Press Releases

April 19, 2018 

Voluntary organizations celebrate 50th new bridge built for flood survivors

WV VOAD Bridge Project has replaced private bridges in nine counties around the state

Contact: Bethany Bentley at 304-928-3410 or bethanyfreeman@wvvoad.org or Kris Wise at 304-928-4603 or kriswise@wvvoad.org.

IVYDALE, W.VA. — The WV VOAD Bridge Project, a groundbreaking effort to rebuild private access bridges around the state that were damaged and destroyed by floods, will celebrate construction of its 50th new bridge with a dedication ceremony Thursday.

A team of volunteers from Mennonite Disaster Service, working under the coordination of West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD), finished building the bridge in Clay County in mid-March. Funded by the West Virginia Conference of the United Methodist Church, the Ohio Conference of the United Church of Christ, the Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia and Presbytery Disaster Assistance, the bridge was for a family whose private access bridge was destroyed in the June 2016 flood. The homeowners have been without safe, reliable access to their home since the previous span washed out and were stretching an extension ladder over a creek to cross. 

Their new bridge marks a major milestone for the WV VOAD Bridge Project. Fifty completed bridges now have been built in nine flood-damaged counties around the state.

The WV VOAD Bridge Project is a collaboration between voluntary organizations, government agencies, businesses, community groups and volunteers to rebuild private bridges that were destroyed or damaged during flooding.

The project began in 2015 after several floods in the southern part of the state left more than 500 families with damaged or destroyed bridges.

“We saw kids missing school, we had situations where ambulances could not get to people in need and we had people who couldn’t do basic things like going to the grocery store,” said Jenny Gannaway, WV VOAD executive director.

The Bridge Project committee began working with Harrisonburg, Va.-based JZ Engineering, which wrote project guidelines and helped develop an innovative plan to engineer state-of-the-art bridges that would exceed federal standards and withstand future flooding. The WV VOAD Bridge Project began construction of its first span on Dec. 4, 2015. The bridge was complete within a week, setting the standard for what was to come.

“We looked at every problem that arose and we just found an answer,” Gannaway said. “It really is about the whole community coming together to make these projects happen. We want to thank all the agencies that have helped with funding and planning and all those who served on the committees to make this endeavor so successful.”

In 2016, less than a year after its inception, the Bridge Project was honored as National VOAD’s 2016 Innovative Program of the Year.

The shortest bridge that has been completed was 12 feet long; the longest was a 90-foot-2-inch span in Mingo County that took about two years of planning.

Multiple VOAD member agencies and other organizations, including Mennonite Disaster Service and American Baptist Men, have provided volunteers, often from around the country, to help construct the bridges.

Many organizations and businesses, including the West Virginia Conference of The United Methodist Church, Church of the Brethren, the United Church of Christ, Presbytery of West Virginia, Adventist Community Service, Community Lutheran Partners and State Farm Insurance, helped provide funding to get the Bridge Project off the ground. Staffing to do permitting and case management has been provided by the Claude Worthington Benedum Foundation.

Volunteers with Mennonite Disaster Service have contributed an estimated $700,000 in in-kind labor and more in donated funds and materials.

Even some out-of-state organizations, such as Team Orwigsburg from Pennsylvania, have developed unique programs to help get bridges built. With its own financial contributions and additional funding from several WV VOAD member agencies, Team Orwigsburg has prefabricated bridges in its warehouse, trucked the bridges to flood-damaged properties in West Virginia and installed them with cranes.

Additional bridge projects are ongoing this spring. Many more projects are in the engineering phase and construction will continue throughout the year.

WV VOAD and organizations that helped with funding and construction of the 50th bridge and with past bridge projects will participate in Thursday’s dedication.

Additional agencies and philanthropic organizations that have helped fund bridge projects include: Catholic Charities West Virginia, Neighbors Loving Neighbors, Presbytery Disaster Assistance, United Way of Central West Virginia, Westfield Insurance Foundation, Sisters Health Foundation and Kanawha County Long-Term Recovery Group.

50th Bridge Dedication

2 p.m. Thursday, April 19

7145 Ivydale Road

Ivydale, Clay County

Directions: From I-79, take Exit 40 (Big Otter) and turn right onto WV-16 S/Big Otter Hwy (signs for Clay). Go about 6 miles and then turn right onto WV-16 S/WV-4 S (Ivydale Rd.). Go about 3.4 miles and the house will be on the right. Signs will be posted.

WV 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.

###

March 9, 2018

New home for flood survivor to be dedicated Wednesday, March 14 in Richwood

Building project is the sixth home in the Faith Villas neighborhood

RICHWOOD, W.VA. — West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD) and its member agencies will celebrate completion of the sixth new home in Faith Villas, a neighborhood for flood survivors in Nicholas County.

The new house was built by WV VOAD member agency Appalachia Service Project. It is the latest addition to Faith Villas, a neighborhood created specifically for flood survivors and funded by Greenbrier County-based Neighbors Loving Neighbors, which also is a VOAD member agency. The United Way of Southern West Virginia, another WV VOAD agency, also helped fund construction of this home.

The homeowner had previously lived in the Greenbrier Road area of Richwood for most of her life. Her home there caved in and was completely destroyed in the June 2016 flood that caused widespread damage and was declared a federal disaster.

The homeowner has been living in an apartment while her new home is being built. The location in Faith Villas was selected after it was determined rebuilding near her previous homesite would not be cost effective. A disaster case manager with WV VOAD worked with her to secure federal funding for a portion of construction. VOAD member agencies and private donors funded the remainder of construction and covered the cost of furnishing the new home, as well.

WV VOAD and its member agencies have built and funded new homes in all 11 counties where a disaster was declared after the 2016 flood, and repair projects in all those counties are ongoing.

Neighbors Loving Neighbors teamed with several VOAD member agencies, along with local businesses, private donors and Nicholas County’s long-term recovery group, to develop Faith Villas. The neighborhood, located on the site of the city’s former hospital, is floodplain compliant.

“This is another example of how the collaboration between WV VOAD’s member agencies can get a flood survivor back in safe, secure and sanitary housing,” WV VOAD executive director Jenny Gannaway said. “We want to thank all the donors who helped fund this project at Faith Villas and the voluntary organizations that coordinated and provided labor for the project.”

Faith Villas Home Dedication

10 a.m., Wednesday, March 14

96 3rd Avenue

Richwood, WV

WV 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.

###

 

March 6, 2018

Voluntary organizations dedicate new home for Clay County flood survivors

Family was displaced after 2016 flood left eight feet of water in their home

MAYSEL, W.VA. — West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD) and its member agencies will dedicate a new home Friday for flood survivors in Maysel.

The Clay County home, built for a family displaced in the June 2016 flood, was constructed by volunteers with Appalachia Service Project (ASP), a WV VOAD member agency, with additional funding provided by the West Virginia University Foundation. Some furnishings for the home were provided by Catholic Charities West Virginia.

Through the coordination of WV VOAD, volunteers with ASP began building the new home in October and worked throughout the winter to get the family moved in as quickly as possible.

The family had almost eight feet of river water in their previous home after the June 2016 flood. The flood, declared a federal disaster, left 23 people dead and more than 9,000 survivors who registered for aid through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. 

Case managers with the Disaster Case Management Program, administered by WV VOAD, have been assisting flood survivors in counties affected by the 2016 flooding. Home rebuilds and repairs are ongoing in multiple counties.

“We have so many great member agencies with big hearts that are helping flood survivors get back into safe, secure and sanitary housing,” said Jenny Gannaway, WV VOAD Executive Director. “Long-term flood recovery would not be possible without the volunteers who dedicate their time and the organizations that help fund these rebuilding projects.”

WV VOAD member agencies and others that were involved in construction and funding of this home will participate in Friday’s dedication.

Maysel Home Dedication

10 a.m. Friday, March 9

167 Giles Lane

Maysel, WV

WV 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.

###

 

Feb. 26, 2018

Voluntary organizations dedicate new home for Greenbrier County flood survivors

Special ceremony will celebrate collaboration of many volunteers and donors

Rainelle, W.VA. — West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD) and its member agencies will dedicate a new home Wednesday for flood survivors in Rainelle.

The Greenbrier County home, built for a family displaced in the June 2016 flood, was built by volunteers with WV VOAD member agencies Appalachia Service Project (ASP) and World Renew.

Through the coordination of WV VOAD, ASP volunteers constructed the footers, foundation and decking for the new home. World Renew then provided volunteer teams for five weeks in January and February to complete construction of the home.

In addition to committing to the five-week rebuild, World Renew made a significant contribution to the funding package. Other donations came from The Cales Foundation, the United Methodist Committee on Relief, Catholic Charities West Virginia and the Greater Greenbrier Long-Term Recovery Committee.

“The new home is for a young family that was in a very vulnerable situation,” said Cathy Rennard, Disaster Case Manager Supervisor for WV VOAD. “At this point in recovery, the priority is helping people who would have difficulty recovering on their own.”

Case managers with the Disaster Case Management Program, administered by WV VOAD, have been assisting flood survivors in counties affected by the 2016 flooding. Home rebuilds and repairs are ongoing in multiple counties.

Member agencies of WV VOAD involved in funding and construction of this home will participate in Wednesday’s dedication. During the dedication World Renew will hold their traditional “Last Nail” ceremony. A member of the volunteer team hammers a nail into an interior wall and a woven wreath is hung, representing God’s blessing on the home.

“We are so grateful for the hard work of WV VOAD’s member agencies who provided funding and labor to get this family back into safe and secure housing,” WV VOAD Executive Director Jenny Gannaway said. “The dedication of our voluntary organizations makes it possible for long-term recovery around the state to continue.”

Rainelle Home Dedication

11 a.m., Wednesday, Feb. 28

401 Kanawha Ave.

Rainelle, WV 25962

WV 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.

###

 

Feb. 15, 2018

Volunteers visit Clay, Kanawha counties to repair flood-damaged homes

Faith-based group from Pennsylvania will spend a week on site

CLAY, W.VA. — Through the coordination of West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD), a group of about a dozen volunteers will spend a week helping repair homes for flood survivors in Kanawha and Clay counties.

Ten to 12 volunteers with Brethren Disaster Ministries, a WV VOAD member agency, will arrive Sunday from Pennsylvania.

They will spend next week making repairs to five homes that were damaged during the June 2016 flood. The flood, declared a federal disaster, left 23 people dead and more than 3,000 homes around the state damaged or destroyed. WV VOAD and its member agencies have rebuilt homes in all 11 counties where flood damage occurred, and repairs are ongoing.

The volunteers will be working on homes in Clay, Procious, Hartland and Bomont in Clay County and in the Clendenin area of Kanawha County. They will be doing everything from painting and cabinetry work to installing drywall, bathroom fixtures and flooring.

Flood survivors whose homes are being repaired have been assisted by case managers with the Disaster Case Management Program administered by WV VOAD. Case managers have worked with families in many counties since flood recovery began to identify and prioritize the most pressing needs. WV VOAD and its many member agencies have collaborated to secure funding, materials and labor to build new homes or to reconstruct those that could be repaired.

Brethren Disaster Ministries has a network of volunteers who repair or rebuild homes for disaster survivors around the country. Trained project leaders help instruct and coordinate volunteers before and during site work.

The organization has worked closely with WV VOAD and with long-term recovery committees in several West Virginia counties to help survivors recover and rebuild after recent floods. Brethren Disaster Ministries also has an active role in the WV VOAD Bridge Project, which works to rebuild private bridges that were damaged or destroyed during flooding.

“We appreciate the dedication and hard work that Brethren Disaster Ministries has shown West Virginia,” WV VOAD Executive Director Jenny Gannaway said. “They have been a vital part of the rebuilding efforts around the state. The efforts of this group of volunteers will result in helping more families in Clay and Kanawha counties get back on their feet and back in safe, secure and sanitary housing.”

WV 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.

###

 

Feb. 9, 2018

Voluntary organizations brave winter weather to rebuild homes for flood survivors

WV VOAD and its member agencies wrapping up 10 building projects despite snow and icy conditions

BELLE, W.VA. — Even during snow and ice storms in many parts of the state, West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD) and its member agencies are working in several counties to build new homes for survivors of the June 2016 flood.

WV VOAD and its member agencies have built and funded new homes in all 11 counties where flood damage occurred, and repair projects in all those counties are ongoing. Right now, volunteers are on site and have been working throughout the winter in Kanawha, Clay, Nicholas and Greenbrier counties building new homes for 10 families who were displaced.

Construction work is ongoing or about to be completed on homes in Clendenin, Richwood, White Sulphur Springs, Caldwell, Rainelle and Procious.

All these homes, which range from 900 square feet to 1,100 square feet in size, have been funded by donations and built by volunteer labor even as snow flies and temperatures have dropped below freezing.

Continuing the building process over the winter was difficult, but important to help get families back into safe, secure and sanitary housing and get their lives back together as quickly as possible. It took plenty of logistical planning and cooperation between WV VOAD and its member agencies.

“Our volunteer teams spent time at the end of last year, before the ground froze, doing as much prep work as possible, digging foundations and getting sites ready so we could do the finishing work even when weather was bad,” said Cathy Rennard, Disaster Case Management Supervisor for WV VOAD.

Volunteers with WV VOAD’s member agencies have come from around the country, as far as Kansas, Michigan, Maine and Illinois, to help with these particular rebuilding projects.

“Volunteers understand that when they come to West Virginia in the winter months, there is going to be snow on the ground,” said Sara Hambrick, WV VOAD Disaster Case Manager Supervisor. “They aren’t here to sit in hotel rooms. They are here to work, and when they’re here, they just want to accomplish as much as they possibly can.”

At times, when weather-related challenges occur, local volunteers and officials with county long-term recovery groups step in to assist with transportation and other logistical issues.

WV VOAD and its member agencies have been on the ground since the June 2016 flood assisting with cleanup, rebuilding and with the long-term recovery needs of survivors. The flood, which left 23 people dead and more than 3,000 homes destroyed, was declared a federal disaster.

“Logistically, it takes time to work through the cases based on the vulnerability of the clients,” Rennard said. “The majority of these flood survivors have had multiple challenges to work through, from financial hardship to age and physical disabilities.”

Each new home that’s now being built costs between $55,000 and $70,000. Families were required to invest any money they received in federal grants in the construction and the rest came from private donations, philanthropic foundations and contributions from WV VOAD member agencies.

“A lot of hard work is being done around the state and we appreciate all of our voluntary organizations and their dedication to work with us during the winter months,” WV VOAD Executive Director Jenny Gannaway said. “Our goal is to stay focused on the families so that every family is back in safe, secure and sanitary housing.”

WV 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.

###

January 17, 2018

West Virginia VOAD Bridge Project provides safe passage for family in Clay County

Organizations complete new private bridge to replace span that was destroyed in 2016 flood

PROCIOUS, W.VA. — The West Virginia VOAD Bridge Project will celebrate construction of its newest bridge with a ribbon-cutting ceremony 2 p.m. Friday in Clay County.

The new private bridge in Procious replaces a bridge destroyed in the June 2016 flood and allows one family safe access to their home. Through the coordination of West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD), the bridge was built by Mennonite Disaster Services and funded by the United Way of Central West Virginia and Stump Chapel Church in Tesla.

The West Virginia VOAD Bridge Project is an effort by WV VOAD, supported by government agencies, businesses, community groups and volunteers, to rebuild private bridges that were destroyed or damaged during flooding. The project was honored as National VOAD’s 2016 Innovative Program of the Year. Bridges have been constructed in nine counties around the state.

Clay County Bridge Dedication

2 p.m., Friday Jan. 19 4749 Procious Maysel Rd. Procious, WV

(Signs will be posted along route)

Directions: From I-79, take Exit 19 (Clendenin) and head toward Clendenin. At the intersection of Route 4 (near Rite Aid), turn left toward Clay. Drive 20-25 minutes. The bridge will be on the right side of the road.

###

October 19,2017

On Thursday, October 19, 2017, representatives from Brethren Disaster Ministries, Neighbors Loving Neighbors, Senator Manchin’s office, and WV VOAD gathered at a newly built home in Clay County to celebrate the process and the family completing their recovery.

During the June 23, 2016 flood, the rising waters had damaged the couple’s home beyond repair and they were in temporary housing for a year. The couple and their family were able to build the structure of their new home at a site a few feet from where their original home was. Volunteer groups, including those from the Brethren Disaster Ministries Susquehanna District, Gun Lake Community Church and other organizations, came from Michigan, Virginia and Pennsylvania to help complete the home, and the couple’s son completed half of the deck. In total, construction took about 9 months, but the family is looking forward to celebrating Thanksgiving in their new home this year.

If you are interested in volunteering on similar projects, please call 1-844-WVFLOOD

 

October 23, 2017

For Immediate Release
Contact: Jenny Gannaway, Executive Director
Office: (304) 235-2692 x6

 

Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia Helps to Bridge the Gap in Braxton County

WILLIAMSON, W.Va. –The Episcopal Diocese of West Virgina, in partnership with Episcopal Relief and Development, and Stump Chapel Church have joined with other West Virginia VOAD members to help repair a bridge in Braxton County that was affected by the June 23, 2016 flood. The bridge serves at least 3 families, and the completion of it will allow needed access for emergency services and for heating fuel for the upcoming winter.

Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia’s Assistant Bishop, Rt. Rev. Mark Van Koevering said “So much of our work in mission is about building relationships – bridges between people and communities. Sometimes such also requires physical structures. Our prayers are that this bridge will provide to those who build it and those who use it hope, grace and support as they reach out to others and God’s broader creation,” In total, the Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia has donated $10,000 to the West Virginia VOAD’s Bridge Project, and an additional $1,000 from Stump Chapel Church will completely repair this bridge.

Construction is set to start the week of Thanksgiving, and will be done by Mennonite Disaster Services, who has been a strong and active partner of the WV VOAD Bridge Project, constructing all but three of the past bridges. The WV VOAD Bridge Project has been actively coordinating bridge repairs and rebuilds since 2015, and to this date, has completed 36 bridges across the state. For more information about the Bridge Project, and to see bridges constructed in the past, please go to https://wvvoad.org/bridge-project/ .

# # #

West Virginia VOAD is a humanitarian association of independent organizations that is active in all phases of disaster and recovery.  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 in the four phases of disaster: Preparedness, Response, Recovery and Mitigation.


May 9, 2017

Flood-devastated families back in their homes thanks to help of many Disaster Case Management Program staff touched by the impact of donations

BELLE, W.Va. — As the one-year anniversary of the June 2016 flood approaches, each week the Disaster Case Management Program’s (DCMP) case managers, overseen by the West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD) is closing cases and helping flood victims return to a semblance of normal life. Each day they are on the job, as case managers bear witness to the heartbreaking hopelessness the flooding brought to thousands of families in the southern part of the state.

While seeing up close the scale of the destruction and hearing countless stories of its aftermath can take its own toll on recovery workers, the Disaster Case Management Program’s (DCMP) supervisors say they are humbled by the resiliency and pride of the flood victims they meet and serve each day.

Sara Hambrick has worked with flood survivors in Fayette County since the disaster hit last June. She said she “felt compelled to help and worked at churches and a shelter to coordinate supplies.” She volunteered as a case worker with the Fayette County Long Term Recovery Group and was hired as a disaster case manager in January. She volunteered as a case worker with the Fayette County Long Term Recovery Group and was hired by the DCMP as a disaster case manager in January.

Hambrick has helped a number of flood survivors, working with them to receive assistance where possible through the DCMP recovery process. “I am very passionate about what I do and I try and help everyone that I can. However, if I can’t be of help I always try to refer people toward somone that can. ” Hambrick said. “The role has definitely presented many challenges, but its also the most rewarding position that I have ever had.”

Hambrick’s most recent closed case involved a disabled elderly woman living on her own in Rainelle. The woman was rescued by boat after her house flooded and was subsequently destroyed. When Hambrick first met her, she was living with her daughter and had already started the recovery process by purchasing a mobile home. Hambrick was able to assist her by funding from the Fayette County Long Term Recovery Group for wood siding and a foundation for the mobile home.

Another elderly couple from Nallen in Fayette County was temporarily living in a church parish after their home was destroyed and they lost their possessions. The couple received monetary assistance from FEMA, and were successful in receiving a Small Business Administration (SBA) loan but they continued to face additional recovery hurdles. After evaluating their situation following an “Unmet Needs” meeting, Hambrick was able to secure further donations for them.

Michael Austin joined the Disaster Case Management Program as a case manager in January. Since then, he has helped a number of survivors, and is hoping to close a case this week along with many others, involving an elderly widow who lives with her son and grandson in Elkview. The three of them survived after reaching higher ground when their house flooded last year. Before Austin met them, the woman had received assistance from FEMA and secured a SBA loan for mold remediation, drywall replacement and water damage removal.

“She had all the materials but unfortunately couldn’t trust anyone enough to make the repairs,” Austin said. “It took some time to gain her trust but we eventually did, and now all the repairs have been made. Ashley Furniture in South Charleston, also donated $1,000 worth of furniture. Tomorrow we are helping spread gravel in her yard.”

Another success story Austin fondly recalls involves a family in Clendenin whose house was inundated with five feet of flood water. “The family received some assistance via their flood insurance coverage, and had already completed work on mold remediation; however, they were very skeptical about any further assistance that we could offer them,” Austin said.

“After arriving with supplies to frame their downstairs bathroom, we gained the homeowner’s trust. We were able to provide furniture thanks to gift cards provided by Ashley Furniture, and we also installed an HVAC unit through donations made at the Unmet Needs meetings.

“We finally became friends!” Austin said.

Austin and Hambrick said assistance through West Virginia VOAD and personal help from disaster case managers is still available for June 2016 flood survivors. Those affected or displaced and in need of assistance should contact the Belle office at 304-220-2570 or the White Sulphur Springs office at 304-956-2503.

# # #

West Virginia VOAD is a humanitarian association of independent organizations that is active in all phases of disaster and recovery. 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 in the four phases of disaster: Preparedness, Response, Recovery and Mitigation.


Independence Day marked a celebration of resilience and recovery at the Greenbrier Classic this year.   Families, volunteers and organizations came together to honor not only the memory of those lost in the tragic June 16, 2016 disaster, but to celebrate a new beginning for many as they work to repair and rebuild.   Members of the WV Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WVVOAD) were in attendance as Adj. General of WV Maj. Gen. James Hoyer presented Jenny Gannaway, Executive Director of WV as an Honorary Mountaineer Brigadier in the West Virginia State Militia.

“We want to thank you for your outstanding support and partnership with the West Virginia National Guard.  It has been a privilege to work with you and honor to call you my friend” said Adj. Gen. Hoyer as he welcomed her as a proud member of the West Virginia National Guard.

Gannaway expressed her gratitude and wanted to commend all of the countless WVVOAD agency partners and volunteers that made the continued recovery possible.   “I am a proud to serve in a leadership role with our wonderful organization that helps to make a difference in so many lives throughout West Virginia” said Gannaway.  Gannaway stood along side Habibi Mamone, Executive Director of Neighbors Loving Neighbors, also a member agency of WVVOAD, as she also received the Honorary Mountaineer Brigadier award in recognition of her work with disaster recover, as well.

WVVOAD consists of 42 member agencies throughout the State of West Virginia and works through communication, collaboration, coordination and cooperation during active phases of disaster and recovery.   WVVOAD has played a vital role to the recovery process through the years including the Derecho of 2012, the water crisis in 2014 and numerous flooding and weather related disasters throughout the state.  WVVOAD is currently the sub-recipent of a FEMA Grant offering disaster case management services to those affected by the June 2016 floods in 12 West Virginia counties. The program is being presented with financial assistance as a grant from the West Virginia Department of health and Human Resources.    This program has worked to coordinate over $5 million dollars in home repairs in rebuilds throughout the affected area.   If you or someone you know is still in need of assistance with recovery from the June 16 2016 flood you may get more information on this and other WVVOAD programs by calling 1-844WVFLOOD.

# # #

West Virginia VOAD is a humanitarian association of independent organizations that is active in all phases of disaster and recovery.  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 in the four phases of disaster: Preparedness, Response, Recovery and Mitigation.


MetroNews July 4, 2017

Case Managers Guide Hundreds of W.Va. Flood Survivors Toward Help

CHARLESTON, W.Va. — A little more than one year since statewide flooding devastated West Virginia, about 1,000 residents have received help through a disaster case management program. Of those, 264 have gotten on their feet enough to have their cases considered closed. And 689 cases remain open, with their needs still being met by charitable organizations. With another year to go on a federal disaster case management grant, another 1,000 or so West Virginians are likely to ask for help, anticipated Jenny Gannaway, the director of West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster. This month alone, 100 new individuals or families have registered. “I’m just praying that nothing happens this year,” Gannaway said this past week. “No flooding, no extra damage, anything.” Last November, state leaders announced that West Virginia had been granted a Disaster Case Management Program grant through the Federal Emergency Management Agency. The funding allowed case managers to be hired to develop and carry out individual disaster recovery plans with goals for resources and services. Essentially, the case managers assess what unmet needs flood survivors may have beyond what FEMA has provided directly. Unmet needs may include basic immediate emergency needs such as food, clothing, shelter or first aid, as well as long-term needs such as financial, physical or emotional well-being.

The Bureau for Behavioral Health and Health Facilities at the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources is overseeing the case management grant, in collaboration with the state’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. The 22 case managers were hired, trained and ready to go out in the field by late January. In the months since then, great progress has been made to help people with flood recovery, said state Delegate Roger Hanshaw, R-Clay. “There’s been tremendous progress made. There will  be a lot of people who will say no and complain. But at the community level at the level of the whole community things are going quite well still,” said Hanshaw, whose county was hard-hit by last summer’s flooding. “There will be long-term needs in Clay County for many many years to come, but those who are going to return to normal in our community are quickly doing so.” There are four case managers assigned to Kanawha County, four to Greenbrier, three in Clay, three in Nicholas, two in Roane, two in Webster, two in Fayette and two in Summers. The case managers meet with flood survivors, go over their current situations and try to help determine what recovery would be. They then come up with a concrete plan for how nonprofit relief agencies such as the United Methodist Church, Catholic Charities or Mennonite Disaster Service could cooperate to help people get back on their feet.

“We don’t quit until they’re back in a home that is safe secure and sanitary and all their flood-related needs are met,” Gannaway said. Once a case is opened, it often takes about three months to accomplish enough to close it, Gannaway said. Often the needs are repairs to flooded homes or entirely new homes. New people often register as they run out of their original FEMA money but are still in need of help. “There’s a lot of people who still need help,” Gannaway said. “I think we’ll probably end up helping close to 2,000.” As progress has been made, the pace has improved from desperate to steady. “It’s more manageable now,” Gannaway said. “It’s just now getting to the point of calming down. You can stop and think about what you’re doing.”

She said anyone who still needs help may call 1-844-WVFLOOD.



Friday, April 28, 2017

Roane County Flood Survivors Moving into New Homes this Friday

AMMA, W.Va. — After the devastating June 2016 floods here destroyed their homes, took almost all their possessions and upended their lives, three West Virginian families are looking forward to opening a new chapter this Friday, April 28, as they move into their new homes. House dedications for all three flood survivors and their families will take place on Friday, April 28 at 77 Pigeon Road in Amma, West Virginia. One of the survivors, a single man who has been living with his brother, said he cannot wait to move in to his new one-bedroom house. A young single mother of two young children will be moving into a newly built three-bedroom house. While she was working part-time and going to school full-time, all of  her property and possessions were destroyed in the flood. Life has not been easy for her and her young children since they lost their home last summer. The third home is for a family of two, an elderly mother and daughter with disabilities who will be moving into a brand new three-bedroom house. Their house was destroyed in the flood and had to be torn down. Since then, resuming their lives has been very difficult for the mother, who is on oxygen with limited mobility, as well as for her daughter as they have had to rely on other family members for support. The families are so grateful to everyone that helped make this Friday possible, and would like to thank the Roane County Long Term Recovery Group together with West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD); Christian Aid Ministries; Neighbors Loving Neighbors; Homes for White Sulphur Springs; Catholic Charities; United Methodist Committee on Relief (UMCOR); West Virginia Housing Development Fund, West Virginia Baptist Convention; Mountain Mission; Disaster Relief Fund; Episcopal Diocese of West Virginia; American Red Cross; The Salvation Army; Sisters Health Foundation; Central Outreach; Save The Children; Hardman Supply Company of Spencer; Haverty Heating & Cooling; O’Dell’s Exxon; General Pipeline; John and Chris O’Dell; P&J Construction; Philip and Julie Linger, all the volunteers and many others. Sisters Health Foundation Program Officer Molly Bauer said the Foundation is pleased to partner with the Roane County Long Term Recovery Group as they assisted families affected by the flood to rebuild their lives and homes. COOPERATION *COMMUNICATION * COORDINATION * COLLABORATION  “It is wonderful to see the progress that has been made,” Bauer said. “The completion of three rebuilds will make a significant difference in the lives of these families. It is a joy to be present for these home dedications.” Joe Ross, chair of the Roane County Long Term Recovery Group, said he is privileged and humbled to be working with each of the survivors and their families, and all those who gave so much to make this a reality. “I am so grateful that we were able to help all the families rebuild after experiencing such a tremendous loss,” he said. Flood survivors in Roane County should apply for assistance directly from the Roane County Long Term Recovery Group at 304-565-9500. Survivors from other counties affected by the June 2016 flood and in need of assistance should contact the Disaster Case Management Program’s Belle office at 304-220-2570 or the White Sulphur Springs office at 304-956-2503.

# # #


Disaster Case Managers Serve Hundreds of Families Affected by June 2016 Flood Disaster Case Management Program team available for continued assistance

More than seven hundred West Virginia families whose lives were upended by the June 2016 flood continue to receive assistance via the Disaster Case Management Program (DCMP). The DCMP is subgranted to the West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD) by the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources. The grant, awarded in November 2016 by Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) supports the Disaster Case Management Program, a twenty-four month long grant starting from the date of the declared disaster for the eleven counties affected. Affected counties include Clay, Fayette, Greenbrier, Jackson, Kanawha, Monroe, Nicholas, Pocahontas, Roane, Summers, and Webster. The Bureau of Behavioral Health and Health Facilities based at the West Virginia Department of Health and Human Resources is administering the grant with the state’s Division of Homeland Security and Emergency Management. WV VOAD’s Executive Director, Jenny Gannaway said the FEMA grant has enabled them to quickly bring on board a team of professionals who assess flood survivors needs and determine the best way to steer long-term recovery assistance, as well as ensure donations and grant money are used appropriately. “This is truly a team effort and I thank our VOAD members for donating their time and assistance in helping us with this program,” Gannaway said. “Our case managers and supervisors have been meeting with survivors to develop disaster recovery plans with goals, a timeline and necessary resources required to rebuild and recover.” While the recovery process is months and even years long, Gannaway said the disaster case managers and support staff work to ensure there are no duplication of benefits and that guidelines for the federal grant are followed. Some families have begun moving into new homes, while others have had assistance rebuilding after major flood damage made their homes uninhabitable. She said the federal assistance and donations for relocation and rebuilding are reaching families that need it the most. Michelle Breeland, FEMA’s Voluntary Agency Liaison for West Virginia Region 3 said she is impressed by how quickly the DCMP for flood recovery came together. She said this is important because having the DCMP in full swing means hundreds of families are now receiving long-awaited aid and assistance. “The Disaster Case Management Grant has created a unique opportunity to involve several voluntary agencies in the case management process and to directly assist survivors,” Breeland said. “The WV VOAD, as the service provider for the state, promoted the job opportunities with local and state VOAD member agencies in order to build capacity within West Virginia. Fourteen WV VOAD Partners are represented among the people hired through the grant. This represents a best practice not only for FEMA and the State of West Virginia, but for voluntary agencies in helping us to better serve communities and individuals through this grant program.” As required by the grant, WV VOAD along with its member agencies, donors and FEMA personnel, regularly host both “Long Term Recovery Unmet Needs” and “State Wide Unmet needs” meetings during which DCMP staff present specific cases seeking assistance and funding. Disaster case managers, armed with information gathered from their visits with flood survivors, share those personal stories at these meetings. Disaster Case Manager (DCMP), Donovan Slone, based in Belle, WV, has directly met with thirty-five families whom have been assigned to him in the Kanawha county area affected by the floods. “One of the most rewarding aspects of case management is the ability to restore hope to them after they have lost it in the wake of the disaster. Working with families to construct a recovery plan and then help bring it to fruition is a privilege.” Cathy Rennard, a WV VOAD DCMP Supervisor in White Sulphur Springs, said her team is assisting hundreds of flood survivors in hard-hit counties. She works alongside her case managers to ensure that families receive individual attention to rebound from their loss and get back on their feet. “The Greenbrier office serves five flood affected counties; Greenbrier, Pocahontas, Monroe, Summers and Webster. Eight disaster case managers are currently serving hundreds of families and individuals, coordinating projects as simple as furniture purchases, to substantial home repairs and total rebuilds. Disaster case managers are also trained to advocate for clients in other matters related to their overall recovery which may include referrals concerning legal issues and emotional support.” Program Manager Steve Lacek oversees the Disaster Case Management Program. He spends much of his time working with case managers and supervisors providing oversight on the program. Lacek said that anyone affected by the June 2016 flood should apply for assistance directly via the Disaster Case Management Program. “We have twenty-one case managers serving eleven counties. Case managers are professionally trained to help navigate services and assistance available to flood survivors. DCMP offices are located in Belle and White Sulphur Spring. ” June 2016 flood survivors affected or displaced and in need of assistance should contact the Belle office at 304-220-2570 or the White Sulphur Springs office at 304-956-2503.

# # #


February 15, 2017

Westfield Insurance Foundation donates $75,000.00 to Support Flood Relief in WV

(Charleston, W.Va.) Westfield Insurance Foundation will be presenting a $75,000 check toward flood relief efforts to the WV Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster on Tuesday, February 15th at the State Capitol. “After the historic flooding last June, Westfield Insurance Foundation made it a priority to help the victims rebuild their lives,” says Ed Largent, Westfield Insurance President, CEO, Board Chair and Foundation Chairman. “We are committed to disaster recovery because we know these efforts take years and are typically underfunded.” Westfield is partnering with West Virginia’s statewide nonprofit membership organization for Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD). Executive Director, Jenny Gannaway is overwhelmed by the support of Westfield Insurance. “I am so fortunate to be working with an organization dedicated to helping the people of our state. This donation will help families stay warm throughout the winter months. Thank you!” This donation focuses on “Winter Warmth for WV.” The majority of the funds will be utilized to mitigate costs of professionally installing HVAC systems for approximately 20 families whose homes were damaged by the flood. A new HVAC system will keep homes warm and dry to minimize further ongoing damage to the home. The cost of installation runs approximately $3,000 per home. A portion of the funds will assist with increasing administrative capacity for WV VOAD staff as they work across the state throughout 2017 with member nonprofits on addressing unmet needs. Westfield Insurance Foundation focuses its charitable resources in ways that mirror the services that Westfield and our agency partners provide every day, which is why disaster recovery is one of our priorities. It’s an extension of the fundamental role that insurance plays in stabilizing families, businesses and communities when the unexpected occurs.


November 17, 2017

 WV VOAD Receives $15,000.00 from the UPS Foundation

(Logan, W.Va.) November 17, 2016 – West Virginia Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (WV VOAD) received a check in the amount of $15,000.00 from the UPS Foundation toward the June 2016 flood relief efforts. The grant was made possible through the efforts of Milton Bennett, Human Resources Manager from the Mid Atlantic District. WV VOAD’s Operations Officer, Benjamin Cisco was there to receive the check and said “We appreciate and are indebted to the UPS Foundation for giving such a generous gift to WV VOAD.” The gift amount will be put toward the construction, labor and materials for reconstructing and building damaged homes for the people of West Virginia.


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.

###

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.

###


 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

###

____________________________________________________________________________________________


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 flood waters 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

###


 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.

###


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

###


 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.

###


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.

###


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.

###

 

Scroll to top
%d bloggers like this: