An outpouring of volunteer support is expected this weekend in Alabama in the wake of the deadly April 27 tornado outbreak. As communities across the state start the long recovery process, thousands of volunteers from Alabama and across the nation are lending a helping hand.
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.
INFORMATION SOURCE: Governor's Office of Faith -base and Community Initiatives