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World Vision Responding to Tsunami in Samoan Islands
Date:9/30/2009

-Organization sending response team, coordinating local efforts for concerned groups

-Samoan American relief worker to lead World Vision team deploying from Seattle

-Former NFL quarterback "Throwin' Samoan" Jack Thompson calls on Americans to help

SEATTLE, Sept. 30 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- Christian relief group World Vision is coordinating a response to the massive 8.0 earthquake and ensuing tsunami that struck the islands of Samoa and American Samoa yesterday, killing at least 110 people. Leading the agency's response is World Vision's national program director and Samoan American Lina Thompson, who will be traveling to the islands this weekend.

"The Samoan community here in the U.S. are in complete shock at what has happened," said Thompson. "I myself have been unable to reach my aunts and cousins to check on their safety. At the same time, there's already a groundswell of people, churches and other groups wanting to do something to help."

Former NFL quarterback and Lina's brother Jack Thompson, known as the "Throwin' Samoan," is also calling on Americans to help through groups like World Vision: "I was just there this summer to help deliver medical supplies and encourage young athletes through a football clinic. Now with the immediate needs Samoans are facing, it's important for us on the U.S. mainland to do whatever we can to show our support."

World Vision will be working through partners in Samoa to distribute emergency items that are most needed by survivors, including things like personal hygiene items, clothing, and first aid supplies. Lina Thompson is deploying to the islands along with the agency's U.S. disaster response director Phyllis Freeman, to oversee the distribution of goods.

"Churches and community leaders have been contacting us eager to help, especially people here in the Pacific Northwest, where there is a sizable Samoan community. We'll be moving quickly in the next few days to ensure we can deliver help effectively and efficiently," said Lina Thompson.

Thompson and World Vision staff in Seattle have organized a community meeting for concerned churches, community leaders and individuals to mobilize and find the best ways to help. The meeting will take place at 9:30 am on Thursday, October 1 at Mountview Presbyterian Church, located at 10806-12th Ave SW, Seattle, WA 98146. The public can help by calling 1.888.56.CHILD or visiting www.worldvision.org.

World Vision is a Christian humanitarian organization dedicated to working with children, families and their communities worldwide to reach their full potential by tackling the causes of poverty and injustice. Visit www.worldvision.org/press.

SOURCE World Vision


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SOURCE World Vision
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