US Flag AddThis Social Bookmark Button

 

Home United We Serve National Service
Mobile Menu Button
National Service Blog - Archive
by
Sandy Scott

By: Sandy Scott In the wake of the nation’s deadliest tornado in six decades, more than 80 AmeriCorps members are working night and day to assist first responders and victims in the recovery efforts in Joplin, MO.With the death toll at 126, more than 700 people injured, and thousands of structures destroyed, the EF-5 tornado that struck Joplin last Sunday flattened everything in its path, leaving residents to scramble to find missing family members and find immediate shelter.RAPID DEPLOYMENTAmeriCorps members have traveled from near and far to Joplin to help coordinate relief efforts. Among the first on the ground was a group from the AmeriCorps St. Louis Emergency Response Team, an AmeriCorps program that acts as a multi-functional rapid deployment group that has provided immediate and long-term disaster response to disasters in 29 states over the past 17 years.As soon as word came of the devastation in Joplin, a team of AmeriCorps St. Louis ERT members packed their equipment and drove through the night to Joplin, arriving at 2:30 a.m. on Monday, not knowing where they would sleep but ready to get to work.They quickly went into action to open a Missing Persons Hotline for individuals to register a profile of those who have not been accounted for after the deadly tornado. By 5:30 a.m., the AmeriCorps team had set up a 24-hour Missing Persons Hotline with the help of IT staffers at Missouri Southern State University.Megan MacDougall, an AmeriCorps member who set up and is now overseeing the call center, said thousands of calls have been logged since the hotline opened. Callers give a detailed description of missing family or friends that goes into a database accessible to the Sheriff’s Office, Highway Patrol, Family Assistance Office, and search and rescue teams. The Missouri Department of Public Safety, which oversees the missing person’s effort, yesterday released a list of 232 individuals for whom an official missing persons report had been filed.“We’ll stay here until we’re no longer needed,” said MacDougall, who hopes to find a job working on disaster relief when her year in AmeriCorps ends.AmeriCorps members are also in the community, with teams of AmeriCorps members leading groups of 40-50 volunteers into Joplin to clear roads and debris to ensure first responders can maneuver effectively in search and rescue missions. AmeriCorps members are also registering and managing volunteers, overseeing a donation warehouse, and conducting needs assessments.Stephanie Jackson, an AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) team leader from Denver, is managing the donations warehouse at Missouri Southern State University. Her team, one of four NCCC teams in Joplin, had been working in St. Louis for the previous three weeks responding to the Good Friday tornado when they were redeployed to Joplin on Monday night.Jackson said her team got two hours of sleep the night they arrived by didn’t mind as they were eager to get to work. “We couldn’t wait to get here to help. It makes me feel alive and I know I am making a difference.”Twelve AmeriCorps members from Skagit and Yakima counties in Washington State are also serving in Joplin. These AmeriCorps members, part of the Washington Conservation Corps, were redeployed from St. Louis and are assisting in the distribution center, volunteer intake center, and clean up efforts.The AmeriCorps members in Joplin are part of a much larger national service response to the devastating floods and tornadoes that have struck the South and the Midwest this spring. Hundreds of AmeriCorps members and RSVP volunteers are serving in Alabama, Kentucky, Oklahoma, Mississippi, Missouri, North Dakota, North Carolina, Ohio, Virginia, and Wisconsin.AGENCIES WORKING TOGETHERThe Corporation for National and Community Service, which oversees AmeriCorps, is working closely with FEMA and state officials in Missouri and other states to effectively use national service resources. The agency is deploying four staff members to Missouri to provide assistance to deployed AmeriCorps service projects including project development, logistical support, safety assurance, coordination among voluntary agencies, and support in the various federal and inter-agency disaster offices.“This spring has seen an unprecedented series of disasters for our country. I’m proud our national service participants have put their skills and training to work to provide critical assistance to our fellow Americans who are facing such devastation,” said Kelly DeGraff, senior advisor for disaster services at CNCS. “AmeriCorps members were on the scene within hours after the tornado struck, and we’ll be there for the long haul.”Learn more about ways to donate or volunteer to support Joplin. For more information on national service disaster response, visit our Disaster Services webpage.

Keywords: Joplin, Missouri, AmeriCorps, AmeriCorps NCCC, Disaster
In 2007 we started the Boston Latin School Youth Climate Action Network as a student led extracurricular club devoted to helping the environment.
Working for a company for 25 years shows loyalty—volunteering for an organization for 25 years is much more than just loyalty. It is dedication, selflessness, and passion for what one does. Wanda Allen-Yearout is one of only a few individuals with this huge accomplishment, but she is very modest about it.
In addition to sharing a visual impairment, students in the Philadelphia Museum of Art’s Form in Art program also share a great enthusiasm for art, as is demonstrated by these works from their annual exhibition on display through August 2009.
Employees at more than 500 Verizon locations donated over half a million dollars worth of school supplies in just three weeks.
On Monday, Secretary Vilsack was in Zanesville, Ohio for a Rural Tour town hall focusing on green jobs and a new energy economy. After the forum, the Secretary visited Maple Terrace, a public housing facility for low-income senior citizens. He led an interfaith service event highlighting President Obama’s United We Serve volunteerism initiative. Secretary Vilsack joined local Christian, Jewish, and Muslim leaders to distribute energy-efficient Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFLs) to Maple Terrace residents.
When Alpha Kappa Alpha Sorority, Incorporated asked its members to support United We Serve’s Summer Service Initiative, the ladies of the Xi Zeta Omega Chapter located in Washington, DC, joined right in to provide “service to all mankind.”
We had a great time in Lockwood on the last day of our Fire Ready Montana tour! It was a beautiful day and all the local fire and emergency officials were there, along with several community booths. Residents came out with their kids to meet Smokey Bear and enjoy the fire truck demonstrations. It truly was a community event!
The University Muslim Medical Association (UMMA) Community Clinic is the first full-time community health center in the United States established by Muslims.
“We were called the ‘Mylar Boys.’ It was like a club.”
As an AmeriCorps Associate at the Community Hunger Outreach Warehouse (CHOW) in Binghamton, NY, Dan launched the Dumpster Kitchen and pushed his community to see "waste" in a new light.
Students at Von Steuben High School painted a 15-foot mural depicting their experiences at Foster Beach in Chicago. The mural is a daily reminder of more than six years of monthly stewardship and seasonal adventures. “I like knowing that the trash we help to remove from the beach makes things better,” says teacher CarolLynn Chmielewski, who has headed the Von Steuben High School Environmental Action Club in adopting and caring for Foster Beach.
After visiting with the President, I realized that volunteering here gives me the opportunity to, in a small way, repay those individuals who were so helpful to me during my crisis. Volunteerism also helps satisfy a need to be involved in solving some of the problems that we face in our community. In my case, delivering meals to the homebound has provided me the opportunity to serve longer.
“We hope you will join us in our efforts to prevent the spread of malaria. It’s as simple as this: one bag saves one life,” says Leah.
The Sharing the Harvest Community Farm Project is a collaboration between the Dartmouth YCMA and the Greater New Bedford Hunger Commission of Southeastern Massachusetts, a program of the United Way.
Dr. Johari R.: "I consider helping people to find work as a ministry."
Sara shares the story of Andrea, a guidance counselor at Vero Beach Elementary School, who used her time off this summer to volunteer with the Social Entrée Meals program at the Senior Resource Association of Indian River County, Florida.
Volunteers participated as victims in a simulated poisonous gas release. They went through triage on site then were transported to hospitals on both sides of the river. Afterwards several answered questions about their experience.
UPS human resource employees had an opportunity to spend an afternoon working with Women on the Rise, an organization that supports parenting and early childhood education.
Senior citizens in Butte, Montana, shared their skills and talents with young campers learning to make crafts as part of the RSVP program.
What started as a dozen families dancing in the woods turned into a major charitable organization - the Western Fraternal Life Association. Recently they mobilized their community to save antiques and educate local youth in the process.
I have gotten more out of seeing the residences' smiles, their excitement, their love than I really can explain in words.
These students found out what was important to members of their community and helped people dig deeper.
A Francophonic team of expert planners has developed a free, ultra low-tech, easy-to-make solution for students with the "I forgot my homework again" blues. Read the story and check out the video.
Volunteering at the Chicago Christian Industrial League was the first time I have ever worked side-by-side with someone who was in need. As we worked together, she showed me more than how to size up men with proper amounts of chili. She also showed me the heart of CCIL.
Interfaith Partnership/Faith Beyond Walls works with congregations and faith communities to promote peace, understanding and respect among people of all faiths and within the greater Saint Louis metro area.
Cisco employees decided that they wanted to “make an impact” and not just “write a check” for the Guadalupe River Park and Gardens in downtown San Jose, an area maintained entirely by volunteers. Thirty-eight Cisco employees rolled up their sleeves to clean and provide maintenance for the Guadalupe River Park and Gardens.
Joel Berg at the New York City Coalition Against Hunger works with community volunteers in 3 New York City neighborhoods to organize Community Supported Agriculture Projects - programs that make farm fresh produce accessible and affordable for all income levels.
My name is Carolyn and I am a volunteer at the Piney Creek Watershed Association (PCWA). I am so grateful that I was introduced to PCWA because it is a wonderful group of people who have a passion for the community, access to clean water and protecting the environment.
I spent my high school years at a Jesuit school in Portland, Oregon. Our school motto was “Age Quod Agis,” a Latin proverb that means, “Do well whatever you do.”
On August 27, 2009, I took part in United We Serve Safety and Security Week by touring our new Volunteer Reception Center, housed in the new Salvation Army Family Services Building.

Pages

Stay in Touch

Follow us on the following social networks, to ensure that you are always up to date!

Facebook Icon
Twitter Icon
YouTube Icon

 

 

CNCS Logo

Tell us how we're doing: serviceinitiative@cns.gov

National Service websites:

 

Back to Top