Following historic flooding that hit West Virginia last Thursday and Friday, Save the Children is helping families and communities assess damages and meet immediate needs.
The organization has been working in the state for decades and runs programs to help children in three of the flood-affected counties, including Roane County, Calhoun County and Nicholas County.
Save the Children has been reaching out to the families of the hundreds of children who participate in its programs in West Virginia, but telephone and power outages has made it difficult. “We are very concerned that we still have only made contact with about half of the families in our programs,” said Save the Children’s West Virginia Director, Anna Hardway. Families have lost homes, vehicles and belongings in the devastating floods that have spread across 44 counties throughout the state. “Parents are telling us their children have lost their shoes and are walking barefoot in contaminated waters, and traveling in vehicles without car seats, because their own cars were washed away,” said Hardway.
Actor Jennifer Garner, a Save the Children Trustee and a native of West Virginia, is calling for support: “My heart is breaking for beautiful West Virginia — more than a quarter of children there already face the challenges that come with living in poverty,” said Garner. “The people of my home state are the most resilient you will find, but the damage caused by the storm and deadly floods has been catastrophic for these families and communities. I am relieved to know that Save the Children will continue to be on the ground in West Virginia throughout the cleanup and recovery, to make sure basic needs are met and services that families depend on most, including schools and afterschool programs, are restored. Let’s help Save the Children do what it does best.”
Save the Children serves families in five West Virginia counties through health, early education programs and afterschool programs. “We’ve worked in these communities for years, and this level of damage and loss is unprecedented,” said Carolyn Miles, Save the Children President and CEO.
The organization currently partners with local schools to help nearly 2,000 children in the state. Programs support mothers during pregnancy, provide home visits to families of infants and toddlers, help young children get ready for school, stay healthy and succeed in school and beyond.
To donate to Save the Children’s West Virginia flood response, visit: SavetheChildren.org/WestVirginia