Disaster relief has become a prominent part of the Society's charitable efforts as we continue reaching out to the men, women and children who were displaced by Hurricane Katrina. For low-income families, especially those who lost everything during Katrina, the top priority was survival. We used our infrastructure to take the first steps and provide them with the basics they needed, diverting our limited resources to reach out to the victims of this disaster.
Just after the hurricane hit, over 60 truckloads of critical goods, such as water, diapers, clothing, and food were shipped out by St. Vincent de Paul to some of the most devastated areas in our state. We know that our work touched thousands by getting goods into areas that others could not. Our Dining Room responded to the initial flood of victims and is more than ready to respond in the case of another disaster. Through the St. Vincent de Paul Thrift stores, we were able to provide over 170,000 pieces of clothing to more than 40,000 Hurricane Katrina evacuees, and more than 25,000 of those we served received a bag of toiletry items including basic items such as toothbrushes and soap. Individuals from the greater New Orleans area, including those that were homeless before Hurricane Katrina hit, also found refuge in our two emergency shelters for men, our shelter for women and children, and our homeless day center. The St. Vincent de Paul Community Pharmacy, which helps thousands of people with their prescription medications annually, filled prescriptions worth more than $250,000 for victims of this disaster. Our Uniforms for Kids program has also distributed thousands of school uniforms free of charge to displaced school children.
We continue to study other needs we can fill with our basic infrastructure and are prepared to help during the next disaster. Our philosophy has been to build on our core strengths: food services, thrift stores/distribution center, uniform distribution, prescription medicines, shelter for the homeless, and other services.