Emergency Kits FAQ

Read through common questions our volunteers have about assembling and sending emergency relief kits.

Emergency Kit FAQs

Q: What are Emergency kits?

A: 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 administered by IOCC's longtime partner Church World Service (CWS).

Q: Why are the kits being handled by Church World Service?

A: The kits are a collaborative effort. Church World Service and its partners handle the processing, packaging and warehousing required for international shipments of humanitarian assistance. And IOCC generates the kits by appealing to Orthodox Christians to assemble them. Kits are available to participating relief agencies, including IOCC, as needs arise in different parts of the world. 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 and families.

Q: What do I do after I’ve assembled the kits?

A: Download and complete the appropriate Kit Form, clearly label and secure each box, and send to the following address:

USPS UPS or FedEx
IOCC/Church World Service
Brethren Service Center Annex
601 Main Street
PO Box 188
New Windsor, MD 21776
IOCC/Church World Service
Brethren Service Center Annex
601 Main Street
New Windsor, MD 21776

Please do not send completed kits to our Baltimore HQ office.

Q: Do I need to budget for shipping costs?

A: Yes, please plan on budgeting $2 to $3 per kit to cover shipping costs to the warehouse address. IOCC covers the cost of the kit distribution overseas.

Q: How do I know that my kits were received and went to the right place?

A: Church World Service will acknowledge receipt of your kits by mail. To ensure that you receive an acknowledgment, please make sure to download the IOCC Emergency Kit Shipping Label and mark clearly on the box whom the kit is from.

Q: Can anything else be added to the kits?

A: No additional items can be added to the kits, and items are limited to only those listed so that all Kit recipients receive the same materials. 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.

Q: Can we include a little note with each kit?

A: 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.

Q: Can we include religious or other symbols on the components or in the Kits?

A: Please do not decorate your kits with religious or governmental symbols or include any items with these symbols in the kits. Emergency Kits are shared with people based only on need, regardless of religion, and should not be used as a way of proselytizing.

Q: Are school kits accepted only at the beginning of the school year?

A: No, school kits are helpful any time of the year, and all kits are accepted on an ongoing basis. We can never have too many kits on hand!

Q: I have clothing (or food, etc.) I would like to give. Can I send it to IOCC?

A: 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.

Q: Where do I send the assembled kits?

A: Please send the assembled kits to one of the address below:

USPS UPS or FedEx
IOCC/Church World Service
Brethren Service Center Annex
601 Main Street
PO Box 188
New Windsor, MD 21776
IOCC/Church World Service
Brethren Service Center Annex
601 Main Street
New Windsor, MD 21776

Please do not send assembled kits to our Baltimore HQ office.