SOURCE: Save the Children

Save the Children

April 29, 2011 14:19 ET

Save the Children Sends Response Team as Tornadoes Force Children Into Homelessness

"History shows that the tornadoes' longest and deepest impact will be on the region's children," said Mark Shriver, Senior Vice President

WASHINGTON, DC--(Marketwire - Apr 29, 2011) - As tornadoes turn towns across the Southeast into trash heaps and force thousands of children and families into crowded shelters, Save the Children's U.S. Programs is sending an emergency response team to the Tuscaloosa-Alabama region to respond to the situation.

"History shows that the tornadoes' longest and deepest impact will be on the region's children," said Mark Shriver, Senior Vice President of Save the Children. "It's crucial we move fast to uncover the situation for children and protect them today and in the weeks and months ahead."

The response team will assess the needs of children, and partner with local communities to ensure children and families are able to access child care, and that damaged child care centers will get the support needed to recover and reopen.

Save the Children will focus the majority of its assistance in the most gravely affected states of Alabama and Mississippi where a reported 243 people were killed in the tornadoes that cut a swath of destruction through the region. Across Alabama, Arkansas, Georgia, Mississippi, and Tennessee, the current loss of life is more than 300; nearly 900 people across the five affected states have sought refuge in Red Cross shelters since the storms hit.

Over the past decade of unprecedented and unrelenting disasters, the devastating aftermaths revealed that the critical needs of children have been largely unmet. Shelters are often missing key supplies like diapers and portable cribs, and there has been a failure to focus on rebuilding child care centers so that parents can get back to work and help restore the local economy.

Save the Children's U.S. Programs is the leading national responder on child care recovery, devoted to supporting the unique and unmet needs of children following a disaster.

Members of the public who want to help can donate now to the Southern U.S. Tornado Children in Emergency Fund to support Save the Children's responses to ongoing and urgent needs as a result of the devastating tornadoes. Donate now at: www.savethechildren.org/usatornado

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