Press Releases

 

 

 

 

2015-2016 WV VOAD Press Releases

 

 

Sunday June. 26, 2016

 

Free Flood Home Cleanup Hotline Available Now

Call 1-800-451-1954 for free help from local relief agencies in West Virginia and Virginia

Charleston, W.Va. – June 27, 2016 – From Monday, June 27 through July 15, 2016, Information Technology Disaster Resource Center (www.ITDRC.org) and VisionLink (www.VisionLink.org), are staffing and supporting a free hotline for debris removal and home cleanup after the recent floods affecting large parts of West Virginia and Virginia. This hotline will connect survivors with reputable and vetted relief agencies that will assist in mud-outs, debris removal, and cleaning up homes, as they are able. All services are free, but service is not guaranteed due to the overwhelming need.

 

“Voluntary relief agencies play a vital role in whole community recovery. The police and fire departments are there for emergencies, but they don’t have the time or resources to clean out homes. This partnership helps connect survivors with local relief agencies working in the area,” said Joe Hillis, Director of ITDRC whose volunteers are staffing the hotlines.

 

“We are offering this service through July 15th to help facilitate rapid solutions by the various aid agencies standing by to assist those affected by the floods," says Doug Zimmerman, CEO of VisionLink. This hotline will alert multiple relief agencies that survivors need help. All services are free and performed by vetted and reputable relief agencies and members of VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster), response times will vary so we ask residents their patience while the teams receive and organize their response to help.

 

Importantly, this hotline cannot assist with social services such as food, clothing, shelter, insurance, or questions about FEMA registration. For access to other community resources, survivors should call 2-1-1.

Survivors needing assistance with home cleanup may call: 1-800-451-1954 until July 15, 2016.

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Volunteer West Virginia, the state's Commission for National and Community Service, challenges West Virginians to strengthen their communities through service and volunteerism. Through our programs and services, we identify and mobilize resources, promote an ethic of service, and empower communities to solve problems and improve the quality of life for individuals and families. For more information, visit www.volunteerwv.org/.

 
Friday June. 24, 2016
 

(WV VOAD State Chair coordinates volunteer agencies from State EOC)

 

How Can You Help Flood Recovery in WV?

 

Charleston, WV, Friday June, 24 2016 – West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD) is currently communicating with state/local emergency management and officials to coordinate resources through its network of disaster relief agencies to West Virginians devastated by June flood events.  WV VOAD asks individuals seeking ways to help disaster survivors to make a donation to the WV VOAD Disaster Relief Fund or register as a volunteer.

 

Volunteers wishing to help with flood response and recovery can register online at www.volunteerwv.org. At this time, volunteers are asked not to self-deploy and to stay at home for their own safety. Volunteer West Virginia, the State’s Commission for National and Community Service has partnered with WV VOAD to match volunteers with organizations statewide to assist with response and recovery. When road hazards are clear and needs are identified, a volunteer coordinator will contact registered volunteers to schedule a volunteer shift or overnight deployment.

 

Financial donations are the best way to support the effort at this time. West Virginia has a statewide disaster relief fund managed in cooperation with WV VOAD and the United Methodist Church. Donations will be used to support the disaster related needs of families through a network of voluntary agencies. West Virginia Voluntary Agencies Active in Disaster is a network of agencies which ensures services coordinated, communications are clear, and families with unmet disaster caused needs are served. Financial donations are accepted and more information can be found at: https://wvvoad.communityos.org.

 

West Virginia VOAD is a humanitarian association of independent organizations that may be active in all phases of disaster. Its mission is to identify unmet needs and facilitate efficient streamlined service delivery to those imperiled or impacted by disaster while eliminating duplication of effort through cooperation, coordination, communication, collaboration in the four phases of disaster: preparation, response, recovery and mitigation. West Virginia is a state chapter of the National VOAD.

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Monday June. 13, 2016

 

Bridge Project Recognized As 2016 Innovative Project of the Year

Charleston, WV, Monday June, 13 2016 – West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD) was awarded the 2016 Innovative Project of the Year by the National VOAD in recognition for the WV VOAD Bridge Project and its impact on WV communities. WV VOAD State Chair, Jenny Gannaway, received the award on behalf of WV VOAD at the four day National VOAD conference this May in Minneapolis, Minnesota.

The destruction of over 300 private bridges during flooding events in 2015 has left many WV families without safe access to their homes for over a year. Unable to properly repair the damage themselves, families are crossing dangerous waterways in order to go to work, the grocery store, doctor visits and transport their children to school. WV VOAD established the WV VOAD Bridge Project to help these families resiliently rebuild/ repair their bridges. Through collaboration with VOAD disaster response agencies, State and local officials, Federal agencies and businesses, WV VOAD is efficiently coordinating volunteers, equipment and building materials to build safe and sustainable private bridges that meet all federal requirements.

The 2016 Innovate Program of the Year was awarded to WV VOAD for exceptional ingenuity in the development of the WV VOAD Bridge project, for the project’s positive impact on the community in meeting unmet needs and its ability to be replicated as a model in other communities. Out of 323 applications for assistance, there have been sixteen bridges built so far from donations and volunteer labor coordinated by the WV VOAD Bridge Project. The Adopt-A-Bridge program enables individuals, organizations and businesses to take part in this award winning project by sponsoring or cosponsoring the building of a bridge. Learn more about the WV VOAD Bridge Project and donate at www.wvvoad.org

West Virginia VOAD is a humanitarian association of independent organizations that may be active in all phases of disaster. Its mission is to identify unmet needs and facilitate efficient streamlined service delivery to those imperiled or impacted by disaster while eliminating duplication of effort through cooperation, coordination, communication, collaboration in the four phases of disaster: preparation, response, recovery and mitigation. West Virginia is a state chapter of the National VOAD.

 

To Donate to WV VOAD, Please Write Checks To:

WV VOAD Disaster Relief Fund/ Bridge Project

815 Alderson St.

Williamson, WV 25661

www.wvvoad.org

 

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Tuesday Jan. 26, 2016

 

 

 

 

 

Adopt a Bridge and Help a Family in WV

 

Charleston, WV, Tuesday January, 26 2016 – “This is the best Christmas gift I have ever received. I’m going to put a red ribbon on it”, exclaimed Ruth Plumley when she first set eyes on her completed bridge. Ruth and Josh Plumley lost their bridge to floodwaters in March 2015 and were the pilot bridge for the WV VOAD Bridge Project. WV VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) established the WV VOAD Bridge Project to help resiliently rebuild private bridges damaged or destroyed by 2015 flooding and we can use your help! Adopt a bridge and help families in WV who have lost safe access to their homes.

 

The WV VOAD Bridge Project is the first of its kind nationally. Other states are now looking to WV for guidance on how they themselves can take on private bridge repair after disaster.

WV VOAD is collaborating with disaster response agencies, state and local officials, Federal agencies and businesses to efficiently coordinate volunteers, equipment and building materials to help families who are currently risking their safety to cross dangerous waterways in order to reach their homes. The intent behind the WV VOAD Bridge Project is to provide families with safe and sustainable private water crossings that will be resilient to future flooding. Two bridges, designed by Johann Zimmerman with JZ Engineering, were completed in December by Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) volunteers led by MDS Project Manager, Peter Thiessen, and construction for three more bridges began on Monday, January 11. MDS funded the construction of these bridges along with donations and discounts from local partners.

 

 WV VOAD invites you to join this partnership and help fund these significant projects in your community. With your support, WV VOAD can continue to coordinate access to needed resources through its network of disaster relief agencies and resiliently rebuild bridges with minimal or no cost to the affected families. The WV VOAD Adopt-A-Bridge Program enables individuals, businesses and organizations to sponsor or co-sponsor a bridge. Sponsors will be invited to a ribbon cutting ceremony and have their names displayed on a sign in front of the finished bridge. All donations big and small can help resiliently bridge the gap. Learn more about the WV VOAD Bridge Project and the Adopt-A-Bridge program at www.wvvoad.org.

 

West Virginia VOAD is a humanitarian association of independent organizations that may be active in all phases of disaster. Its mission is to identify unmet needs and facilitate efficient streamlined service delivery to those imperiled or impacted by disaster while eliminating duplication of effort through cooperation, coordination, communication, collaboration in the four phases of disaster: preparation, response, recovery and mitigation. West Virginia is a state chapter of the National VOAD.

 

To Donate to WV VOAD, Please Write Checks To:

WV VOAD Disaster Relief Fund/ Bridge Project

815 Alderson St.

Williamson, WV 25661

www.wvvoad.org

 

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Monday Oct. 12, 2015

 

 

3,600lbs of shingles, 5 roofs and 4 days

 

Charleston, WV. Monday October 12, 2015 – Seven men from Troutman Baptist Church in Troutman, NC volunteered with West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD) and the Long Term Recovery Group last week to repair roofs for several WV families whose homes were damaged by Winter Storm Thor.

 

Heavy snow and flooding earlier this year left homes all over West Virginia in disrepair. WV VOAD continues to coordinate materials and volunteer teams to help families in need recover. In only four days the Troutman Baptist group replaced shingles and metal on the roofs of five homes in Lincoln and Mingo County. In addition to roofing work, the group repaired leaky ceilings with fresh sheetrock in three of the five homes. With roofs and ceilings that will now provide safe shelter, these five families can return to life as it was before the storms.

 

Troutman Baptist Church is a going church for a coming savior. When asked about why they took time away from their families and jobs in NC to volunteer in WV, the group explained, “We want to help people who are in these situations but in helping them we want to show them the love of Christ”. To learn more about WV VOAD and volunteer opportunities visit wvvoad.org.

 

West Virginia VOAD is a humanitarian association of independent organizations that may be active in all phases of disaster. Its mission is to identify unmet needs and facilitate efficient streamlined service delivery to those imperiled or impacted by disaster while eliminating duplication of effort through cooperation, coordination, communication, collaboration in the four phases of disaster: preparation, response, recovery and mitigation. West Virginia is a state chapter of the National VOAD.

 

 

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Wednesday July 15,2015

 

 

Volunteer Agencies Coordinate Aid To Flooded Counties

 

Charleston, WV, Wednesday, July 15, 2015- Severe storms that began Sunday, July 12, are continuing to rage through southern West Virginia causing flash flooding  in Boone, Braxton, Clay, Lincoln, Logan, Nicholas, Putnam, Roane, Webster and Wood counties. Through its network of disaster relief agencies, West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD) is assessing damages and facilitating access to much needed resources for families impacted.

 

Governor Tomblin declared a State of Emergency for Braxton, Webster and Wood counties Sunday, July 12, 2015 in response to the heavy rainfall, mudslides and flooding. After initial damage assessments, Governor Tomblin expanded the State of Emergency to include Clay, Lincoln, Logan, Nicholas, Putnam, and Roane counties Tuesday, July 14, 2015. WV VOAD has opened several distribution centers with bottled water, bleach, shovels, rakes, brooms, maps and cleaning supplies in the counties affected and is arranging for local/ out of state volunteer teams to do damage assessments and begin mucking out homes. The WV VOAD will continue to communicate with state/local emergency managers and officials on recovery efforts and unmet needs.

 

West Virginia VOAD is a humanitarian association of independent organizations that may be active in all phases of disaster. Its mission is to identify unmet needs and facilitate efficient streamlined service delivery to those imperiled or impacted by disaster while eliminating duplication of effort through cooperation, coordination, communication, collaboration in the four phases of disaster: preparation, response, recovery and mitigation. West Virginia is a member of the National VOAD.

If you would like to make a donation to the West Virginia VOAD to help fund recovery projects from the recent storms please address checks to:

WV VOAD Disaster Relief Fund

United Methodist Foundation

900 Washington Street,

East Charleston, WV 25301

For Giving Online Specify: (WV VOAD Disaster Relief Fun)

http://umfwv.org/ways-give

 

 

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Monday July 6, 2015

 

 

Pennsylvania Presbyterian and Methodist Churches Unite to Support West Virginia Families

 

Williamson, WV, Monday July 6, 2015 – “That’s the reason we’re here, to give back and serve”, explains Don Dolhi, a member of the First Presbyterian Church of Irwin in Pennsylvania. Congregation members from the First Presbyterian Church and Community United Methodist Church from Irwin, Pennsylvania joined together to volunteer with West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD) and the Mingo County Long Term Recovery Group this past week to repair two homes damaged by March flooding in Wayne and Mingo County. The First Presbyterian and United Methodist group is one of many teams volunteering to help West Virginia recover from damages caused by March and April 2015 storms.

Two families in Wayne and Mingo County share the same heart wrenching story of being displaced after spring floods wreaked havoc on their homes. The families are currently staying in temporary housing until their homes are repaired to safe conditions. The First Presbyterian and United Methodist group dedicated a full week to installing plumbing and painting the interior of the Wayne County residence and securing insulation and setting flooring in the Mingo County home. Both of the displaced families will soon be able to move in and return to a sense of normalcy. WV VOAD and the Mingo County Long Term Recovery Group continue to coordinate volunteer groups to repair houses devastated across the state.

Lee Liermann, a member of the Community United Methodist Church, emphasized that “These people are in great need and there’s a lot more than just we can provide for and it would be a wonderful opportunity for people, churches, organizations to jump in, get their hands dirty and share all that they have.”

The First Presbyterian Church of Irwin and the Community United Methodist Church sit only five minutes away from each other in Irwin, Pennsylvania. Although the group volunteering in WV represents two separate congregations, they are united in their commitment to serving others and sharing the love of Jesus Christ. Presbytery West Virginia and United Methodist Committee on Relief are members of the WV OAD.

The Mingo County Long Term Recovery Group formed for the recovery of Mingo County after flooding in August 2014. The group has remained active in collaborating with the Southern West Virginia Disaster Center, LEAD Community Organization and other WV VOAD member agencies on long term recovery for counties affected by the March and April 2015 storms.

WV VOAD VOAD is a humanitarian association of independent organizations that may be active in all phases of disaster. Its mission is to identify unmet needs and facilitate efficient streamlined service delivery to those imperiled or impacted by disaster while eliminating duplication of effort through cooperation, coordination, communication, collaboration in the four phases of disaster: preparation, response, recovery and mitigation. West Virginia is a member of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster.

 

 

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Monday June 29, 2015

 

 

Ohio Youth Group Repairs Wayne County Mobile Home Damaged by Flood

 

Williamson, WV, Monday June 29, 2015 – A United Church of Christ (UCC) youth group from Cuyahoga and Richfield, Ohio volunteered with West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD) and the Mingo County Long Term Recovery Group this past week to repair a Wayne County mobile home damaged by March flooding. The Pilgrim (Cuyahoga) and Richfield UCC youth group is one of many teams volunteering to help West Virginia recover from damages caused by March and April 2015 storms.

This particular home was severely damaged by floodwaters and unlivable for the family. The youth group worked 5 days straight to replace insulation under the home, install drywall throughout the interior and mud drywall seams. Through their efforts the mobile home’s interior is now ready to be painted and have plumbing installed. WV VOAD and the Mingo County Long Term Recovery Group have coordinated another group of volunteers to complete the repairs and the family will soon be able to move back in the home.

“I really truly believe in this sort of work for youth. It gets them out of their comfort zone, takes them out of their culture, gives them new experiences and they learn new things. These kids probably didn’t know what insulation was used for before this week”, said Marilyn Freeman who was one of the group leaders. Marilyn, Youth Director at Richfield UCC and Faith Formation Director at Pilgrim UCC, has done faith formation work for over 30 years and considers service highly important for the development of independence for youth.

The Pilgrim UCC from Cuyahoga and Richfield UCC are part of the National United Church of Christ Organization and combined their youth groups to increase impact. The youth are responsible for raising the gas, food and supply funds for yearly mission trips through bake sales, carwashes and spaghetti dinners. Once projects are completed, the teams present what work was accomplished and what they learned at Sunday morning congregation.

The Mingo County Long Term Recovery Group formed for the recovery of Mingo County after flooding in August 2014. The group has remained active in helping with the recovery of counties affected by the March and April 2015 storms and is coordinating with WV VOAD agencies to bring volunteer groups for housing repairs. Long Term Recovery Group President, Judy Hamrick, explains that “When these groups come in, what we have to do is model the work to fit the group and its skills and match that to an incident or a house”.

West Virginia VOAD is a humanitarian association of independent organizations that may be active in all phases of disaster. Its mission is to identify unmet needs and facilitate efficient streamlined service delivery to those imperiled or impacted by disaster while eliminating duplication of effort through cooperation, coordination, communication, collaboration in the four phases of disaster: preparation, response, recovery and mitigation. West Virginia is a state chapter of the National VOAD.

 

 

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Wednesday April 1, 2015

 

 

WV VOAD Receives $100,000 Grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation

 

Helping Winter Storm Thor Survivors with Recovery Needs

 

Williamson, WV, Wednesday April 1, 2015 – West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active In Disaster (VOAD) has received a $100,000 grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation to provide services for survivors affected by the March 2015 Winter Storm Thor in West Virginia. The proceeds of the grant will be used to meet the immediate and long term recovery needs of the West Virginia survivors.

West Virginia VOAD State Chair, Jenny Gannaway comments, “We are delighted to receive this grant from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation to help with the recovery from Winter Storm Thor. This grant will help West Virginia VOAD agencies assist families affected by the winter storm that otherwise would not be able to help themselves overcome”.

Gov. Earl Ray Tomblin declared a statewide State of Emergency on March 4, 2015 in response to the inclement weather conditions of Winter Storm Thor. Major flooding caused by snowmelt, rock falls and mudslides damaged homes and displaced families across the state.

West Virginia VOAD is coordinating member agencies in an ongoing effort to identify resources and provide services to the individuals and families impacted by Winter Storm Thor. With the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation grant, West Virginia VOAD will coordinate with member agencies that will provide direct assistance such as water, home repairs, health needs and helping displaced families.

 “This is a wonderful gift to the people of West Virginia from the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation. These funds will be woven into the fabric of our state torn by Winter Storm Thor and will help pull us together”, says Jeff Allen, Executive Director of the West Virginia Council of Churches.

West Virginia VOAD is a humanitarian association of independent agencies that coordinate relief, response and recovery with local, regional and national partners to the people of West Virginia in times of disaster. The West Virginia VOAD is a state chapter and follows the National VOAD principles of Cooperation, Communication, Coordination and Collaboration. Their mission is to identify unmet needs and facilitate efficient, streamlined service delivery to those imperiled or impacted by disaster while eliminating duplication of effort.

 

 

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