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The Disaster Volunteer Collaborative

World Cares Center’s Ongoing COVID-19 Response
World Cares Center (WCC) has been responding to disasters in the United States and all over the world. Once again, this New York City-based non-profit is on the front lines, combating the COVID-19 crisis in its own backyard. With a surge in demand for its disaster preparedness expertise, WCC is delivering real-time guidance and an active network of volunteers to assist underrepresented groups, in the New York metro area, as they struggle to help their communities with the COVID-19 pandemic.

World Cares Center takes a community-focused approach to preparedness by training local groups and individuals to be ready when disaster strikes. “We’ve always believed that preparedness starts at home,” said Lisa Orloff, founder of World Cares Center. “We were created in the aftermath of 9/11 in New York, have responded to every local crisis, and train people day in and day out. Now the greatest need is combatting COVID-19 and we are on the front-lines again.”

Disseminating information about the virus in languages people understand is critical and WCC is working with National Institutes of Health, Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and subject matter experts to translate vital information for effected communities.

Many low-income and marginalized New York residents are distrustful of the government and run the risk of ignoring vital health and safety messages. By partnering with local community leaders to educate their constituents, WCC is helping those communities to dramatically reduce their exposure and risk.

To date, World Cares Center has distributed and donated over 30,000 N95 respirators, coveralls, and gloves from its own supplies to those on the front lines, including healthcare workers and volunteers going door to door to feed homebound seniors. This has included cloth mask distributions throughout the five boroughs, in coordination with our local community partners. In total, World Cares Center has conducted over 60 mask distributions in the greater New York City Metro region.

WCC is also providing personal protective equipment (PPE) and training for service providers in critical situations including service workers active in elder care, home health care aids, janitors, and scores of others who need immediate support in different communities.

“Nurses and doctors themselves are directly reaching out to us for protection. When one caregiver finds out we are helping, we get three more calls,” continued Orloff. “These people need help now, and we are nimble enough to deliver it.”

In addition to distributing PPE, WCC has also created new COVID-19 specific trainings through our Disaster Volunteerism Academy, including COVID-19 Safety, COVID-19 Resiliency, and COVID-19 Management. World Cares Center has also been hosting free monthly COVID-19 Zoom Round Tables, with subject matter experts in the fields of disaster planning, response, and recovery. Through these various training methods, WCC has trained over 1000 Ready Responders.

Borne out of the 9/11 tragedy, WCC’s mission is to help at-risk communities and prepare their citizens to emerge as Ready Responders, with skills and knowledge to help save lives in a disaster or emergency. Free trainings are being offered through and a free operation and communications network is available at

World Cares Center is ready to do what it does best, to help communities through a disaster. It needs your support to continue to help –this time to protect New York communities against the threat of COVID-19.