When Stamford native Bobby Valentine heard about the tsunami and earthquake in Japan, he immediately began calling all over the country to offer to help. Then he received a call from AmeriCares, and only had to go to Glenbrook to lend a hand.
“It was one of those ‘duh’ moments,” Valentine says, recalling his reaction to finding out the worldwide relief organization is based in Stamford. By the time he got in touch with AmeriCares, the organization was putting packages together for Japan but did not have a place to send them. Valentine, former manager of the Chiba Lotte Marines in Japan, was able to help there. Through his connections, AmeriCares was able to airlift $525,000 in medical supplies to Tohuku University Hospital, President and CEO of AmeriCares Curt Welling said.
“We would not have done it as quick without Bobby Valentine,” Welling said. Four days after finding a way for AmeriCares to get items to Japan, the 14 tons of medicines and supplies had arrived and were put to use. Even thousands of miles away, Valentine knew the impact on Japan. “I felt the presence of greatness through the phone,” Valentine said, trying to explain the feeling.
Welling and Valentine discussed the details of their partnership during a news conference held Wednesday in the AmeriCares warehouse surrounded by packages set to be delivered all over the world. AmeriCares work in disaster-stricken areas often lasts well beyond the initial relief effort, and it plans to help Japan recover for the next several years.
Valentine will hold a fundraiser June 18 for Japanese relief efforts. During the fundraiser, he will try to set a Guinness World Record for having the most people take CPR training in one day.
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