CLINTON, Miss. -- Thousands of volunteers who started working at the beginning of the April storms are still active today, helping hard-hit individuals and families continue to put their lives back in order throughout Mississippi.
Voluntary agencies and faith-based groups have provided debris cleanup teams, chainsaw crews, childcare, laundry services, tree removal, home repairs, demolition, tarping, emotional/spiritual assistance and more than fifty thousand meals.
But there is still a need for more volunteers in tornado-impacted areas of Mississippi. Anyone with time to spare can call 2-1-1 for information.
"Given the scope of the disaster, it's essential to our ongoing recovery that we have the kind and generous support of volunteers from across the country who are willing to come here and help," said Mississippi Emergency Management Agency Director Mike Womack. "Enough can't be said about the efforts of the volunteer organizations."
Mississippi 2-1-1 along with Mississippi Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Services operate the Mississippi Volunteer Recovery Coordination Centers, which connects survivors who have needs with organizations that are directly able to help them free of charge.
"There are many organizations and faith-based groups in the affected communities that have active disaster programs and need volunteers," said Warren Miller, president of Mississippi Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. "What volunteers do, helps our neighborhoods heal."
Mississippi VOAD is part of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster, the primary point of contact for voluntary organizations in the National Response Coordination Center at Federal Emergency Management Agency headquarters. FEMA has liaison personnel in its Joint Field Office in Clinton who work with voluntary agencies to coordinate their assistance.
Members of NVOAD form a coalition of nonprofit organizations that respond to disasters as part of their overall mission. The Mississippi VOAD has organizations that are active in disaster response throughout the state.
The following agencies, faith-based organizations, groups and community organizations have provided information about their contributions to the Mississippi recovery effort:
- Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Services: volunteer reception and coordination center
- American Red Cross: sheltering, feeding, Safe and Well Program registration, health service consultations, mental health consultations, and bulk distribution of supplies
- Adventist Community Services Disaster Response: warehousing
- Catholic Charities: case management
- Christian Coalition: needs assessment, housing
- Christian Service Mission: collection and distribution of goods, volunteers
- Convoy of Hope: mobile point of distribution, volunteers
- Christian Reformed World Relief Committee: chainsaw crews, needs assessment
- Humane Society: animal rescue centers, pet food and supply distribution center, shelter and transportation for lost pets
- Hands On: volunteer reception centers, volunteers
- Jewish Disaster Response Corps: cleanup, rebuilding
- Lutheran-Episcopal Services in Mississippi: case management
- Mennonite Disaster Services: debris removal and emergency repair, partnering with Mississippi VOAD to build homes
- National Association of Christian Churches: points of distribution, feeding, volunteer housing, debris removal
- Nechama Jewish Response to Disaster: debris removal, cutting trees, volunteers