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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
Wednesday, October 05, 2005

Office of the CEO
Office of the COO

   

Message from David Eisner and Elizabeth Seale on National Service Response to Hurricane Katrina

 

Dear Colleagues:

Last month, we called on the national service family to rise to the challenge of responding to Hurricane Katrina. In the weeks since, our staff, participants, and partners have, in fact, played a key role in relief efforts. Thank you for your hard work.

Those relief efforts were only the beginning, however. We all have far more work to do in the months to come.It is difficult to grasp fully the scale of this disaster. The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that some ten million people lived in the region hit by Hurricanes Katrina and Rita. Hundreds of thousands of houses are now uninhabitable. It will take years to fully return or relocate residents of the region, resume economic activity, and rebuild communities.

Although the Corporation has been active in disaster relief and recovery since its inception, a social services crisis of this magnitude and duration presents a unique challenge. This letter is to notify you that we have, therefore, established a Disaster Response Team to manage and coordinate the Corporation’s participation in this national recovery effort. National service leadership from Florida and California with direct emergency management experience helped craft the Disaster Response Team, based on a tried and true disaster response command structure.

We have asked Mikel Herrington, the AmeriCorps*NCCC Director of Operations, to lead the headquarters element of the Disaster Response Team in Washington, D.C., which will be a liaison for state offices and other national, state, and local groups involved in recovery efforts. The headquarters team will also coordinate the collection and dissemination of information about the Corporation’s efforts. The headquarters operation will be driven by local needs, as communicated by field elements we will bring together in the affected states, in consultation with state offices and Commissions.

Many programs and offices have already designated staff to serve on these teams; others will be asked to contribute in the days to come. We urge your full cooperation, either in directly participating on the team or in helping shape and support this effort. Indeed, we welcome your feedback and suggestions.

The Disaster Response Team is meant to be a temporary structure for the near-term response, but its effect will be long-lasting. This undertaking will position us to be a better partner for emergency management agencies, disaster relief organizations, and faith-based and community groups now and for future disaster relief and recovery efforts.

Our programs and staff have the experience and the expertise to help the nation recover from this disaster. Indeed, we sincerely believe that national service will be judged for years to come by how well we play our part. This is a defining moment for the Corporation for National and Community Service, and we know that all of you will rise to the challenge.

Sincerely,
 

David Eisner                                        

Elizabeth Seale

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