The benefits of volunteerism are numerous:
- Self satisfaction
- Potential learning or acquisition of new skills
- Specific benefits for the receivers of volunteer efforts
- Status or reward
- Career opportunities
- Community improvement
(Fischer & Schaffer, 1993)
It will take a lot of time and many, many volunteers for Alabama to recover from the tornadoes of April 27, 2011. Here's some ways that you might be able to help:
Donate to the American Red Cross.
The Governor's Office of Faith-Based and Community Initiatives, the state's lead agency for volunteer and donations, is encouraging volunteers in tornado recovery areas to follow a few simple tips to make sure service this weekend meets survivor needs.
1. Visit designated Volunteer Reception Centers in person in the affected areas to become a registered volunteer. Many areas require credentials, specific curfew hours, and liability wavers for volunteers. Please respect these requirements that are designed to keep you and the survivors safe.
2. Volunteer Reception Centers can help match volunteers with community needs. As an unaffiliated volunteer, you can plug in to specific projects and teams.
3. Please be prepared for rough conditions in many areas. Dress appropriately for the heat. Wear closed-toed shoes, no flip-flops or sandals. Be prepared for traffic issues.
4. Be aware that many Volunteer Reception Centers have ample volunteers. With the influx of dedicated volunteers over the past week, many areas have more volunteers than projects available. Don't be discouraged if opportunities are not immediately available.
5. Recovery in Alabama is a marathon, not a sprint. Volunteers will be needed in Alabama throughout the recovery process. We encourage volunteers to consider participating in the weeks and months to come. The first wave of volunteers will return to work and home obligations. There will be a need for volunteers in the future.
6. Register as a volunteer online at www.servealabama.gov or by calling 2-1-1 in Alabama, or toll free 1-888-421-1266. Registered volunteers will receive information on volunteer opportunities throughout the long recovery process. As new opportunities develop, you will be notified. We will also send updated Volunteer Reception Center information and other special messaging related to volunteer efforts in Alabama.
Upcoming Trainings from the United Methodist Church Conference
•ERT Training at Asbury UMC in Madison
Saturday, May 7 from 8 AM -5 PM.
This training is highly recommended for volunteers wishing to take part at a work site as identified by the Conference assessment team. Leaders of these work teams must have ERT training before being given an assignment. Training will cover essential skills and information on the process of recovery and relief. Use the link to register and find more details.
•Trinity Caring Team of Listeners
Thursday, May 12th, 6:30 pm at Trinity UMC in Room 264, led by Dr. David Barnhart.
The focus will be on listening and providing care for people who have PTS/PTSD from the tornadoes, the aftermath and from helping. It will be for caregivers to know what to look for so they can know how and when to refer persons to seek other counseling. This will provide basic training for those who want to be on a caring team of listeners as part of the Trinity UMC Disaster Relief Team. Use the link to register and find more details.
• ERT Work teams - once leaders are certified through the ERT Training, Trinity will be eligible to field teams to receive assignments from the Conference Disaster Response Center. Team registration and assignments can be made by going here.
• On-going meal support - if you would like to help provide a meal, contact the Harvest Youth Center.
• Disaster Response Call Center - This call center will field phone calls for the North Alabama Conference tornado disaster response. The Conference is currently looking for volunteers to work in the call center. Each volunteer will go through a brief training when s/he shows up for her/his first shift. Use the link to sign up and find more details.
• in Decatur - The Disaster Warehouse in Decatur is always in need of people to receive supplies, assemble care packages, and much more. Tasks are available for most all ages. Use the link to find directions and contact information. Though the warehouse is open most every weekday, it is recommended to call before going.
• Manna House - help with the distribution of food and other essential items to the area needy. Manna House is located behind The Rock.
First Baptist Church Volunteer Efforts & Opportunities
Don't worry is you don't have a church home...all volunteers in the community are needed and wanted. No matter how much time you have to spare or what your skills are, there is plenty to do and your help will be very much appreciated. If you know of other volunteer opportunities, please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.