Chiefs Help in Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts

Posted Nov 28, 2012

The Chiefs Community Caring Team visited the Heart to Heart International Distribution Center on Tuesday to help with Hurricane Sandy relief efforts. Chiefs players, cheerleaders, and Red Coaters spent the morning packing boxes full of necessary hygiene related items which will be shipped to the communities affected by Hurricane Sandy. (Photo Gallery)

Heart to Heart International is a global humanitarian organization that inspires, empowers and mobilizes individuals to serve those in need in the community and around the world.

“The mission of Heart to Heart International is to improve global health through initiatives that connect people and resources to a world in need,” Jason Slattery, Cooperate Engagement Specialist with Heart to Heart International, said. “So we’re really excited to have the Kansas City Chiefs here to help support us and pack boxes of soap today, which is one of the items we send out in times of crisis to disaster affected regions around the world.”

The complete care kit contains hand towels, wash clothes, a wide tooth comb, a bottle of shampoo, toothpaste, soap, a soap dish, ten band aides and two one-gallon bags.

“The echo impact of a national disaster is disease and the root cause of that disease is often times a lack of sanitation and hygiene,” Slattery explained. “The care kit attempts to address that issue by confronting sanitation and hygiene problems.”

Pharmaceutical companies donate several millions of dollars worth of supplies annually and Heart to Heart International distributes 70 million – 100 million dollars in medical aid on an annual basis to 50 – 60 countries.

Since its inception in 1992, Heart to Heart International has delivered supplies to 125 countries and donated one billion dollars worth of medical aid.

“The care kits that the Chiefs are packing will impact literally hundreds of lives,” Slattery commented. “When we send these out, sometimes they go out to families or sometimes individuals but this will be able to provide sanitation and hygiene for so many families who have been impacted by disaster.”

The Chiefs players who were in attendance have east coast ties, especially the area impacted by the hurricane. Kevin Boss made his NFL debut with the New York Giants and played there from 2007-2010.

“I spent four years over there and really got involved with the community. The area still kind of feels like home to me, so I’m happy to be able to help out. I had lots of friends that were living without power; they had to live in hotels for a few weeks so I’m happy to be able to help out.”

It also hits home for Steve Maneri, who grew up in Saddle Brook, New Jersey.

“It means a lot to be here today to help out,” Maneri said. “I really wanted to go back to help but putting together these boxes is a way to give back and provide some comfort for those that are going through a tough time.”

As well as lending a hand at Heart to Heart International, Shaun Smith, a Brooklyn, New York native, recently spearheaded a player clothing drive in the locker room for those in Brooklyn who have been displaced.

“I put together a clothing drive in the locker room to give back to the people in New York,” Smith commented. “Since I’m from Brooklyn, I know some of the areas that were affected. Guys gave clothes, jackets and sneakers to send to them. I sent ten boxes from my house of clothes that I don’t wear anymore or need. Why not give it to someone who needs it?”

Smith, who has friends and family that were affected by the devastation of Hurricane Sandy, was excited to do all that he could to continue to help those in need.

“I have friends and family going through this and my heart goes out to them,” Smith said. “It means a lot to me to be here and give back. I think donating your time means more than any monetary donation, putting time and dedication in from the kindness of your heart means a lot.”

By the end of the event, the Chiefs Community Caring Team had loaded 4,000 bars of soap into care kits.

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