National Service and Hurricane Sandy: Six Months Later
Six months ago, Hurricane Sandy struck communities all along the East Coast.
In the aftermath of this devastating super storm, AmeriCorps and national service members trained in disaster response are proving to be a valuable and cost-efficient resource for America as they help victims and survivors begin to rebuild their lives.
As the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, we are coordinating the long-term recovery with the Federal Management Agency (FEMA), National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, the American Red Cross, Points of Light, and state and local authorities.
We also serve on the Hurricane Sandy Recovery Task Force, chaired by Secretary of Housing and Urban Development Shaun Donovan.
By forming these relationships, AmeriCorps and national service are able to expand the capacity of emergency and community programs that make a difference when disasters happen.
Under the leadership of our Disaster Services Unit, more than 3,600 AmeriCorps members from programs across the nation participated in the federal response in six states affected by Hurricane Sandy, including the first class of AmeriCorps NCCC members serving with FEMA Corps.
The impact of our work is clear:
AmeriCorps members have mucked and gutted more than 3,700 homes, including 1,443 in New Jersey and 1,958 in New York.
National service members also have leveraged the help of 30,000 volunteers, collaborated with the American Red Cross in operating 45 shelters, and coordinated with more than 200 nonprofits and community-based organizations.
In New York alone, they mobilized 16,000 volunteers in New York for 128,000 hours of service, valued at $2.68 million.
Although the work is far from done, we put together a select list of videos and photos that tell the story of the national service community's response to Hurricane Sandy.
In recent days, we have witnessed remarkable acts of courage and compassion in the wake of tragedy. From the first responders in Boston who ran into danger to treat the wounded, to the volunteers who built floodwalls to save their Midwestern towns, to the firefighters who rushed in to battle a raging fire in West, Texas, citizens came together to help when it was needed most.
President Obama today celebrated the remarkable achievements of student science fair winners and extraordinary kid innovators from across the nation in the third White House Science Fair. The Fair brought 100 students from more than 40 states to an all-day, hands-on celebration of the power and potential of science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education.
Every October, millions of people across the nation volunteer their time during Make A Difference Day to make their communities better places to live. This week, 10 projects and three cities will be honored with Make A Difference Awards, and several national service participants – including two AmeriCorps members – will be recognized.
This month is full of volunteering and community impact. National Volunteer Week is April 21-27, followed by a weekend where millions of young people across the country will participate in the 2013 Global Youth Service Day taking place on April 26-28.
America is a nation of volunteers. Results from our annual Volunteering in America survey show how willing our friends and neighbors are to lend a helping hand. More than 64 million Americans volunteer each year, strengthening the nation’s safety net and providing vital services to our communities.
Today, 832 mayors from big cities to small towns and everything in between are participating in the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service. What a great way to highlight the many ways that AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers demonstrate the power that every citizen has to make a difference.
Next week more than 730 mayors, collectively representing nearly 100 million Americans in all 50 states, will join together to recognize the impact of national service participants in AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs who are making a difference in their communities.
The new School Turnaround AmeriCorps is an exciting initiative that will provide resources to serve disadvantaged students in underperforming schools across the nation. Today, April 2, 2013, is the deadline for applicants that wish to participate to submit a Notice of Intent to Apply for the grant program.
Community leader and labor activist Cesar Chavez once said that, “If you really want to make a friend, go to someone's house and eat with him ... The people who give you their food give you their heart."
The Service News Digest is a regular feature on the Serve.gov blog. In this series, we showcase articles 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.
Whenever and wherever disasters strike, destruction and confusion trail in their wake. AmeriCorps and national service members trained in disaster response are proving to be a valuable and cost-efficient resource for America as they help victims and survivors begin to rebuild their lives.
For more 40 years, the Presidential Citizens Medal has recognized Americans who have "performed exemplary deeds of service for their country or their fellow citizens." The Medal is among the highest awards a civilian can receive.
The Corporation for National and Community Service wrapped up AmeriCorps Week with a day of service in Rockaway, NY. This event honored the effort of relief workers so far, and highlighted the work that still needs to be done.
As an Iraq War veteran, I am honored to work at the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS). We are home to more than 70,000 AmeriCorps members, whom we are celebrating as part of AmeriCorps Week.
The future of the United States hinges on an educated workforce that’s equipped with the skills they need to meet the challenges that lay ahead. AmeriCorps members across the nation are working to ensure that our students are up to the task.
During AmeriCorps Week, many officials will step forward to recognize the contributions our members are making in their communities and states from coast to coast. We’ve collected a few highlights from the leaders of our statehouses across the nation.
Each generation of Americans embraces the belief that no problem is too big for a determined group of people to conquer. This challenge is central to national service, which gives thousands of Americans a chance to unite with like-minded people and work toward improving the lives of our most-vulnerable citizens.
It hasn't yet begun, but the intertubes are already abuzz with activity about AmeriCorps Week. As we prepare to celebrate this great occasion of all things AmeriCorps, we wanted to share a few ways to connect with us throughout the week.
The Service News Digest is a regular feature on the Serve.gov blog. In this series, we showcase articles 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, including a new initiative to place AmeriCorps members in underperforming schools across the nation.
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) today announced the five institutions that are the Presidential Awardees in the 2013 President's Higher Education Community Service Honor Roll. This designation is the highest honor a college or university can receive for its commitment to volunteering, service-learning, and civic engagement.
The IRS filing deadline is less than two months away, reviving a task that ranks somewhere near having a root canal for a lot of Americans. However, there are many national service members who are ready and willing to tackle the job, free of charge, through the Volunteer Income Tax Assistance (VITA) program. Who says accountants should have all the fun?
Recognizing the work AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs perform in communities across the nation, the National League of Cities (NLC) will join more than 275 city leaders to shine a spotlight on their service during the Mayors Day of Recognition for National Service on April 9.
The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) and U.S. Department of Education announced a new collaborative effort today to strengthen and accelerate interventions in our nation’s lowest-performing schools. The new School Turnaround AmeriCorps program will support a dedicated unit of AmeriCorps members that will provide additional support and resources in persistently underachieving schools.
Disasters like Hurricane Sandy not only cause physical damage, but they can leave confusion and anger in their wake for weeks and months. So it must have surprised FEMA Corps Team Leader Cassie Murray to be declared “an angel” only a few hours after she was angrily confronted by one of the storm’s survivors.