What are Emergency kits?
Each kit is a small package of supplies that is assembled in the United States and shipped to people in need in other parts of the world. The Emergency Kits program is run by IOCC's longtime partner Church World Service (CWS).
Why are the kits being handled by Church World Service?
The kits are a collaborative effort. IOCC generates the kits by appealing to Orthodox Christians to assemble them. Church World Service and its partners handle the processing, packaging and warehousing required for international shipments of humanitarian assistance.
Kits are available to participating relief agencies, including IOCC, as needs arise in different parts of the world. Many of IOCC’s humanitarian and self-help programs are done in partnership with other organizations.
What are the benefits of this kind of partnership?
The overhead costs associated with warehousing, handling and preparing the kits for shipment overseas are shared by numerous organizations. This approach helps maximize efficiency and effectiveness, allowing IOCC and its partners to help even more children.
What goes in a School Kit?
The recommended items are a 12" by 14" to 14" x 17" cotton or lightweight canvas bag with cloth handles (please, no reusable shopping bags or backpacks) with the following items: One pair of blunt metal scissors (rounded tip), Three 70-count spiral or tape-bound notebooks of 8" x 10-1/2" ruled paper totaling 200-210 sheets (do not provide loose-leaf or filler paper), One 30-centimeter ruler (12"), One hand-held pencil sharpener, Six new pencils with erasers, One large eraser (2-1/2"), One box of 24 crayons (only 24).
What goes in a Hygiene Kit?
The recommended items are a gallon-size plastic bag with a zipper closure, filled with the following items: one hand towel, one washcloth, one comb, one metal nail file or nail clipper, one bar of soap (bath size, new and wrapped in original packaging), one toothbrush, and six Band-Aids. NO TOOTHPASTE.
What goes in a Baby Kit?
The recommended items includes shirts, sleepers, blankets, diapers, a sweater and washcloths.
What goes in an emergency clean-up bucket?
The recommended items are a 5 gallon bucket with resealable lid, filled with the following items: scouring pads, sponges, a scrub brush, cleaning towels, laundry detergent, household cleaner, dish soap, clothes pins, a clothesline, dust masks, latex and work gloves, heavy-duty trash bags, and insect repellant.
What do I do after I’ve assembled the kits?
Secure the bag(s) and pack it/them in a box. Then secure the box with packing tape. Clearly mark the outside of the box with the type of kit and apply the correct amount of postage. Be sure to include the name of the parish, group or individual sending the kit(s) on the box.
Can multiple kits go in a box?
Yes, as long as the box weight and dimensions are within U.S. Postal Service guidelines.
Where do I send the kits?
Please send them to the following address:
IOCC/Church World Service
Brethren Service Center Annex
601 Main St.
P.O. Box 188
New Windsor, MD 21776-0188
Do I need to budget for shipping costs?
Yes, please plan on budgeting $2-$3 per kit to cover shipping costs to the Brethren Service Center Annex address listed above. IOCC covers the cost of the kit distribution overseas.
How do I know that my kits were received and went to the right place?
Church World Service will acknowledge receipt of your kits by mail. To ensure that you receive an acknowledgement, please mark clearly on the box whom the kit is from.
Can anything else be added to the kits?
We recommend that, for consistency’s sake, the contents be limited to the items listed above. This way, people who receive the kits will know they are being treated equally. Also, in order to facilitate international shipping and distribution, the boxes into which the kits are packed at the warehouse, must weigh the same and contain the same number of kits.
Can we put candy in the kits?
Again, for consistency’s sake, we ask that no candy be included with the kits. This also eliminates the risk of adverse health effects.
Can we include a little note with each kit?
For a person to read the note, it would have to be translated into his or her own language. This is a time-consuming and costly process which is outside the scope of the Emergency Kits program.
Does the school kit bag have to be exactly 12-by-14 inches in size?
No, the bag can be larger but, preferably, not smaller.
Must the school kits be assembled only at the beginning of the school year?
No, the school kits (and health kits) are helpful any time of the year, and kits will be accepted on an ongoing basis. Obviously, the earlier the kits are contributed, the faster they can be shipped to people who need them.
Is there any way of knowing how many kits have been contributed by Orthodox Christians?
Because of the volume of kits handled, the volunteers and staff at the warehouse facility are unable to keep these kinds of statistics.
I would like my kits to go only to Orthodox people in need; can that be arranged?
IOCC’s mandate is purely humanitarian, and its mission is to help people in need regardless of their race, ethnic origin or religion. Your kits will go to some of the most vulnerable people in the world solely on the basis of their need.
I have clothing (or food, etc.) I would like to give; can I send it to IOCC?
Thank you very much for your willingness to help. However, IOCC does not have the capacity to ship privately-collected supplies overseas. Also, there are considerable expenses associated with the transport, storage, customs, and distribution of material goods. Because humanitarian needs on the ground are constantly changing, the most effective way to help is through a financial contribution.