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About Senior Corps 
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Hurricane Volunteer Support Fund
In the wake of the recent hurricanes, the Corporation is coordinating volunteers to assist with repair and relief efforts in areas affected by this devastating storm. Your donation will support volunteers in providing food and shelter, managing donations, helping victims get necessary assistance, and long-term rebuilding efforts.
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USA Freedom Corps Partnering to Answer the President’s Call to Service
 
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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, August 17, 2006

CONTACT: Siobhan Dugan
Phone: 202-606-6707
Email: [email protected]

   

More Than 500,000 Americans Served in Hurricane Katrina’s Aftermath

 

Volunteers Still Needed, National Service Agency Says

Washington, DC – More than half a million Americans have journeyed to the Gulf Coast in the past year to volunteer in hurricane relief and recovery efforts, according to the Corporation for National and Community Service. The figures compiled by the agency also reveal that tens of millions more people, while not traveling to the Gulf region, supported relief efforts in a variety of ways.

“The volunteer response has been one of the most essential and positive forces driving success in Gulf Coast recovery,” said David Eisner, CEO of the Corporation. “America salutes the passion, commitment, and dedication of these citizens.” However, according to Eisner, much more remains to be done. Nonprofit organizations and disaster relief agencies are still in need of volunteers as hurricane recovery efforts enter their second year. “If you’ve ever thought of being a hero, now is the time to step forward, and serve to remember, remember to serve,” he said.

Those who journeyed to the Gulf arrived solo and in groups—people of faith, college students, retirees, and professionals. Once they arrived, they stayed in makeshift lodgings while they provided temporary shelter to evacuees, fed survivors, cleared debris, and gutted homes. The Red Cross alone marshaled 220,000 volunteers to the area. Other groups and individuals found ways to help from afar, by organizing fundraising drives, shipping supplies to those in need, and adopting evacuee families who relocated to new communities.

“The damage of the hurricane highlighted problems that plague our country, including poverty and racial inequality, but it revealed something else—the power of volunteers and the role of national service in mobilizing resources and building the capacity of local nonprofit groups,” Eisner said. “National service participants played a key role in helping the Red Cross by setting up call centers, operating shelters, and assisting on mobile food units. In all, more than 33,800 national service volunteers – Senior Corps volunteers, AmeriCorps members, and Learn and Serve America students – have contributed nearly 1.5 million hours to hurricane recovery efforts. Equally significant, they have coordinated or enabled the work of an additional 75,600 community volunteers.”

Eisner stressed that national service participants will be an integral part of the continuing recovery efforts in the Gulf region. “We are committed to supporting individual participants as they serve in the area, as well as helping organizations expand their capacity to respond to the tremendous needs that still must be met. National service will be part of the recovery effort until it is complete.”

The results of these volunteer efforts include:

  • 40 million pounds of food distributed by Catholic Charities’ Second Harvest Food Bank;
  • 6.6 million hot meals served by Salvation Army volunteers;
  • 18,725 displaced families supported by Traveler’s Aid volunteers;
  • Spring Break trips devoted to hurricane relief efforts brought 10,000 college students to the Gulf Region; and
  • Nearly 1,000 AmeriCorps*National Civilian Community Corps members were deployed to the Gulf for most of their 10-month term of service.

These facts and figures attempt to capture the incredible outpouring of compassion by our nation’s volunteers. They represent “best estimates” based on self-reported data from volunteer-driven organizations in an effort to account for the overall volunteer contributions to the relief and recovery efforts.

“As we look back on this year following the storm, we can assess the great accomplishments made by volunteers, but we also have to be aware that volunteers are still desperately needed,” Eisner said. “Their activities must by organized and coordinated to ensure that each volunteer’s contribution is effective and productive. In this, the Corporation is playing an increasingly significant role based on key successes of the past year.”

The following organizations played significant roles in supporting volunteer-led activities in the Gulf and partnered together in assembling the statistics shared today by the Corporation:

  • America’s Promise
  • American Red Cross
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters
  • Big Brothers Big Sisters of Southeast Louisiana
  • Bonner Foundation
  • Boys and Girls Club of America
  • Camp Fire USA
  • Campus Compact
  • Catholic Charities
  • Common Ground Relief
  • Community Action Partnership
  • Habitat for Humanity
  • Hands on Network
  • Independent Sector
  • Jewish Family Services
  • Junior League International
  • KaBOOM!
  • Katrina Aid Today
  • Lutheran Disaster Response
  • National Human Services Assembly
  • National Peace Corps Association
  • National Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster
  • National Youth Leadership Council
  • Nazarene Compassionate Ministries
  • Noah’s Wish
  • Operation NOAH Rebuild (Northern American Mission Board)
  • Peace Corps
  • Points of Light Foundation and Volunteer Center National Network
  • Presbyterian Disaster Assistance
  • RandomKid
  • Salvation Army
  • Travelers Aid International
  • United Methodist Committee on Relief
  • United Way
  • USA Freedom Corps
  • VolunteerMatch
  • Volunteers of America
  • Youth Service America
  • YWCA of the USA

These organizations represent a major part of the overall volunteer efforts; many other organizations at the national and local levels also participated in hurricane relief efforts.

The Corporation for National and Community Service improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. Each year, the Corporation provides opportunities for nearly 2 million Americans of all ages and backgrounds to serve their communities and country through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America. Together with the USA Freedom Corps, the Corporation is working to build a culture of citizenship, service, and responsibility in America. For more information on the Corporation, go to http://www.nationalservice.gov.

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