Los Angeles-based relief agency to distribute N95 particulate filtering masks in fire areas
Los Angeles, Calif., May 15, 2014– Operation USA, a Los Angeles-based international relief agency, today announced that it will distribute more than 1,000 N95 Particulate Filtering Facepiece Respirators to those fighting and recovering from wildfires sweeping across Southern California this week. The masks, which were stored at the Operation USA warehouse in the Port of Los Angeles, will aid individuals in the affected areas by preventing the inhalation of ash and other dangerous toxins. The organization is calling for additional financial and in-kind support from donors and partners to further aid relief efforts.
As of Thursday afternoon numerous major fires, fueled by extreme dry heat and high winds, had burned upwards of 10,000 acres in San Diego County alone, with damage spreading across Southern California as fires continue to burn. Tens of thousands of people have been evacuated from areas where fires have broken out, with thousands of homes losing power–many suffering fire damage. The full extent of the damage is not yet known.
N95 masks distributed by Operation USA will be delivered to partner agencies and fire departments aiding relief efforts as soon as possible. Donations to Operation USA will be allocated to immediate relief needs and for long term recovery of community-based organizations.
Operation USA previously aided wildfire relief in Southern California in 2007 with the provision of supplies and cash grants to local agencies serving fire victims.
HOW TO HELP:
Donate online at donate.opusa.org, by phone at 1-800-678-7255 or, by check made out to Operation USA, PO BOX 36188, Los Angeles, CA 90036-0188. Donations can also be made via text message: text AID to 50555 to donate $10. Text donations are collected for the benefit of Operation USA by the mGive Foundation and subject to the terms found at www.mGive.org/t.
Corporate donations supporting recovery efforts—bulk quantities of safety supplies, portable generators, work boots, safety goggles, gloves, and more—are also being requested. Only new items in bulk are being accepted at this time. For more information call 1-800-678-7255.
United air miles can be donated to Operation USA through United Airlines Charity Miles program at www.united.com.
About OPERATION USA:
Founded in 1979, Operation USA helps communities alleviate the effects of disasters, disease and endemic poverty by providing privately-funded relief, reconstruction and development aid throughout the world. The Los Angeles based non-government organization offers material and financial assistance to community-based organizations that promote sustainable development, leadership and capacity building, income generating activities, education, health services, and advocacy on behalf of vulnerable people. Learn more at www.opusa.org.
Richard Walden, President and CEO of Operation USA, is available as an expert source on disaster recovery.