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by
Greg Tucker

By: Greg TuckerJust hours after a deadly EF-5 tornado struck Joplin, MO, in May 2011, AmeriCorps members began arriving to help with the recovery efforts. Now Missouri state officials are recognizing the national service volunteers who came to the city’s aid after the devastating storm.A unanimous Missouri House of Representatives resolution commends the more than 300 AmeriCorps members who converged on Joplin and provided an immediate and ongoing response to the tornado that killed 161 residents and destroyed more than 7,000 homes, churches, schools, and businesses.A RAPID AND CONTINUING RESPONSEAmeriCorps members serving in Joplin came from 20 organizations and seven states to provide vital services and mobilize more than 60,000 volunteers who assisted in the recovery. City officials estimate that AmeriCorps managed and supported volunteers who provided more than 579,000 hours of service, totaling more than $17.7 million of donated resources.The first members from AmeriCorps St. Louis and AmeriCorps NCCC arrived in Joplin hours after the tornado and immediately began working with local authorities to assist in search and rescue, and establish a missing persons hotline. During the past seven months, AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) deployed more than 200 members who provided 49,000 hours of service, gutted or mucked 725 homes, and served more than 20,000 meals.“In a time of great need, AmeriCorps members rushed to the scene and have stayed for the long haul, providing vital hope and help to the people of Joplin,” said Robert Velasco, Acting CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, AmeriCorps parent federal agency. “Our commitment to the people of Joplin will continue through the work of additional AmeriCorps members who will serve over the coming year.”AmeriCorps NCCC has committed to bringing more than 30 AmeriCorps members to serve in Joplin during the coming year, including:

  • Eight additional full-time members serving with AmeriCorps St. Louis, the primary coordinators of the massive volunteer response, supported through a new AmeriCorps grant from the Missouri Community Service Commission;
  • Eighteen full-time AmeriCorps VISTAs serving in conjunction with the PAVE Eldon Schools - Joplin Schools Bright Futures program and other area non-profits, who will implement and expand programming to improve the health, academic performance, and well-being of children and families in the Joplin area;
  • One or two AmeriCorps NCCC teams of 8-12 members each that will be deployed through July 2012 to bring hands-on assistance to ongoing recovery operations.

The House resolution recognized over 20 AmeriCorps programs for their key role in Joplin recovery efforts. Since 1994 AmeriCorps has provided critical support to millions of Americans affected by tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, forest fires, terror attacks, and other natural and man-disasters, and is a vital resource in America’s emergency management infrastructure.

Keywords: Joplin, AmeriCorps, Disaster, AmeriCorps NCCC, Missouri
In the aftermath of September 11th, we came together as a country to show that we were there for each other. This year’s National Day of Service and Remembrance once again reminded us of that unity.
Imagine a child cooped up inside a stuffy apartment building on a beautiful, sunny day because there’s no safe place to play outside. She has only unhealthy processed and fast foods to eat. This image is far removed from the nostalgic picture of a childhood summer filled with fun family vacations and camps. But for too many children, it is a reality that directly affects how ready they will be to move ahead in the classroom come September.
For Tina Kiehn, an AmeriCorps NCCC member in Aurora, IL, the morning of September 11, 2001, started out as a day like any other. She was at her service site, helping a class of first graders adjust to the new school year. With summer just behind them, Kiehn and her team expected a normal daily schedule: classes, recess, homework help.
The Service News Digest is a regular feature on the Serve.gov blog. In this series, we showcase news highlights that feature national service, and Corporation for National and Community Service programs. Take a look at some of the great stories that had people talking recently.
President Obama marks the eleventh anniversary of the September 11th attacks by remembering the innocent lives lost, and honoring the first responders and men and women in uniform who have served and sacrificed to keep our country safe.
Eleven years later and the tide has surely turned, at least in one very significant way. The anniversary of September 11th is no longer only a day known for a horrific tragedy on our national landscape. It is now also America’s largest day of charitable service and good deeds, in honor of my late brother and all those who perished that sunny September morning.
For the last few weeks, we’ve been discussing how and why you should serve on the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance. Now with 9/11 Day just around the corner, it’s time to roll up your sleeves, get out there, and serve!
The September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance arrives in less than a week, but service projects have already begun, and more will take place this weekend and continue through 9/11 Day. If you don't have plans and are looking to serve, we have an overview of how volunteers across the country will pay tribute to and honor the victims and heroes of September 11th across the nation.
There’s a saying that goes, “be ready, so you don’t have to get ready.” Every family and workplace needs to have a plan of action to keep everyone safe when the unexpected happens. Sounds like the perfect excuse to discuss National Preparedness Month.
The Service News Digest is a regular feature on the Serve.gov blog. In this series, we showcase news highlights that feature national service, and Corporation for National and Community Service programs. Take a look at some of the great stories that had people talking recently.
September 11th can be a challenging topic for educators. For younger students who weren’t born or were very young in 2001, it’s history. For older students and teachers, it’s a vivid memory that may feel like a current event. Finding a way to make the day meaningful across the generations requires finesse and planning.
Since 1882, Americans have paused to observe Labor Day in a “yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” But before you enjoy a well-earned day off on September 3, consider giving a minute to help an unemployed or underemployed person find satisfying work and help transform the holiday into “Give Labor Day.”
Since 1882, Americans have paused to observe Labor Day in a “yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength, prosperity, and well-being of our country.” But before you enjoy a well-earned day off on September 3, consider giving a minute to help an unemployed or underemployed person find satisfying work and help transform the holiday into “Give Labor Day.”
AmeriCorps and Senior Corps teams are responding in four Gulf Coast states as Hurricane Isaac moves toward the region.
With the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance just around the corner, many Americans will begin to reflect on the inconceivable tragedy of 9/11 and the incredible unity and service that emerged from it. While some of us may get lost in the quantitative measures of this disaster, it is important to appreciate the individual victim, hero, or survivor, as each has a unique story and personal testimony.
During Black History Month, we pause to salute and reflect on the contributions African Americans have made to the rich fabric that makes up the United States.There are many untold stories that reveal the best of Americans who stepped up when duty called, broke color barriers, or quietly made their communities better one person at a time.
My name is Ciera Russum and I'm a member of the Advanced Construction team at YouthBuild Philadelphia Charter School. We worked with the Green Building team to complete a full-gut rehab project on Greene Street.
The Service News Digest is a regular feature on the Serve.gov blog. In this series, we showcase news highlights that feature national service, and Corporation for National and Community Service programs. Take a look at some of the great stories that had people talking recently.
The St. Louis Safety Service Corps, commonly known as the Emergency Response Team (ERT), answered the call time and time again after natural disasters scarred communities across the Midwest in 2011.
The September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance is less than one month away! Many communities and organizations around the nation are in the final stages of coordinating remembrance ceremonies and service activities to observe and reflect on the day.
As the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance draws closer, you may be making plans to join in with a service project of your own but then realize that you have no idea where to start. We can help you with that.
The Service News Digest is a regular feature on the Serve.Gov blog. In this series, we showcase news highlights that feature national service, and Corporation for National and Community Service programs. Take a look at some of the great stories that had people talking recently.
Members of the group Game Changerz, also known as Sports Wives With Purpose, were in Washington recently, and we took the opportunity to ask them to talk about their favorite children’s books and the lessons they teach.
At the Corporation for National and Community Service, we hear and learn about amazing things happening through national service every day. But the best way to experience the power of national service isn’t in our headquarters in Washington, DC.
Originally presented in 2002 by 9/11 families and support networks, the September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance honors the victims, survivors, and families of 9/11 through service-oriented programs. The 9/11 Day of Service has come to symbolize the culmination of our nation’s enduring unity, engaging millions of volunteers and communities each year.
Arriving in the United States is just the start of the journey for refugees like Alaa, an engineer from Iraq. Unable to find a job, his first few months in America were a struggle, as he tried to cover his most basic needs. Alaa was eager for a job – any job – to become self-sufficient while he studied to resume work as an engineer in a new country.
As we look ahead to this year’s September 11th National Day of Service and Remembrance, let’s step back and consider why service is such an important part of this day.
The Service News Digest is a regular feature on the Serve.Gov blog. In this series, we showcase news highlights that feature national service, and Corporation for National and Community Service programs. Take a look at some of the great stories that had people talking recently.
Earlier this year, President Obama celebrated the one-year anniversary of the Champions of Change program by bringing together a group of Champions to hear about the work they are doing to advance their communities.
On Aug. 1, 13 teachers gathered at the U.S. Chamber of Commerce for STEM Fest, a panel discussion highlighting effective practices in STEM-based service-learning. Convened by Youth Service America (YSA), STEM Fest celebrated the teachers' achievements in implementing YSA's STEMester of Service, a program that introduced extended service-learning to middle school students to learn science, technology, engineering, and math by addressing local environmental issues.

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