WASHINGTON, D.C. -- FEMA operators have handled more than 26,000 calls at the Donations Coordination Center (DCC). The DCC was set up at FEMA's Hyattsville, Md. National Processing Service Center on April 6 to assist people interested in helping the Kosovo refugees. The center has operators answering phones 24-hours a day 7 days a week. The two additional phone banks in Denton, Texas; and Berryville, Va. were deactivated on April 9 due to limited call traffic. There are currently 60 operators on duty at the DCC in Hyattsville. The DCC reports most callers are concerned about the refugees and want to help in any way they can. Reactions have been largely positive when operators suggest callers visit relief agency websites for more information on the organizations involved in refugee relief. Donors offering clothing have been willing to contact their local charitable organizations.
DCC operators are working with callers that do not have Internet access to locate relief agencies they can contact directly to make donations or help in other ways.
Donations specialists at the DCC are taking information from callers who wish to volunteer time and/or services. They will pass this information to Volunteers In Technical Assistance (VITA). VITA provides an information and response service to the public during international disasters.