Direct Relief shipped its 60th care package to hurricane-ravaged Texas on Thursday, bringing the total to nearly a million dollars’ worth of medical supplies sent last week. Over the weekend, its teams have been delivering emergency medical packs to Beaumont, Texas, where shortages have occurred, said spokesperson Tony Morain, and they’d been working out the logistics of supplying clinics and shelters in Shreveport, Louisiana, before that.
In advance of Harvey’s arrival, 11 Direct Relief health kits had been placed in storm-prone areas, eight of which were soon put to use at shelters and medical facilities for their contents of life-saving insulin, asthma inhalers, and anti-hypertensive medications. Texas Children’s Hospital and 18 health clinics, centers, and public health departments had reached out to Direct Relief for aid, and on-the-ground staffers had purchased needed items ranging from refrigerators to basic hygiene items. By the end of the week, Eli Lilly had sent Direct Relief a large amount of insulin for the Texas effort.
Through a decade-old support network with the Texas Association of Community Health Centers, Direct Relief donated $350,000 directly, on Friday. Direct Relief President and CEO Thomas Tighe stated the financial support enabled the Centers to tend to those with “low incomes, lacking insurance, and with limited access to needed care.”
“As our centers and their employees navigate the road to recovery from Hurricane Harvey,” the Centers’ executive director José E. Camacho said, “it is this kind of cooperation and unity that truly helps our patients, centers and their employees cope with a disaster of this magnitude. Gracias.”
To help the Santa Barbara-based nonprofit’s hurricane work, the Santa Ynez Band of Chumash Indians donated $20,000 on Friday. Direct Relief received a 100 percent rating from Charity Navigator this year, spending 99.4 percent of expenses on its programs.