Ken Key, founder of Missions Unlimited, said the group is reaching out to a ministry in Brooklyn, N.Y., and is expecting to partner with the Salvation Army’s disaster relief efforts in New Jersey.
“This is what we do,” Key said. “When things happen, we want to be there to help. We helped during Katrina. We helped during the Japan tsunami, and we helped when tornadoes hit here at home.”
Key said Missions Unlimited is involved with a network of relief organizations around the world.
“One of our groups contacted me today about helping a ministry in Brooklyn,” he said. “They reach out to children, and they have some specific needs that we can help with.”
Key said representatives with Brooklyn-based Metro Ministries told him that drinking water is a high priority because bottled water is scarce in the New York area. He said Missions Unlimited is preparing to send drinking water, children’s sleeping bags and blankets to help the ministry.
Metro Ministries holds sidewalk Sunday school programs in low-income areas of New York’s five boroughs on weekdays and reaches around 20,000 children each week.
Metro Ministries is currently putting together bags with groceries, water or soft drinks and blankets to give out in the areas they serve that are without power due to storm damage.
Charles Harper, operations manager for Missions Unlimited, said he has spent the last several days packing sleeping bags to be sent to storm victims.
“We had an anonymous donation of 1,000 children’s sleeping bags,” Harper said. “They have cartoon characters on them. A lot of these children that have been affected by the storm have suffered a lot. Something like this will help keep them warm and pick up their spirits.”
Harper said he expected another 1,000 sleeping bags to be donated next week.
“This is a private company that didn’t want any kind of publicity,” Harper said. “They just wanted to help people.”
Items currently being accepted by Missions Unlimited to be sent to victims of Hurricane Sandy include blankets, gloves, flashlights, batteries, cold weather/rain gear, quick food items (granola bars, soup, ect.) and cots. Monetary donations for supplies and shipping costs are also being accepted.
“We are thankful that FedEx ships all our stuff for free, but we do need money to help pay to get some of the stuff to us,” Key said. “There is a lot of help out there, but some of the people we partner with have to have a little payment to help pay for fuel costs.”
For more information, contact Key at 205-275-9070 or Harper at 205-544-8784.