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Emergency Mission to El Salvador for Disaster Relief

  • December 1, 2009

In the aftermath of deadly mudslides and devastating floods, AmeriCares sent emergency relief workers and disaster aid to help thousands of families in need. El Salvador was recently hit by flash floods and mudslides that killed nearly 200 people. MSNBC’s Morning Joe special correspondents Susan and Joey Scarborough, joined AmeriCares relief efforts.

AmeriCares delivered an emergency airlift of over $275,000 worth of critical medicines to treat flood-related infections and injuries typical in flood situations such as in El Salvador. “Morning Joe” Host Joe Scarborough’s wife Susan and son Joey helped bring much needed relief to disaster survivors.

“It was amazing to see first-hand how AmeriCares improves the lives of El Salvador’s most disadvantaged,” reflected Susan Scarborough. “Whether responding to mudslides or earthquakes, AmeriCares has gone the extra mile to bring hope to the hopeless.”

Among the many places the relief team delivered aid were an orphanage, emergency shelter and several hospitals. The human tragedy was overwhelming.

Help AmeriCares provide medicines and humanitarian relief to people in desperate need around the world »

“AmeriCares work in El Salvador moved me greatly because I got to see firsthand how the organization delivers real results to people who need their help the most. I was honored to be able to deliver vital medicines and supplies to people hurt the most by the recent mudslides,” continued Susan.

“Meeting a mother who lost her husband and child in the mudslides has made me realize not only how fortunate I am, but how much we all need to do to help people in need around the world.”

Susan and the rest of the relief team met a young widow named Mercedes. She was at the Hospital Santa Gertrudis, covered from head to toe in cuts, scrapes and bruises. Mercedes was in severe physical pain, but what hurt her most was her broken heart.

Mercedes, her husband and seven year old son were asleep when they awoke to the sound of rushing water in their one room home. Trapped inside by crashing boulders, mudslide and flash flood waters, they struggled to get out. Their home then burst apart, hurling the family into rushing flood waters and sharp debris. Mercedes was helpless as her son and husband were swept away. The last time she saw her family, they were up to their necks in water – her son crying for help that she could not give.

Mercedes was rescued more than two miles from her home. Her wounds will heal thanks to the care at the Hospital Santa Gertrudis, but it could take a lifetime for her to recover from the trauma of losing her loved ones.

AmeriCares relief efforts were not without hope. Susan and Joey Scarborough also visited the Saint Vincent DePaul Children’s Home. Supported by longtime partners the Order of Malta and FUSAL, AmeriCares donations help the orphanage’s infirmary and other health care needs of the orphans.

“While I saw many heartbreaking scenes in El Salvador it was heartwarming to see how AmeriCares affects the lives of so many throughout the country,” said Susan.

AmeriCares will continue to help communities in El Salvador and beyond. Humanitarian assistance is helping survivors of recent hurricanes, typhoons, earthquakes and mudslides in Latin America, the Philippines, Indonesia and the United States. We will also maintain our ability to deliver aid to others in desperate need around the world and here at home.  

AmeriCares responds in times of sudden natural disasters, and works to provide lifesaving medicines and humanitarian relief to people in poor and conflict-ridden countries struggling daily for survival around the world.

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