AmeriCorps and Senior Corps Respond to Virginia Tornado Outbreak

Mar 2, 2016

APPOMATTOX, VA. – The Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS), the federal agency that administers AmeriCorps, today announced AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers have been dispatched to Appomattox, Va., in response to severe storms and tornadoes that swept through the southeast U.S.

Currently, 16 AmeriCorps members with the Virginia Service and Conservation Corps have been dispatched to Appomattox to assist with debris clean-up and the staffing of a Volunteer Reception Center. In addition, two Senior Corps RSVP volunteers from the Roanoke Valley Community Emergency Response Team are assisting with volunteer and donations management.

“AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers are a part of this community, and they stand ready to help their neighbors as they begin to rebuild from this disaster,” said Kelly DeGraff, Senior Advisor for Disaster Services at CNCS. “Working with state and local leaders, we are committed to ensuring Appomattox residents receive the services and assistance they need in an incredibly difficult time.”

CNCS is coordinating closely with state and local authorities to monitor and assess additional resources needed within the community. In addition, the agency is working with the Office of Volunteerism and Community Service, the state service commission responsible for implementing national service programs in Virginia.

Following a disaster, national service acts as a force multiplier, providing key resources and significantly expanding the capacity of existing organizations on the ground. More than 40,000 AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members were deployed in response to Hurricane Katrina. In the decade since, AmeriCorps teams have provided critical support after countless disasters, including Hurricane Sandy, the 2013 floods in Colorado, tornadoes in Joplin, Mo., Tuscaloosa, Ala., and Moore, Okla., and 2015 floods in South Carolina.

Through all its programs and initiatives, CNCS helps communities to prepare for, mitigate, respond, and recover from disasters. AmeriCorps members and Senior Corps volunteers can serve in a wide range of high-level roles, including assisting with evacuation and special needs residents, supporting long-term recovery, running volunteer centers and base camps, and leading large groups of volunteers.

Currently, more than 5,700 Virginia residents serve through AmeriCorps and Senior Corps in more than 760 locations across the state. They tutor and mentor children, support veterans and military families, provide health services, restore the environment, respond to disasters, increase economic opportunity, and recruit and manage volunteers. CNCS has committed more than $12 million to support Virginia communities through national service initiatives, which leveraged an additional $6.8 million in other resources to strengthen community impact.

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