World Cares Center(WCC) is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization that empowers grassroots communities worldwide through disaster response training, support, and coordination to facilitate bottom-up resilient recovery. Founded by neighborhood volunteers during the September 11, 2001 response, WCC educates communities and individuals of all ages through a wide range of disaster volunteerism related programs.
When Superstorm Sandy struck, World Cares Center’s sites in Far Rockaway, Brooklyn, and Staten Island were located in the heart of affected neighborhoods, enabling them to get immediate help to those most in need. Approximately 22,000 WCC volunteers trained in flood response mucked and gutted 1,400 homes and delivered emergency supplies and food to homebound seniors.
“While it has been two years since Superstorm Sandy, our work in these communities is hardly over,” says Lisa Orloff, WCC’s Founder and Executive Director. “Children are still recovering from the devastating financial and emotional impact that Sandy left behind. So many of us are fortunate enough to be able to celebrate in the comfort of our own homes. WCC focuses on bringing holiday joy to the children impacted by disasters through Project Elf, a day of festivities in the three boroughs most impacted.”
A trip to New York City brought the Know Yourself team and the WCC team together. The result? Know Yourself is proud to have been a part of the worthwhile endeavor that is Project Elf, donating 10% of sales from the Union Square Holiday Market, as well as distributing 500 books at all three Project Elf Winter Wonderlands. Additional donations of Know Yourself tote bags, anatomy-inspired clothing, temporary tattoos, and glow-in-the-dark stickers were also offered for Project Elf distribution.
Know Yourself founder Nancy Howes recalls, “I visited World Cares Center this past winter and I was blown away with WCC’s dedication to their cause. The heart I felt in the WCC organizers and volunteers was nothing less than inspirational. The more we discussed the mission and vision of our respective organizations, the more we realized the common voice we shared around empowering young people with the knowledge they need to care for themselves, make decisions in varied situations, and to be truly free and self sufficient as they grow into their chosen communities. When you take care of yourself, everyone around you benefits. This statement rings as true in everyday life as it does in a state of emergency. We are proud of this community connection and look forward to an ongoing relationship with World Cares Center.”
Along with receiving Know Yourself Academy’s whimsical and engaging book: Dr. Bonyfide Presents The Bones of the Hand, Arm, and Shoulder, each child at Project Elf participated in a day of fun, including taking a picture with Santa and receiving a gift. Parents were informed of the services still available to them in their local community and were given ingredients for their holiday meal courtesy of the Food Bank of New York City.
“I’m thrilled that Know Yourself supports and believes in WCC and what we do,” says Orloff. “Our organizations share the common vision of enabling people to be more responsible for themselves and to develop individual resiliency.”
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