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Stamford, Conn. – April 2, 2013 – AmeriCares is funding modular ramps to help disabled New Jersey residents return to Sandy-damaged homes. Portlight Strategies, Inc. of Charleston, S.C., a nonprofit organization assisting the disabled, has been awarded a $37,000 grant to remove damaged wheelchair ramps outside Sandy victims’ homes and replace them with temporary aluminum ramps. The grant also funds the delivery of replacement wheelchairs, canes and other medical equipment lost or damaged in the storm.
“This grant provides immediate relief for disabled Sandy victims waiting for assistance,” said AmeriCares Vice President of Emergency Response Garrett Ingoglia. “We’re not just repairing storm damage; we are restoring mobility and independence for some of the most vulnerable hurricane victims.”
About 120 disabled residents are expected to benefit, including Jersey Shore residents unable to return home due to mobility issues. The temporary ramps will remain in use until Portlight staff and volunteers can replace them with permanent structures.
“The Jersey Shore is reminiscent of New Orleans’ Lower Ninth Ward after Katrina. We have people who can’t get back into their homes because they are waiting on us to build them a new ramp,” said Paul Timmons, chairman of Portlight Strategies’ board of directors. “The quicker we can get people back into their homes, the better their quality of life.”
Portlight Strategies has aided disaster survivors in the U.S. and abroad for 15 years. Its staff and volunteers have assisted Americans suffering in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina, tornadoes and other disasters. Since Sandy struck, it has stationed staff in Tom’s River to oversee medical equipment donations and ramp replacement projects. To date, Portlight has provided assistance to 250 Sandy victims in New York and New Jersey.
AmeriCares has been aiding survivors of natural disasters, political conflict and extreme poverty around the world for more than 30 years, saving lives and restoring health and hope. AmeriCares Hurricane Sandy relief program focuses on restoring access to medical care and mental health services and helping storm-damaged communities prepare for future disasters. Five months after the storm, the nonprofit global health and disaster relief organization has provided $4 million in aid benefitting nearly 400,000 storm victims in New York, New Jersey and Connecticut.