablets, and water backpacks to transport safe water.”

Operation Blessing is a recognized leader in providing safe water to millions of people in some of the harshest conditions imaginable. From disinfecting millions of gallons of water in Haiti after the earthquake and cholera outbreak, to digging thousands of wells in India, to building municipal water systems in Latin America, Africa and China, OBI has always utilized state of the art equipment and an expertise in hydrology and logistics to provide safe water on a massive scale.

For more information on Operation Blessing, or to donate to the Peru efforts, please visit:
https://www.ob.org/disasterrelief

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing humanitarian services such as strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 37 countries in the last year. Forbes currently 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 292 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $4.2 billion.

* * *

Contact:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
[email protected]

January 24, 2017 - OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL COORDINATING TORNADO CLEANUP IN ALBANY, GA

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Operation Blessing International Coordinating Tornado Cleanup Efforts In Albany, GA Starting Wednesday

-Residents Whose Homes Damaged Can Request Free Volunteer Help-

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (January 24, 2017) – One of the largest humanitarian organizations in America, Operation Blessing International has deployed its U.S. Disaster Relief team to Albany, Georgia to assist residents with cleanup from tornadoes that killed at least 19 people throughout the Southeast over the weekend. The group will begin coordinating volunteer efforts beginning tomorrow (Wednesday) at 8am (see below).

The Operation Blessing advance team arrived in Albany late Monday and met with emergency management officials and local partners to determine the greatest area of need and to set up a base of operations at New Birth Fellowship (2106 Radium Springs Rd).

Specializing in disaster relief and logistics, Operation Blessing’s convoy of equipment has arrived from the organization’s Ocala, FL warehouse and includes a construction trailer loaded with tools, a box truck full of volunteer equipment and supplies, a mobile kitchen capable of serving 2,000 hot meals each day, and a skid steer for debris removal.

RESIDENTS NEEDING HELP:
Residents are invited come in person to fill out a work request for FREE volunteer help at New Birth Fellowship church (2106 Radium Springs Rd) from 9:30 am – 4:30pm daily (except Sunday), or by calling 757.274.8650. All residents must sign a work order form and a release form in person allowing volunteer teams access to your property. Volunteers will not be able to do work without a form SIGNED BY THE HOMEOWNER. Priority is given based on need (elderly, sick, disabled, etc) and is based on volunteer availability. Volunteer services offered include general debris removal, help finding and sorting salvageable belongings, chainsaw work, heavy equipment debris removal and installing tarps on damaged roofs.

VOLUNTEER INFO: WANT TO HELP?
Operation Blessing will be accepting volunteers daily (Monday–Saturday) at 8:30am and also at 1:00pm. Volunteers should meet at the Operation Blessing Mobile Command Center located at New Birth Fellowship church (2106 Radium Springs Rd). Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, dress appropriately for work in the field (long pants and hard soled shoes or work boots) and also provide their own transportation to and from the work site. Operation Blessing will provide lunch, work assignments, management, tools and an OB T-shirt. For more information on how to volunteer, please call the OB Volunteer Hotline: 757.374.0944.

For more information or to donate directly to the tornado relief 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 humanitarian services such as strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 37 countries in the last year. Forbes currently 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 292 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $4.2 billion.

# # #

CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
212-966-4600
Cell: 917-538-5629
[email protected]

2016 Press Releases

October 11, 2016 - OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL DEPLOYS US DISASTER RELIEF TEAM TO FAYETTEVILLE, NC

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Operation Blessing International Deploys US Disaster Relief Team To Fayetteville, NC

Volunteers Needed For Daily Flood Cleanup Efforts Starting Tuesday October 11

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (October 11, 2016) – One of the largest humanitarian organizations in America, Operation Blessing International, has deployed its US Disaster Relief team to the hard-hit area of Fayetteville, NC, and will begin coordinating daily volunteer efforts starting Tuesday, October 11 to help residents whose homes have been damaged by Hurricane Matthew.

Specializing in disaster relief and logistics, Operation Blessing’s US Disaster Relief team arrived late Monday and met with local emergency management officials and partner organizations. A convoy of disaster relief equipment from the organization’s warehouse in Ocala, FL arrived yesterday, including a mobile command center, a mobile kitchen equipped to serve 2,000 meals per day, a construction trailer full of tools and equipment, 2 box trucks full of emergency food and construction supplies, a shower trailer for volunteer housing.

Starting today, Operation Blessing will begin coordinating daily volunteer efforts to clean out homes, remove sheetrock, salvage belongings, etc.

VOLUNTEER INFORMATION:
Operation Blessing will be accepting volunteers daily at 8:00 AM (Monday – Saturday) starting Tuesday, October 11, 2016 at Covenant Love Church in Fayetteville, NC (420 Dunn Road). Orientation will begin at 8:30 AM and teams will be sent out from there. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old and also provide their own transportation to and from the work site. Operation Blessing will provide work assignments, management and tools. For more information on volunteering, please contact 757-374-0944 or via email at [email protected]

Volunteer Housing: Operation Blessing will be providing FREE volunteer housing soon. Please call National Volunteer Manager, Kerry Dodson, at 757.226.3407 or via email at [email protected] to get more information. Please note that volunteers needing housing must register in teams of at least 2 people, they must register 24-48 hours in advance, and have a confirmed reservation prior to arrival.

RESIDENTS CAN REQUEST FREE VOLUNTEER HELP:
Residents are invited come in person to fill out a work request for FREE volunteer help at Covenant Love Church (420 Dunn Road) from 9:30am – 4:30pm daily (except Sunday). All residents must sign a work order form in person giving volunteer teams permission to access to your property. Volunteers will not be able to do work without a form SIGNED BY THE HOMEOWNER. Priority is given based on need (elderly, sick, disabled, etc) and is based on volunteer availability. For more information please call 757-274-8650.

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

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing humanitarian services such as strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 37 countries in the last year. Forbes currently 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 292 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $4.2 billion.

# # #

CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
212-966-4600
Cell: 917-538-5629
[email protected]

October 3, 2016 - OB HAITI PREPARING FOR POSSIBLE “TSUNAMI OF CHOLERA” FOLLOWING HURRICANE MATTHEW

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OPERATION BLESSING HAITI PREPARING FOR POSSIBLE TSUNAMI OF CHOLERA FOLLOWING HURRICANE MATTHEW

PORT AU PRINCE, HAITI (October 3, 2016) – Operation Blessing International’s team in Haiti (OB Haiti) is preparing for a direct hit by Hurricane Matthew, a huge category 4 storm that is expected to bring not only massive flooding to the densely populated country, but also an equally devastating increase in cholera.

“Hurricane Matthew’s flood waters will likely kill innocent Haitians twice: first with raging flood waters in the next 48 hours and then with the disease of cholera that will last for weeks following the storm,” said Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing International. “Based on the rainfall predictions and how slow this storm is moving, we fear that Matthew will bring a tsunami of cholera cases unseen since post-earthquake days.”

A recognized leader in providing safe water solutions following natural disasters, team leaders at the OB Haiti headquarters in Port au Prince have ramped up chlorine production in advance of the storm. OB Haiti can produce 1,200 gallons of chlorine per day, which will be used for surface disinfection on a large scale and to sanitize water for drinking. According to OB Haiti, 1,200 gallons of chlorine can potentially disinfect up to 3.6 million gallons of drinking water; however, much of the chlorine is expected to be utilized for surface disinfection.

“OB Haiti is well positioned to provide massive quantities of life-saving chlorine to hospitals, clinics, schools, orphanages, churches and residents,” adds Horan. “Chlorine kills the cholera bacteria on contact. We can save an untold number of lives, but we need funding to help us distribute chlorine on a massive scale immediately following the storm’s passing.”

In addition to producing chlorine, the OB Haiti team is purchasing quantities of emergency supplies such as emergency rations and tarps, as many homes in Haiti are made of dried mud that will not survive the storm. OB Haiti has also prepared a boat for rescue operations, and the charity has also set up both of the school buildings it owns as emergency shelters.

Operation Blessing has been working in Haiti since 2009, preceding the earthquake that devastated the tiny Caribbean nation. When the 7.0 magnitude earthquake struck, the humanitarian organization 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, Operation Blessing donated over 2.4 million pounds of emergency supplies, food, water and medicine, ran a medical clinic inside the Sylvio Cator Soccer Stadium and deployed over 30 water purification plants throughout Port-au-Prince – including in National Stadium and in General Hospital, the largest hospital in Haiti. Operation Blessing was also a first responder to the cholera outbreak, installing water purification units throughout the country to provide millions of gallons of safe water for drinking and sanitation. Additionally, Operation Blessing also built a home for abandoned children and children with disabilities – Zanmi Beni – that is run in conjunction with Partners in Health. OB Haiti also established the largest fish farm in Haiti, which provides food and jobs for Haitians. OB Haiti regularly hosts medical teams from the Mayo Clinic, and the charity partnered with Greif Corp and the Clinton Foundation to build a school and help a village near Lake Azuei.

To donate to the relief efforts in Haiti: https://secure.ob.org/site/Donation2?df_id=7963&7963.donation=form1

For more information about Operation Blessing: www.ob.org

ABOUT OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL:
Operation Blessing International (OBI) is one of the largest charities in America, providing humanitarian services such as strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 37 countries in the last year. Forbes currently 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 292 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $4.2 billion.

* * *

Contact:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
[email protected]

Deborah Bensen
Vice President, Media and Development
Operation Blessing International
www.operationblessing.org
o: 757.226.3440
cell: 757.373.9200

August 16, 2016 - VOLUNTEERS NEEDED FOR LA FLOOD CLEANUP STARTING WEDNESDAYS, AUG 17

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Volunteers Needed For LA Flood Cleanup Starting Wednesday, Aug 17

-Operation Blessing International Coordinating Volunteers In Denham Springs Area-

-Residents Whose Homes Damaged Can Request Free Volunteer Help-

Baton Rouge, LA (August 16, 2016) – One of the largest humanitarian organizations in America, Operation Blessing International will begin coordinating volunteer efforts to help residents whose homes were flooded in the Denham Springs area starting Wednesday, August 17.

Operation Blessing deployed its U.S. Disaster Relief team to Louisiana yesterday and has set up a base of operations at the Denham Springs campus of Healing Place Church
(569 Florida Ave SW). The charity has brought in a convoy of disaster relief equipment including a construction trailer loaded with tools, a box truck full of volunteer equipment and supplies, a mobile kitchen capable of serving 2,000 hot meals each day, and a shower trailer for volunteers.

Specializing in disaster relief and logistics, Operation Blessing will begin coordinating volunteer cleanup efforts and are calling for volunteers to assist residents with cleanup of homes and recovery of personal items. The organization is also asking residents whose homes have been damaged to fill out a request for free volunteer help.

VOLUNTEER INFORMATION: “WANT TO HELP”
Operation Blessing will be accepting volunteers daily (Monday–Saturday) at 8:00 AM at the Denham Springs campus of Healing Place Church (569 Florida Ave SW). Orientation will begin at 8:30am. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, dress appropriately for work in the field, and also provide their own transportation to and from the work site. Operation Blessing will provide lunch, work assignments, management and tools. For more information on how to volunteer, please call the OB Volunteer Hotline: 757.374.0944.

Volunteer Housing: A limited amount of volunteer housing will be made available soon. Volunteers that need lodging must register 24-48 hours in advance. Please contact National Volunteer Manager, Kerry Dodson, to register for lodging at 757.226.3407 or via email at [email protected]

RESIDENT INFORMATION: “NEED HELP”
Residents are invited come in person to fill out a work request for FREE volunteer help at the Denham Springs campus of Healing Place Church (569 Florida Ave SW), from 9:30 am – 4:30pm daily (except Sunday), or by calling 757.274.8650. All residents must sign a work order form and a release form in person allowing volunteer teams access to your property. Volunteers will not be able to do work without a form SIGNED BY THE HOMEOWNER. Priority is given based on need (elderly, sick, disabled, etc) and is based on volunteer availability.

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 humanitarian services such as strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 37 countries in the last year. Forbes currently 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 292 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $4.2 billion.

* * *

For all MEDIA INQUIRIES please contact:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
[email protected]

August 15, 2016 - OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL DEPLOYES U.S. DISASTER RELIEFT TEAM TO LOUISIANA FOR FLOOD RELIEF

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Operation Blessing International Deploys U.S. Disaster Relief Team To Louisiana For Flood Relief

Volunteers Needed For Flood Cleanup Starting Later This Week

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (August 15, 2016) – One of the largest humanitarian organizations in America, Operation Blessing International has deployed its U.S. Disaster Relief team to Louisiana to assist residents with cleanup from catastrophic flooding that has left more than 2,700 homes underwater, more than 20,000 rescued and at least 6 fatalities. The federal government has declared a major disaster in Louisiana and the area remains under a state of emergency.

An advance team is currently en route to Baton Rouge and will be meeting with local emergency management officials and church (or local) partners.

Operation Blessing’s convoy of disaster relief equipment will depart from the organization’s Ocala, FL warehouse early tomorrow and includes a construction trailer loaded with tools, a box truck full of volunteer equipment and supplies, a mobile kitchen capable of serving 2,000 hot meals each day, and a shower trailer for volunteers.

For this relief effort, Operation Blessing will team up with longtime partner, Healing Place Church, with campuses in Baton Rouge and Denham Springs.

Specializing in disaster relief and logistics, Operation Blessing will begin coordinating volunteer cleanup efforts later this week. Stay tuned for more information.

Operation Blessing expects to host overnight volunteer crews. For more information on volunteer housing please contact National Volunteer Manager, Kerry Dodson by calling 757.226.3407 or via email at [email protected]

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 humanitarian services such as strategic disaster relief, medical aid, hunger relief, clean water and community development in 37 countries in the last year. Forbes currently 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 292 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $4.2 billion.

# # #

CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
212-966-4600
Cell: 917-538-5629
[email protected]

April 22, 2016 - HOUSTON FLOOD RESPONSE: OB TO BEGIN COORDINATING VOLUNTEER EFFORTS STARTING SATURDAY, APRIL 23RD AT 8AM

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Houston Flood Response: Operation Blessing To Begin Coordinating Volunteer Efforts For Flood Cleanup Starting Saturday, April 23 at 8am

Brookshire-Area Homeowners Can Request Free Volunteer Help

HOUSTON, TX (April 22, 2016) – Starting tomorrow, the humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International will begin coordinating volunteer flood cleanup efforts in and around Brookshire, TX. Anyone wishing to volunteer to help should meet at Powerhouse Church (1818 Katyland Drive, Katy, TX) at 8am on Saturday, April 23 (see important info below).

Operation Blessing also announced that local homeowners whose homes were damaged can request free volunteer help starting today (see info below).

One of the largest humanitarian organizations in America, Operation Blessing International specializes in disaster relief and logistics. The organization deployed its U.S. Disaster Relief team to Brookshire earlier this week including a convoy of disaster relief equipment from the organization’s headquarters in Virginia Beach and a warehouse in Ocala, Florida. Team leaders met with local officials and will begin coordinating daily volunteer efforts (except Sundays) to clean out homes, remove sheetrock, salvage belongings, etc.

VOLUNTEER INFORMATION:
Operation Blessing is accepting volunteers daily (except Sunday) at 8:00am at Powerhouse Church (1818 Katyland Drive, Katy, TX). Orientation will begin at 8:30 AM and teams will be sent out from there. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, dress appropriately for work in the field, and also provide their own transportation to and from the work site. Operation Blessing will provide work assignments, management and tools.
To volunteer, please contact 757-374-0944. Volunteer groups that need overnight housing should contact Kerry Dodson at 757-226-3407. Overnight housing will be available starting this Monday at Powerhouse Church.

RESIDENTS CAN REQUEST FREE VOLUNTEER HELP:
Residents are invited come in person to fill out a work request for FREE volunteer help at Powerhouse Church (1818 Katyland Drive, Katy, TX) from 8:30am – 4:30pm daily (except Sunday), or by calling 757-274-8650. All residents must sign a work order form and a release form in person allowing volunteer teams access to your property. Volunteers will not be able to do work without a form SIGNED BY THE HOMEOWNER. Priority is given based on need (elderly, sick, disabled, etc) and is based on volunteer availability.

For more information on Operation Blessing International 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 27 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 292 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $4.2 billion.

# # #

For interviews with the Operation Blessing team, please contact:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
212-966-4600
Cell: 917-538-5629
[email protected]

April 21, 2016 - OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL DEPLOYS U.S. DISASTER RELIEF TEAM TO HOUSTON AREA FOR FLOOD RELIEF

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Operation Blessing International Deploys U.S. Disaster Relief Team To Houston Area For Flood Relief

Volunteers Needed For Flood Cleanup Starting Saturday, April 23

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (April 21, 2016) – One of the largest humanitarian organizations in America, Operation Blessing International has deployed its U.S. Disaster Relief team to the Houston, Texas area to assist residents with cleanup from flooding caused by upwards of 17 inches of rain. So far, there have been seven fatalities reported and more than 1,000 homes flooded.

An advance team is en route and is expected to arrive this evening. A convoy of disaster relief equipment will depart this afternoon from Operation Blessing’s warehouse in Ocala, FL including a construction trailer loaded with tools, a box truck full of volunteer equipment and supplies, a mobile kitchen capable of serving thousands of hot meals each day, while the organization’s mobile command center will leave the Operation Blessing warehouse in Chesapeake, VA early tomorrow.

Specializing in disaster relief and logistics, the Operation Blessing team will meet with local emergency management officials and set up a base of operations to coordinate volunteer cleanup efforts beginning on Saturday, April 23. Stay tuned for further updates.

For more information on volunteering please contact National Volunteer Manager, Kerry Dodson by calling 757.226.3407 or via email at [email protected].

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 27 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 292 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $4.2 billion.

# # #

CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
212-966-4600
Cell: 917-538-5629
[email protected]

March 16, 2016 - OPERATION BLESSING COORDINATING DAILY VOLUNTEER EFFORTS

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Volunteers Needed For Flood Cleanup In Robert, Louisiana

Operation Blessing Coordinating Daily Volunteer Efforts

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (March 16, 2016) – One of the largest humanitarian organizations in America, Operation Blessing International is coordinating daily volunteer efforts in Robert, Louisiana, to help residents whose homes have been damaged by the recent flooding.

Specializing in disaster relief and logistics, Operation Blessing deployed its U.S. Disaster Relief team to Robert this week including a convoy of disaster relief equipment from the organization’s headquarters in Virginia. Team leaders met with local officials and are now coordinating daily volunteer efforts to clean out homes, remove sheetrock, salvage belongings, etc.

“There are thousands of flooded homes in the region and we need everyone’s help to get the recovery started,” said Jody Gettys, vice president of U.S. Disaster Relief & Programs for Operation Blessing International. “Spending a day as a volunteer and helping your neighbors can make a huge difference in their lives and is very rewarding, personally.”

VOLUNTEER INFORMATION:
Operation Blessing is accepting volunteers daily (except Sunday) at 8:00am at Crossgate Church (22494 U.S. 190). Orientation will begin at 8:30 AM and teams will be sent out from there. Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, dress appropriately for work in the field, and also provide their own transportation to and from the work site. Operation Blessing will provide work assignments, management and tools. For more information on volunteering please contact National Volunteer Manager, Kerry Dodson by calling 757.226.3407 or via email at [email protected]

RESIDENTS CAN REQUEST FREE VOLUNTEER HELP:
Residents are invited come in person to fill out a work request for FREE volunteer help at Crossgate Church (22494 U.S. 190) from 8:30am – 4:30pm daily (except Sunday). All residents must sign a work order form and a release form in person allowing volunteer teams access to your property. Volunteers will not be able to do work without a form SIGNED BY THE HOMEOWNER. Priority is given based on need (elderly, sick, disabled, etc) and is based on volunteer availability.

For more information on Operation Blessing International 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 27 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 292 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $4.2 billion.

# # #

CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
212-966-4600
Cell: 917-538-5629
[email protected]

February 12, 2016 - OBI EXPANDS EFFORTS TO FIGHT ZIKA IN EL SALVADOR, GUATEMALA, HONDURAS, PERU AND HAITI

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Operation Blessing International Expands Efforts To Fight Zika In El Salvador, Guatemala, Honduras, Peru And Haiti

Tiny Mosquito-Eating Fish Are Part Of Efforts To Eradicate

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (February 12, 2016) – The global humanitarian organization, Operation Blessing International has ramped up its fight against the Zika virus in Central America and the Caribbean through efforts including the distribution of bed nets to pregnant women, pre-natal care, educating the public about how to avoid getting infected, fumigation of homes, as well as the use of tiny fish to eat mosquito larvae in standing water in and around homes and villages.

Operation Blessing first announced initial Zika efforts last month in El Salvador and Haiti, and has since added Peru, Guatemala and Honduras.

In El Salvador, Operation Blessing has partnered with a facility specializing in Sambo Fish, which live in the waters around El Salvador and eat mosquito larvae. The fish are caught in the wild and transferred to the facility, where Operation Blessing is providing food and tools to help keep them. The charity will also assist with distributing the fish into standing water in and around homes and villages in the weeks to come. (Video of the fish rearing facility: http://www.ob.org/sambo-fish-and-how-they-can-stop-zika/)

Operation Blessing leaders are also working with the El Salvador government to identify other varieties of mosquito-eating fish in the country that can be easily propagated in massive numbers in local hatcheries and distributed nationwide.

Operation Blessing has used mosquito-eating fish to great success in post-Katrina New Orleans, where the city credited the charity for helping to avert an outbreak of the deadly West Nile virus and St. Louis encephalitis after Operation Blessing volunteers stocked the fish into more than 5,500 abandoned swimming pools following the hurricane.

“All around the world, communities with mosquito-borne diseases have long used tiny fish to help eradicate or slow the spread of mosquitoes,” said Bill Horan, president of Operation Blessing. “By using fish species already in each country, there no risk to the ecosystem of introducing an invasive species: the fish are already there. We are working with local governments and community leaders, offering our expertise and willingness to raise and distribute massive numbers of fish in areas where they can have the greatest impact on reducing the mosquito population. We are excited about this project, as these little fish have proven themselves time and again.”

Operation Blessing has also purchased 650,000 doses of acetaminophen that are being shipped to El Salvador, and has secured a donation of 8,870 long lasting insecticide treated nets from Japan that will be distributed to pregnant women. In addition, Operation Blessing has purchased four portable ultra-sound machines that will be sent to rural health clinics for pre-natal care.

Further, Operation Blessing is partnering with the Mayo Clinic’s Program for Underserved Global Health (PUGH) to create a public service announcement that will educate the public about the Zika virus: who is considered high risk and how to avoid getting infected. The PSA will air on local media in El Salvador.

In Honduras, where the Ministry of Health has reported 4473 cases of Zika, Operation Blessing will offer prevention training to hundreds of pregnant women and children. The charity helped to train its 37 Honduran community health workers last week on the life cycle of the mosquito and how it transmits Zika, Chikungunya and Dengue, as well as identifying the symptoms of Zika. The workers are currently going from house to house, to schools and churches, distributing bed nets, insect repellant and teaching people how to decrease the risk of mosquito breeding by eliminating standing water in and around their homes.

In Guatemala, Operation Blessing has partnered with the Ministry of Health to assist with fumigation efforts around homes in Izabal. The organization will also purchase and distribute bed nets and insect repellant to pregnant women in the coming week.

In Haiti, the charity has distributed insect repellant to a village at Lac Azuei and the Higher Ground communities. Later this week, Operation Blessing will pick up 800 bed nets from the Dominican Republic and will begin distributing them in Haiti. Team leaders will provide community training to health workers and are currently writing training curriculum in Haitian Creole for local health workers. Operation Blessing has also partnered with two maternity organizations with networks in other parts of Haiti: Midwives for Haiti (Central Plateau) and Mamababy Haiti (Cap Haitien) to distribute bed nets, repellant and educational materials.

Although there are no cases of Zika in Peru yet, the Operation Blessing team is already training community health workers in Iquitos on how to identify the mosquito, how the disease is transmitted, symptoms, and how to prevent infection. They will soon distribute nets to pregnant women and distribute fliers around the area for education.

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 37 countries around the world on an ongoing basis. In 2015, 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 292 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $4.2 billion.

# # #

Contact:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
[email protected]

January 28, 2016 - OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL RESPONDING TO ZIKA VIRUS OUTBREAK WITH EFFORTS IN EL SALVADOR AND HAITI

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OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL RESPONDING TO ZIKA VIRUS OUTBREAK WITH EFFORTS IN EL SALVADOR AND HAITI

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (January 28, 2016) – Operation Blessing International (OBI), one of the largest charities in America, has launched efforts to combat the Zika virus outbreak in Central America and the Caribbean with concentrated efforts in El Salvador and Haiti. Bill Horan, president of OBI, made the announcement today.

According to health officials in El Salvador, the country has confirmed 492 cases of Zika. Officials are advising all women of reproductive age delay pregnancy until 2018 over concerns about birth defects resulting from the virus.

In El Salvador, Operation Blessing has purchased more than 1,250 mosquito nets that are being distributed by teams of volunteers to pregnant women in order to reduce the risk of microcephaly. The charity has also partnered with the Ministry of Health to provide funding for the government’s fumigation efforts in areas identified to have the greatest amount of Zika cases and other mosquito-borne illness.

Additional planned efforts for El Salvador include the purchase of a portable prenatal ultrasound machine that will be shipped from the USA and used to help monitor pregnant women who have been infected with the Zika virus, as well as mass distributions of pain relief medicine and mosquito spray.

Further, Operation Blessing is partnering with the Mayo Clinic’s Program for Underserved Global Health (PUGH) to create a public service announcement that will educate the public about the Zika virus: who is considered high risk and how to avoid getting infected. The PSA will air on local media in El Salvador.

Operation Blessing is also exploring the possibility of setting up a fish hatchery to rear native Gambusia minnows, which eat mosquito larva are used globally to combat mosquito-borne diseases. Operation Blessing has used Gambusia to great success in post-Katrina New Orleans, where the city credited OBI for helping to avert an outbreak of the deadly West Nile disease. OB El Salvador leaders are currently meeting with the Ministry of Agriculture to identify native Gambusia species in El Salvador.

In Haiti, Operation Blessing has purchased 800 treated mosquito nets, sourced in the Dominican Republic, which will be shipped to Haiti and distributed to pregnant women.

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 37 countries around the world on an ongoing basis. In 2015, 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 292 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $4.2 billion.

# # #

Contact:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
[email protected]

January 14, 2016 - OPERATION BLESSING INTERATIONAL'S DAVID DARG NOMINATED FOR ACADEMY AWARD

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For Immediate Release

Operation Blessing International’s David Darg Nominated For Academy Award For Documentary Filmed In Liberia: Body Team 12

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (January 14, 2016) – A short documentary that David Darg, Vice President of International Operations for the Virginia Beach-based humanitarian organization, Operation Blessing International, filmed in Liberia has been nominated for an Academy Award.

Darg filmed Body Team 12 while he was in Liberia in 2014 at the height of the Ebola outbreak. Darg was directing Operation Blessing’s efforts on the ground to set up the first chlorine production facility in that country’s history. Chlorine, which kills the Ebola virus on contact, was in critically short supply before Operation Blessing set up the facility. The team produced tens of thousands of gallons of chlorine which was distributed to the Liberian government and to Lutheran Hospital, the largest public health institution in Liberia, to ten Ebola clinics in Monrovia and also used to set up hand washing stations all around the country. The President of Liberia, Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, visited the facility in October 2014 and honored Operation Blessing for these efforts.

The gripping film chronicles a team of body collectors working with the Liberian Red Cross who remove dead bodies from homes and villages, take them to the local crematorium and burn the bodies so as to prevent further spread of the virus. Darg served as director and co-producer with Bryn Mooser. Executive Producers are Paul Allen and Olivia Wilde, with Operation Blessing’s President, Bill Horan, as an associate producer along with Martha Rogers and Gareth Seltzer.

“I was astonished at the bravery of Liberia’s Ebola body teams, and in particular, Garmai Sumo, the female body collector featured in Body Team 12,” said Darg. “I was immediately inspired by her – by her fearlessness, determination and love for her community, and I knew I needed to tell this story as a tribute to this courage.”

Operation Blessing continues to work in Liberia, even though the Ebola outbreak has waned. Today, the charity is running an Ebola Orphan Program to help thousands of children whose parents died of Ebola. The organization currently helps 171 children by providing them with a daily meal, school scholarships, clothing and home visits. Garmai Sumo, the star of the documentary, now runs that program for Operation Blessing.

To date, the film has helped to raise $60,000 for Operation Blessing’s Ebola Orphan Program.

Body Team 12 will be broadcast nationally on HBO in early March.

This is Darg’s first “Oscar” nomination, although other films he has directed/produced have won prestigious awards at major film festivals. Prior films – all stemming from his humanitarian work with Operation Blessing – include The Rider and the Storm (Hurricane Sandy), Baseball in the Time of Cholera (Haiti) and Sun City Picture House (Haiti).
The 88th Academy Awards will be presented on February 28, 2016 in Los Angeles.

For more information on Operation Blessing’s Ebola Orphan Program and where to donate: http://www.ob.org/helping-orphans-amid-the-ebola-crisis/

To watch a video about the Ebola Orphan Program: http://www.ob.org/aftermath-of-a-terror-orphans-in-liberia/

For more information on Body Team 12: http://ryot.org/bodyteam12/

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2015 Press Releases

October 5, 2015 - OPERATION BLESSING DEPLOYING U.S. DISASTER RELIEF TEAM TO COLUMBIA, SC

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For Immediate Release

Operation Blessing Deploying U.S. Disaster Relief Team To Columbia, SC

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (October 5, 2015) – Operation Blessing International (OBI) is deploying its U.S. Disaster Relief team to Columbia, South Carolina to assist with flood relief after parts of the region received 25 inches of rain over the weekend.

An advance team led by Dan Moore, director of U.S. Disaster Relief, departed from Hampton Roads overnight and arrived in Columbia at 10am. Team leaders are meeting with local officials to assess the damages and determine the greatest areas of need. Operation Blessing expects to call for volunteers to begin the cleanup as early as Wednesday.

A convoy of Operation Blessing vehicles will depart from the charity’s Chesapeake warehouse this afternoon and includes a high tech mobile command center with computers and communications equipment, a mobile kitchen that is capable of serving up to 2,000 meals a day and is stocked with enough food for 3,000 meals, a dehumidifier trailer equipped with moisture meters, commercial dehumidifiers, fans, and blowers to dry out flooded homes, 2 construction trailers packed full of tools and equipment to support volunteer operations, and other support vehicles including tractor trailers and box trucks containing bottled water, thousands of MRE meals, tool, protective equipment and additional food items.

When the convoy arrives arrive, the OBI team will set up at Christian Life Church (2700 Bush River Rd., Columbia, SC). Please stay tuned for information on how to volunteer.

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 27 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 292 million people in more than 105 countries and 50 states, providing goods and services valued at over $4.2 billion.

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[email protected]

May 27, 2015 - OPERATION BLESSING INT. DEPLOYING U.S. DISASTER RELIEF TEAM TO SAN MARCOS, TX

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For Immediate Release

Operation Blessing International Deploying U.S. Disaster Relief Team To San Marcos, TX

VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (May 27, 2015) – Operation Blessing International’s U.S. Disaster Relief team is deploying to San Marcos, TX to help following historic flooding of the Blanco River.

An advance team led by Dan Moore, director of U.S. disaster relief for the organization, departed from Norfolk this morning and will arrive mid-day. They will meet with local emergency management officials and expect to coordinate a volunteer effort starting tomorrow (Thursday).

Operation Blessing has deployed its mobile command center from the Chesapeake warehouse, a construction trailer from Ocala, FL, and volunteer supplies will be sent from the charity’s Dallas warehouse where they are kept pre-staged for disaster response in the region.

For anyone wishing to donate to the relief efforts in San Marcos, TX, 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 27 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.

# # #

CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
[email protected]

May 12, 2015 - OPERATION BLESSING INT. TO COORDINATE TORNADO CLEANUP VOLUNTEER EFFORTS IN VAN, TX

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–Residents Whose Homes Are Damaged Can Request Free Help–

–Volunteers Are Needed Starting Wednesday, May 13 —

VAN, TX (May 12, 2015) – The Virginia Beach-based humanitarian organization Operation Blessing International will coordinate volunteer efforts in the wake of a deadly, EF3 tornado that struck earlier this week.

Specializing in disaster relief and logistics, and one of the largest charities in America, Operation Blessing International sent an advance team on Monday to assess the damages and meet with local emergency management authorities. The charity also deployed disaster relief equipment from its Ocala, FL warehouse and will be sending additional supplies from its Dallas, TX distribution facility.

Operation Blessing will coordinate volunteer efforts in Van and take free work order requests from residents whose homes were damaged by the tornado. Volunteer assignments will include: debris removal, installing tarps on roofs, chain saw work, helping salvage and pack personal belongings, and general labor.

Volunteers are needed beginning Wednesday morning, May 13 (see details below). 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 NEEDING HELP
For residents needing help, Operation Blessing is accepting FREE volunteer work requests at the OB Command Center located at Van United Methodist Church, 326 W. Main Street, Van.
Please call: 757.274.8650
Phones will be manned tomorrow from 8AM-5PM

*All homeowners must sign a work order form and a release form allowing volunteer teams access to 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. We will not be able to do any work without a form SIGNED BY THE HOMEOWNER. Priority is given based on need (elderly, sick, disabled, etc) and is based on volunteer availability.

WANT TO HELP? VOLUNTEERS
Meet at the Operation Blessing Mobile Command Center at Van United Methodist Church, 326 W. Main Street, Van
Beginning on Wednesday, May 13 at 8am sharp.
Local volunteer hotline: 757.374.0944
Phones will be manned tomorrow from 8AM-5PM

*Volunteers must be at least 18 years old, dress appropriately for work in the field, and also provide their own transportation to and from the work site. Operation Blessing will provide work assignments, management and tools.

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 27 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.

# # #

CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
[email protected]

May 4, 2015 - OBI DELIVERING TONS OF EMERGENCY SUPPLIES, FOOD & CHLORINE TO RURAL NEPAL

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-Charity Sets Up Chlorine Production Facility In Kathmandu-

Virginia Beach, VA (May 4, 2015) – Operation Blessing International (OBI) delivered tons of emergency supplies and food, and much needed chlorine, to hundreds of families in rural villages and towns in Nepal this weekend, some of which had not yet received any aid in the aftermath of the April 25th earthquake that killed over 7,000 people.

The OBI team, led by Vice President of International Operations, David Darg, traveled to several villages and towns this weekend that were “completely destroyed and the residents had not received any aid as of yet,” said Darg.

The team distributed tons of rice, lentils, tea, oil, sugar, energy bars for children, plastic tarps for shelters, flashlights, blankets, plus hygiene and cleaning supplies to hundreds of families that had lost everything in the disaster.

The team also set up community water stations using H2Go units, hand-held portable chlorine generators that will disinfect up to 80 gallons of water using only common table salt and a single battery charge. In one town, Bhaktapur, which suffered severe damage and many deaths, residents are getting their water from a contaminated well, so Operation Blessing deployed a team to be on site at the well to disinfect the water as it is extracted.

“Safe water is a major concern in every village we have visited,” said Darg. “The majority of quake victims are getting their water from contaminated sources, so OB’s chlorine program will have a far reaching and lifesaving impact.”

In addition to the distributions of emergency food and supplies in rural villages, the Operation Blessing team successfully set up a chlorine production facility in Katmandu, using two Severn Trent Sanilec 6 chlorine generation units that were shipped from the USA. Each unit is capable of producing up to 110 gallons of sodium hypochlorite (NaClO) in 24 hours, which can then be used for surface disinfection and/or to make safe water.

As of Tuesday, Operation Blessing will be producing 220 gallons of chlorine a day, which is capable of disinfecting over 600,000 gallons of water. The charity has hired local men to distribute the chlorine by motorcycle to strategic points throughout the city and affected villages.

Operation Blessing, one of the largest international humanitarian organizations, is already a recognized leader in providing safe water to millions of people around the world in some of the harshest conditions imaginable. From intensive efforts to disinfect millions of gallons of drinking water in Haiti before and after the earthquake and cholera outbreak, to digging thousands of water wells all over the world, to building municipal water systems in Latin America, Africa and Sichuan, China, OBI has always utilized leading-edge equipment and an expertise in hydrology and logistics to provide safe water on a massive scale.

PHOTO & VIDEO LINK: http://roslancampion.com/press/OB/Nepal.zip

For more information, please visit, www.ob.org <http://www.ob.org>.

# # #

FOR INTERVIEWS WITH DAVID DARG ON THE GROUND IN NEPAL, PLEASE CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
CELL: 917-538-5629
[email protected]

April 25, 2015 - OPERATION BLESSING INTERNATIONAL RESPONDING TO NEPAL EARTHQUAKE

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VIRGINIA BEACH, VA (April 25, 2015) – Operation Blessing International, one of the largest charities in America, has deployed its Vice President of International Operations, David Darg, to Nepal in the wake of a 7.8-magnitude earthquake that struck near the capital city of Katmandu.

Darg, who is en route to Nepal, will meet with local authorities and join with Operation Blessing’s partner organization, Nepali Rescue Project (http://nepalirescueproject.com) to determine the greatest areas of needs such as safe water, food, medical or emergency supplies. Once those needs are determined, Operation Blessing will source materials, locally if possible, using cash donated by supporters in the USA and in some of the other 26 countries the charity works in daily.

Operation Blessing International has been working in Nepal with the Nepali Rescue Project since 2013 on a number of anti-human trafficking efforts.

Darg is expected to arrive in Nepal by Sunday evening, Eastern Time. He has previously been a first responder to some of the world’s worst disasters of the last decade, including Typhoon Haiyan in the Philippines (2013), the Japan earthquake and tsunami (2011), the Earthquake in Haiti (2010) and the Sichuan, China earthquake (2008).

For more information or to donate to the Nepal earthquake relief 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 27 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.

# # #

FOR INTERVIEWS WITH DAVID DARG ON THE GROUND IN NEPAL, PLEASE CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
CELL: 917-538-5629
[email protected]

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.

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Media Contact:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
(212) 966-4600 / [email protected]

2014 Press Releases

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 / [email protected]

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.

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Media Contact:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations LLC
(212) 966-4600
[email protected]

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://www.ob.org/1-real-50-world-cup-anti-trafficking-documentary-trailer/

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.

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Media Contact:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations LLC
(212) 966-4600
[email protected]

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.

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

Media Contact:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations LLC
(212) 966-4600
[email protected]

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
[email protected]

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.

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PHOTO LINK of OB in Tupelo:

http://www.ob.org//help-for-mississippi-tornado-victims/

Contact:
Chris Roslan
(212) 966-4600 / [email protected]

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.
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Contact:
Chris Roslan
(212) 966-4600 / [email protected]

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

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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
[email protected]

2013 Press Releases

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
[email protected]
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
[email protected]

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

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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.

# # #

CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
[email protected]

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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

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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/
# # #
CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
Spokesperson for Operation Blessing International
(212) 966-4600
[email protected]

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
[email protected]

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
[email protected]

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
[email protected]

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.

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For more information or to schedule an interview with Jody Herrington-Gettys, please contact:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations
(212) 966-4600
[email protected]

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

CONTACT:
Chris Roslan
Roslan & Campion Public Relations Inc
(212) 966-4600
[email protected]