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Volunteer Committees Help Residents in Long-Term Recovery

Release date: 
April 8, 2008
Release Number: 

BLOOMINGTON, Ill. -- In every disaster there may be some applicants who need more assistance than state and federal programs can provide. Volunteers, working through two county Long-Term Recovery Committees (LTRCs), are ready to help Iroquois and Livingston County families put their lives back together piece by piece.

These affiliations of faith-based organizations, private-sector businesses, municipal authorities and individual volunteers formed a strong partnership at the beginning of this disaster and will continue to offer time, compassion and support as long as the need exists. State Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (VOAD) partners support these committees with guidance from the Federal Emergency Management Agency's Voluntary Agency Liaison (VAL) division.

"Local resources, whether in the form of families, friends, neighbors, churches, businesses or government, are always the first and last place for disaster-affected people to seek help," said Larry Belmont, FEMA's VAL for this disaster. "These LTRCs were deeply involved in helping their neighbors before FEMA assistance arrived and will continue their fine work after we are gone."

One example of the assistance the LTRC can offer is the Emotional and Spiritual Care Presentation offered by the Pontiac LTRC on Thursday, April 10 at 7 p.m. in the Pontiac City Council Chambers Meeting Room (115 West Howard Street). Local mental health professionals and Pontiac-area ministers will offer strategies to flood victims and parents or guardians of school-age children to help cope in difficult situations. For more information, contact Pastor Carolyn Bavaro at (815) 844-3331.

Members of the local LTRCs' sub-committees coordinate volunteer recruitment; catalog, store and disperse donated items; provide spiritual and emotional support and keep track of financial donations and disburse funds. Volunteer duties under the LTRC also can include cleaning out mud- and debris-filled homes or rebuilding structures.

Some volunteers with backgrounds in social work may be assigned as case managers to help residents on their road to recovery. The LTRCs will offer training on April 14 and 15 that will help these volunteers better handle the specific needs of disaster victims. For more information on this training, contact Pastor Paul Copeland at (815) 432-4903.

If an organization or individual would like to offer support to the LTRCs, the contacts are:

Iroquois County LTRC
Pastor Paul Copeland
First United Methodist Church
301 South Fourth Street?
Watseka, IL? 60970?
(815) 432-4903

Livingston County (Pontiac) LTRC
Pastor James Wolfe
First Baptist Church of Pontiac
515 North Street
Pontiac, IL? 61764
?(815) 842-4321

For individuals who need disaster-related assistance, contact the LTRCs directly.

Iroquois County LTRC?
Pastor David Todd?
First Christian Church
546 North Sixth Street?
Watseka, IL 60970?
(815) 432-4211?

Livingston County (Pontiac) LTRC
Ms. Cathy Grafton
Mid-Central Community Action
310 East Torrance Street
Pontiac, IL? 61764
(815) 842-1665

FEMA coordinates the federal government's role in preparing for, preventing, mitigating the effects of, responding to, and recovering from all domestic disasters, whether natural or man-made, including acts of terror.

Last Updated: 
July 16, 2012 - 18:46
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