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Disaster

On the Sunday evening of May 22, Bruce Bailey, founder of the AmeriCorps St. Louis Emergency Response Team, had just arrived at a barbecue in Kansas City with his colleagues and buddies.

Zack Rosenburg was living a comfortable life as an attorney in Washington, DC when Hurricane Katrina struck the Gulf Coast in August 2005. And while Americans came from all over to New Orleans to help, Zack took the extra step of leaving his job, moving to New Orleans and devoting himself fully to the recovery.

The tireless efforts of our AmeriCorps, Senior Corps, and other volunteers in disaster sites across the nation deserves recognition. On Thankful Thursday, we wanted to give others a chance to share in our gratitude.

In the aftermath of the devastating tornado that struck Moore, Oklahoma, last week, the Corporation for National and Community Service is working closely with federal, state, and local officials to deploy AmeriCorps members to the region early Tuesday, May 21. As of Thursday, May 30, 96 AmeriCorps members had boots on the ground.

President Obama’s words remind us of the remarkable way in which Americans across the country will unite after tragedy strikes, just as they have done in the wake of the devastating tornado that struck Moore, Oklahoma yesterday.

This week, the Corporation for National and Community Service, elected officials, and community leaders are marking the contributions of Senior Corps volunteers across the country. In fact, more than 40 governors have issued proclamations for Senior Corps Week.

To mark the one-year anniversary of the May 22 Joplin tornado, we'll be featuring a variety of content on the serve.gov blog, including Q&As with those who served in the community, like this one.

Community HealthCorps Navigators serving through the Institute for Family Health (IFH) have been involved in Hurricane Sandy Relief in a variety of areas in Manhattan, Brooklyn, and Jersey City.

As residents returned to New Orleans following Hurricane Katrina, a group of young black Catholics from the Archdiocese of New Orleans formed the IMANI Team (IMANI meaning “faith” or “belief” in Swahilli), a youth group from black Catholic parishes and schools that united to serve the African-American community of the archdiocese, to encourage and to help rebuild a sense of spiritual community and renewal across the Crescent City. The efforts by this group of young leaders are being recognized with a 2012 Martin Luther King Drum Major for Service award.

To those who have lived through devastation as complete as a tornado, every minute following the horror of wind and chaos is a perpetual memorial to the many who did not survive to see the skies run clear again.

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