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Hurricane Sandy Digest 12/4/12: Don't Forget the Storm's Victims

by Greg Tucker

Even though there are plenty of distractions around the holiday season, let's not forget the victims of Hurricane Sandy who are still reassembling their lives in the storm's aftermath. The Corporation for National and Community Service joins other federal and national agencies in the recovery effort with a commitment that's used by our Disaster Services Unit: “You can count on us to respond fast and stay last.”

By the end of November, nearly 1,300 national service participants had been deployed in response to Hurricane Sandy with approximately 1,020 serving in disaster-affected communities. These numbers include 605 AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers, and 415 members of FEMA Corps, a unit of AmeriCorps NCCC.

Read on for highlights from some of the latest stories about the work of national service participants in the recovery effort. And to find ways to help storm's victims, visit the Hurricane Sandy Response portal.

New York Recovery: One Month Later (DC), November 30, 2012
In the one month since President Barack Obama declared a major disaster in New York for Hurricane Sandy, the federal government has contributed more than $1 billion to help New Yorkers, their communities, and the state with disaster-related needs, as well as assigning equipment and supplies, and deploying thousands of people to assist in the response and recovery from the storm.

OHS Grad Helps NY Rebuild After Sandy
Onalaska Holmen Courier-Life (Wisconsin), Nov. 29, 2012
Katy Cobb, a 2008 graduate of Onalaska High School, has been in New York since early November volunteering with FEMA Corps, a recently developed partnership between the Department of Homeland Security's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS).

“FEMA Corps is a really good way to experience community service on a large scale,” Cobb said. “I've learned that every little thing counts. You could only talk to five people a day, but every one of them is going to be affected by you.”

Young FEMA Corps Volunteers Appreciated by Sandy Victims
Atlantic City Press (New Jersey), Nov. 28, 2012
When FEMA arrived after Hurricane Sandy, the workers included young volunteers from a new FEMA Corps program started in March as part of a partnership between FEMA and the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps program. … They have been going door-to-door, handing out information on FEMA services in English and Spanish. While they don't handle claims themselves, (the FEMA Corps members) inform residents of services that are available and link them to FEMA disaster centers.

“We are educating people about the process, what they need to do,” said Alex Bradt, 18, of Oxford, CT.

“It's so much more personal to have someone come to you, than having to go to a center,” added Emily Roldan, 18, of Francisville, LA.

Club Red, Disaster Relief Group, Offers Assistance to Victims of Sandy
Elizabethtown College (Pennsylvania), Nov. 28, 2012
Elizabethtown College senior Sarah Creme formed Club Red under the guidance of the American Red Cross at the college during the spring semester. Crème, an AmeriCorps scholar, had to pick a primary organization as her focus for volunteering and chose the American Red Cross, where she had an internship in the summer of 2011. Although its efforts are mostly focused in the Lebanon, PA, area, Club Red is also collecting travel-size hygiene items for comfort kits for people affected by disasters like Hurricane Sandy.

AmeriCorps: Getting Things Done
American Red Cross (National), Nov. 28, 2012
“Brooklyn is my home,” said AmeriCorps volunteer Rachel Gordon. “It's good to be helping out.” Gordon is one of more than 1,000 AmeriCorps members working with the Red Cross get food and supplies to the thousands of families and individuals those affected by Hurricane Sandy across many states. 

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