In order to help combat the coronavirus in outlying area of its headquarters in Hampton Roads, Virginia, Operation Blessing is providing greatly needed items that have been in short supply.
The Christian nonprofit arm of the Christian Broadcasting Network (CBN) – which was formed to assist victims of natural disasters across the United States and internationally – is now busy at work helping local communities by distributing protective gear and cleaning supplies to stop the spread of the COVID-19, which originated in China’s Wuhan Province a few months ago.
“Operation Blessing compiled and handed out hard-to-find essentials like cleaning supplies and face masks to first responders,” CBN News reported. “Through a partnership with Home Depot, the Christian organization is also giving away some 30,000 pounds of food to 12 distribution centers.”
Blessing in a bucket
The relief effort is being called a “blessing in a bucket” by local media, and Operation Blessing Operations Manager Hannah Slusher is glad to head up the effort to help public safety departments fighting the global pandemic on the frontlines by donating high-demand safety masks and sanitation supplies.
“Many of us are working remotely right now – or being asked to – but these folks can’t,” Slusher told WAVY-TV. “We actually provided all seven cities with 1,000 N95 masks, and through partnership with Home Depot, we also provided them disaster buckets.”
The faith-based group is going out of its way to help local police so they can protect and serve local communities safely.
“The disaster buckets had uplifting messages written on top and were filled with much-needed items – like disinfecting wipes and cleaning supplies to help officers sanitize their patrol cars,” WAVY-TV informed.
Law enforcement was more than grateful for the Christian humanitarian aid group going out of its way to make sure it served the community germ-free.
“The police officers greatly appreciated these buckets full of cleaning and disinfecting supplies,” Operation Blessing announced in an update Friday.
Feeding a growing physical and spiritual hunger
A branch of the Virginia-based missions group is also making sure local residents do not go hungry or run out of hope by providing local residents with food while basic groceries and finances are in short supply as hoarding at stores and mass layoffs continue to exasperate the growing crisis.
“The nonprofit’s Hunger Strike Force is also giving back to the community by supplying 30,000 pounds of food to 12 food distribution centers across Hampton Roads,” the Virginia TV station noted.
Even though Operation Blessing is inserting itself in new territory – assisting in a health pandemic instead of a natural disaster – it is adjusting its mission to help those in need amidst the unusual circumstances into which the virus has thrust Americans, but the faith-based groups is still in the business-as-usual of delivering hope in crises.
”A lot of these distribution points are getting hit really hard right now because families are home, children are out of school and they’re not getting those meals that they might get if they were in school,” Slusher explained to the local station. ”I think mostly it’s hope – it’s giving hope to people that are feeling really afraid and really unsure, and that’s just what we want to pump out into Hampton Roads. We’re going to be okay – we’re better together and we’re going to get through this together.”
Operation Blessing let the community know it will continue to pitch in a helping hand as Americans continue to lose their jobs while having to care for their children at home – who are usually at school on weekdays.
“In the U.S. … we quickly reached out to our food distribution partners and began sending even more free groceries and water to those hit by the financial hardships of the crisis – including children who lost school meals and workers who lost wages,” Operation Blessing communicated in its Friday update. “Operation Blessing always stands ready to respond to crises and reach out to those in need.”
As kits to test for the growing pandemic are becoming more readily available to the public, an expected spike in the number of those infected with COVID-19 in the U.S. will most likely present itself in the days to come, as more city-wide and state-wide quarantines are expected across America.
The U.S. currently has nearly 27,000 cases of the coronavirus, which has already killed almost 350 Americans from coast to coast, according to continually updated statistics provided by Worldometer. Worldwide, it has recorded approximately 320,000 infections, with the latest death toll now standing at more than 13,600.