Hurricane Sandy devastated shores lines and changed the lives of residents and business owners in coastal communities across the east coast, including in Rhode Island. Yet out of this destruction, it has been heartwarming to see the response and commitment of volunteers who have come out to help those in need. Whether before the storm helping in preparations, during the storm supporting shelters and critical information and referrals, or after the storm, assisting in assessing food safety and in repsonding to help with the clean up in Misquamicut, volunteers have played a critical role in helping Rhode Islanders recover from the storm’s impact.
For that reason, Serve Rhode Island is honoring the Hurricane Sandy Disaster Volunteers with this VolunCheers Recognition.
Our thanks go out to armies of volunteers who helped in any number of ways:
- United Way 2-1-1 in RI volunteers, who answered the 24 hour helpline, connecting residents in need with vital information about resources and collecting damage reports for deploying teams of volunteers through the Recovery Coordination Center at United Way.
- Red Cross Shelter volunteers, who provided needed sheltering for those evacuated from low lying areas and those concerned about their safety during this SuperStorm.
- RI Department of Health Volunteers who assisted by going out to local restaurants impacted by power outages, to assure that food safety rules were being followed.
- Volunteers for the Greater Westerly Pawcatuck Chamber of Commerce, the Misquamicut Business Association, and the Town of Westerly who assisted in one of the hardest hit communities in the state. These volunteers assisted in collecting damage reports, organizing work plans for volunteer response, and assisting the community and its businesses in recovering from the storm.
- Salvation Army volunteers, who turned out to feed those in shelter and residents who lost power. They also kept volunteers on weekend projects in Westerly fueled with a hearty breakfast, and lunch, plenty of water bottles, soft drinks and an endless supply of hot coffee.
- AmeriCorps members, from East Bay Community Action, Ocean State Environmental Education Collaborative, and Ready to Learn Providence who went out to sites across the state to assist in disaster response and to the eleven-member River 7 AmeriCorps NCCC (National Civilian Community Corps) team from Mississippi who spent 5 weeks in state assisting with the cleanup, working with 2-1-1, RI VOAD, and Serve Rhode Island.
- Volunteers who responded to Serve Rhode Island’s call to assist in the cleanups at Misquamicut. Over 1,000 individuals were deployed to Westerly to assist in clearing debris from yards, cleaning out flood-ravaged residences and businesses, and working to clean up public lands.
Serve Rhode Island could not have accomplished this vital work and responded so quickly to relief efforts without the help of our many dedicated volunteers. The bands of volunteers willing to provide their professional skills, services, vehicles and equipment, responding quickly and repeatedly to each and every update we sent out was truly awe inspiring. Serve Rhode Island is honored to present the Hurricane Sandy Disaster Volunteers with the Voluncheers! Volunteer Award for their steadfast allegiance and outstanding service during this crisis.