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Stamford, CT—AmeriCares and former New York Mets manager Bobby Valentine are teaming up to deliver lifesaving medicines and relief supplies for survivors of the devastating earthquake and tsunami in Japan.
Valentine and AmeriCares President & CEO Curt Welling announced the new partnership during a press conference today at AmeriCares headquarters.
Valentine has a special affection for Japan having lived there for five years when he was managing the Chiba Lotte Marines. Soon after the March 11 disaster, he began looking for ways to help survivors. Working with AmeriCares, the Stamford-based global health and disaster relief organization, was a natural fit for Valentine, a Stamford native, local business owner and the city’s Director of Public Safety, Health and Welfare.
“My heart sank as I watched the tsunami floodwaters filling my old ballpark and rushing through the streets where I used to ride my bike. I felt hopeless and I had to do something,” Valentine said. “I am proud to work with a charity that’s on the ground delivering aid, making an impact for survivors.”
Within days of the disaster, AmeriCares had a team of relief workers in Japan assessing the immediate health needs of survivors and delivering critically needed aid to evacuees living in shelters in the hard-hit northeast region.
Valentine played an instrumental role in AmeriCares first emergency airlift for tsunami survivors, which arrived last week carrying over $525,000 worth of medicines and supplies for hospitals and evacuation centers in the impact zone. The aid was distributed by Tohoku University Hospital in Sendai through connections Valentine facilitated.
“This is the worst natural disaster in Japan’s history and the country needs our assistance now and in the months and years to come,” Welling said. “We are pleased Mr. Valentine is working with AmeriCares to speed deliveries of lifesaving medicines and supplies to survivors in the hardest hit areas.”
One month after the tragic earthquake and tsunami, the situation on the ground remains dire. More than 150,000 people are still living in evacuation centers and an estimated 20,000 people are living in cars or damaged homes. Several hospitals in the impact zone are operating beyond capacity, while others cannot accept new patients due to damage and staffing limitations.
Valentine is planning a June 18 fundraiser in Stamford to support the relief efforts in Japan. For more information about the event, go to www.bobbyvalentine.org
AmeriCares has provided medical relief and humanitarian assistance to millions affected by natural disasters and man-made crises around the world for nearly 30 years including the 2004 tsunami in Southeast Asia, the 2010 earthquakes in Haiti and Chile, and the 1995 Kobe earthquake in Japan.
AmeriCares emergency response work often lasts years beyond the initial disaster rebuilding hospitals and health clinics and restoring health services lost. One year after the Haiti earthquake AmeriCares is still delivering medical aid to health care facilities treating survivors, and six years after the Southeast Asia tsunami, AmeriCares is still helping to rebuild a hospital for survivors in Sri Lanka.