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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, September 21, 2006

CONTACT: Sandy Scott
Phone: 202-606-6724
Email: [email protected]

   

Katrina Volunteers Still Needed, Gulf Coast Leaders Tell National Service Board

 

Washington, D.C. – Recovering from Hurricane Katrina may take as much as 12 years and will require a large, long term influx of national service participants and volunteers, according to Diann Payne, a member of the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service. Payne joined four other community leaders from the Gulf Coast in addressing a meeting of the Corporation for National and Community Service Board of Directors yesterday. “We still need your help,” she told the board. “Without your help for the long haul, the recovery won’t happen.”

Malcolm Jones, City Attorney for Pass Christian, Miss., which lost 70 percent of its homes and 100 percent of its businesses, commented, “If there was any federal money that was well spent, it was connected to AmeriCorps and Senior Corps. They brought hope right at the moment when we needed it.  Those kids pushed me up, and I will never forget it.”

Kevin Brown, director of Trinity Christian Community in New Orleans, was already running a small AmeriCorps literacy program before Hurricane Katrina. After the storm, he worked with the Corporation to change the focus to disaster relief and to ramp up his AmeriCorps program to 100 members.  The additional people power allowed recovery efforts to spread to different neighborhoods around New Orleans.  In total, the AmeriCorps members have managed the work of 2,250 volunteers who have served more than 63,000 hours and gutted more than 300 homes.   The AmeriCorps grant has already yielded an eight-fold return on the investment, Brown said.  “This is a great untold story about the storm. The families are incredibly grateful.  Thank you for believing in a small grassroots organization.”  

During the rebuilding phase, having skilled volunteers participate will help make costs manageable, according to Payne. Brown echoed that sentiment, suggesting that retired or vacationing contractors, plumbers, and electricians could be recruited to lead AmeriCorps members and other volunteers in handling construction duties. But, he added, “Don’t discount the need for house gutters.”

Kimberly Reese, Director, Center for Student Leadership and Service at Xavier University in New Orleans, described how her campus was flooded with eight feet of water but was determined to reopen by January and it did.  She thanked the Corporation for Xavier’s Learn and Serve America grant, which supported the service-learning efforts of more than 2,000 students who gave more than 35,000 hours of service back their New Orleans community.  She was grateful for the AmeriCorps*NCCC teams and support from the joint Corporation-HUD Universities Rebuilding America Program, which is helping set up neighborhood technology centers for area youth.  “Many things went wrong, but you got it right.  Please continue to do what you are doing.”


Noah Hopkins, a team leader from AmeriCorps*NCCC, Charleston campus, described how AmeriCorps*NCCC has managed the entire house-gutting operation for St. Bernard Parish. The NCCC teams, both through their direct service and by coordinating the efforts of thousands of volunteers, have already gutted more than 2,400 homes, a multi-million dollar value. He called his service “a profound experience” that is shaping the leaders of tomorrow. “Serving is an opportunity to step outside of ourselves and I feel very proud to be part of it.”

Following the panel discussion, the board passed a resolution commending the 35,000 National Service participants who have participated in hurricane recovery in the Gulf States. In the resolution, the board reaffirmed “its commitment to supporting volunteer response to the needs of hurricane-ravaged communities in the Gulf Coast region” and directed the Corporation to “redouble its efforts in deploying National Service resources to support the region’s long-term recovery.”   To read the resolution in full, click here.

In other action, the Board recognized outgoing Amy Mack, outgoing Chief of Staff, who is leaving the Corporation after four years of distinguished service for a position as operations manager with the East Coast office of the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation.


Additional Photos:

Malcolm Jones, City Attorney, Pass Christian, MS, addresses a meeting of the Corporation for National and Community Service Board of Directors on September 20th, 2006 to discuss the powerful contribution made by national service participants and the continuing need for more volunteers on the long road to recovery.
Click to Enlarge
Diann Payne, Member, Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service, addresses a meeting of the Corporation for National and Community Service Board of Directors on September 20th, 2006 to discuss the powerful contribution made by national service participants and the continuing need for more volunteers on the long road to recovery.
Click to Enlarge
Kevin Brown, Director, Trinity Christian Community, New Orleans, addresses a meeting of the Corporation for National and Community Service Board of Directors on September 20th, 2006 to discuss the powerful contribution made by national service participants and the continuing need for more volunteers on the long road to recovery.
Click to Enlarge
                             
Kimberly Reese, Director, Center for Student Leadership and Service, Xavier University, New Orleans, LA, addresses a meeting of the Corporation for National and Community Service Board of Directors on September 20th, 2006 to discuss the powerful contribution made by national service participants and the continuing need for more volunteers on the long road to recovery.
Click to Enlarge
Noah Hopkins, AmeriCorps*NCCC Team Leader, St. Bernard Parish, LA, addresses a meeting of the Corporation for National and Community Service Board of Directors on September 20th, 2006 to discuss the powerful contribution made by national service participants and the continuing need for more volunteers on the long road to recovery.
Click to Enlarge

The Corporation for National and Community Service improves lives, strengthens communities, and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. Providing service opportunities for millions of Americans of all ages and backgrounds, Corporation programs include Senior Corps, AmeriCorps, and Learn and Serve America. For more information, visit http://www.nationalservice.gov.

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