Press Releases

 

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.

 

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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 managers 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, Arpil 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 Virginia 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 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 2 “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.

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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 COOPERATION *COMMUNICATION * COORDINATION * COLLABORATION 2 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.

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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.

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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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