September 9 2005
SOS Children's Villages in USA are preparing to take in hurricane victims
12/09/2005 - Thousands of the families evacuated from the southern disaster areas are being sheltered in different states of the USA. The two SOS Children's Villages, in Lockport/Illinois and Chicago, are also preparing to take in families, and the organisation will also be providing financial assistance to charities.
Richard Pichler, the Secretary-General of SOS-Kinderdorf International, expressed his sympathy, in the name of the entire organisation, to those affected in the states of Louisiana, Alabama, Mississippi, Georgia and Kentucky; "The worldwide SOS Children's Village family is deeply struck by the situation in New Orleans and all other areas ravaged by the hurricane. We will support the relief efforts of the SOS Children's Villages in the USA to the best of our ability, in order to show the children and families in this extremely trying situation that they are not alone."
For days, two SOS Children's Villages in the USA have been preparing themselves to take in groups of siblings and single parents with their children. It is not yet clear when and how many hurricane victims will be sheltered in the SOS Children's Villages. Thousands and thousands of now homeless families will be brought to different states and their accommodation and provision is a huge logistical challenge.
The two SOS Children's Villages are in Lockport, 50 km south west of Chicago, Illinois and in Chicago proper. The third SOS Children's Village in the USA in Coconut Creek, Florida, is ready to collect funds which will be earmarked for evacuated children who come to the Ft. Lauderdale area.
The Illinois Department of Children and Family Services (DCFS) enquired about the accommodation of families in both SOS Children's Villages in Illinois, and employees are in close contact in order to coordinate the placement of the families. DCFS and SOS Children's Villages will focus on caring for siblings and single parents with children. Tim McCormick, managing director of SOS Children's Villages Illinois, spoke about thousands of evacuated families at Chicago airport. These families are now being registered and will then be sent to different places.
SOS Children's Villages USA has established a fund specifically for families affected by "Katrina". Donations will be forwarded to other charity organisations and facilities, or will be used for the provision and care of the families they shelter. There are strong signs of solidarity in Europe as well, and all donations made to European SOS Children's Village associations will be transferred directly to SOS Children's Villages USA.