The devastating impact of the recent floods in Pakistan continues to be a challenge. While the disaster might seem distant, there is a local way to provide aid to those in desperate need.
Angel Russell, a year-round Island resident, is currently working with Mercy Corps, the Shahina & Aftab Foundation, and Pakistan International airlines, to put together emergency kits to help people in Pakistan floods. The emergency kits require little money to assemble, but contain items that were deemed most important to those in the field.
Mercy Corps is an organization driven by local needs and conditions that seeks to help equip people facing natural disasters with the resources and programming they need. The Shahina & Aftab Foundation, an organization based out of the UK, focuses on providing women and children in distressed circumstances with healthcare and education services.
“I think it is important that we not stand by ambivalently when there is much we can do to help, especially if the things that are needed are just sitting around our houses not being used,” Ms. Russell says in a press release. She is collecting the boxes and takes responsibility for bringing them to the nearest administration offices in New York. Pakistan International Airlines has said they will ship the emergency relief kits for free to Pakistan and the kits will be given to the Red Cross and the Army once there.
Ms. Russell is an Island artist who produces the nonprofit magazine Sergeant Sparrow Magazine. Items in need include: water, soap, non-perishable vegetarian items, clean sheets, toothbrushes and toothpaste, towels, shampoo, clean underwear and disinfectant. Boxes are available for pick-up from Ms. Russell at Up-island Paint and Tool, the entrance to Stony Hill Road in West Tisbury, and Up-Island Cronigs. For more information, contact her at 508-645-4380 or visit sergeantsparrowrecords.com. Money can also be donated at mercycorps.org/fundraising/sergeantsparrow.