Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa honored by Missouri Legislature for Joplin tornado response

PRESS RELEASE
Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa
January 27, 2012

For immediate release

Contact:   Connie Lanphear, Communications Specialist
651.209.9900 x26 (office); 612.384.3405 (cell); connie.lanphear@conservationcorps.org
www.conservationcorps.org

 

St. Paul, Minn. – On January 31, the Missouri House of Representatives will pass a resolution recognizing the service of Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa and others for their indispensible recovery efforts following the devastating tornado that struck Joplin on May 22, 2011. AmeriCorps members will also be recognized on the floor.

Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa is one of 20 AmeriCorps programs from across the country that deployed more than 300 AmeriCorps members to Joplin following the tornado.

The resolution, sponsored by Representatives Bill White (R-Joplin) and Charlie Davis (R-Duquesne), applauds the “history, goals and accomplishments associated with the AmeriCorps program and conveys to all of those involved this legislative body’s most heartfelt commendation of their efforts in Joplin and Duquesne following the devastating EF-5 tornado.”

“In a time of great need, AmeriCorps members came immediately and stayed for the long haul, providing vital support to the people of Joplin,” said Robert Velasco, acting CEO of the Corporation for National and Community Service, AmeriCorps parent agency. “I salute Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa for taking on this tough assignment and supporting an extraordinary national service response to a major natural disaster.”

Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa deployed 22 corps members and leaders to Joplin over ten weeks, to assist with search and rescue, debris clean-up, donations and volunteer management. Corps members worked 14-hour days, many taking lead roles in overseeing as many as 2,000 volunteers in the field and working alongside other AmeriCorps teams, including National Civilian Community Corps, AmeriCorps St. Louis, Washington Conservation Corps and Hoopa Tribal Civilian Community Corp. Team members included Joe Anderson, Tony Bieker, Tom Brenner, Jerry Buker, Scott Cressler, Eric Feld, Hannah Frederick, Michael Goedert, Justin High, Jon Johnson, Nik Kadel, Ashley LaPlante, Matt McKenney, Ethan Meyer, Hannah Olson, Josh Peterson,  Nicole Rath, Jacob Saltzman, Ethan Thies, Joe McGerr, Mark Wilson and Scott Woodin. Cressler, Feld and Wilson served the duration of the deployment, bridging two 11-person crews.

“We’re proud of our corps members from Minnesota and Iowa, and honored by this recognition,” said Len Price, executive director of Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa. “Their willingness to leave on a moment’s notice, and the tremendous work they did in Joplin, demonstrates how powerful national service can be when diverse individuals from across the country unite to assist those in need.”

The Joplin tornado was the nation’s deadliest in more than 60 years, killing 161 residents and destroying more than 7,000 homes, churches, schools and businesses.  Within eight hours, AmeriCorps members arrived in Joplin and began working with local authorities to establish a missing person’s hotline.  Over the past seven months, AmeriCorps members have performed vital services including managing the volunteer reception center, providing homeowner assistance and casework, removing tons of debris, and operating donation and distribution warehouses. 

Members managed a large-scale volunteer operation that recruited, facilitated and supervised more than 60,600 volunteers who provided more than 579,000 hours of service valued at $17.7 million. AmeriCorps members and volunteers provided disaster assistance to more than 2,000 households and continue to provide services to the people of Joplin.

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About Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa: A 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization, Conservation Corps Minnesota & Iowa provides hands-on environmental stewardship and service-learning opportunities for youth and young adults. They accomplish conservation, natural-resource management and emergency response work throughout Minnesota, Iowa and surrounding states. conservationcorps.org 

About AmeriCorps: AmeriCorps engages more than 80,000 men and women in intensive service each year through more than 15,000 nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the country. Since 1994, AmeriCorps has provided critical support to millions of Americans affected by tornadoes, floods, hurricanes, forest fires, terror attacks, and other natural and man-made disasters, and is a vital resource in America’s emergency management infrastructure.

About the Corporation for National and Community Service: The Corporation for National and Community Service is a federal agency that improves lives, strengthens communities and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. CNCS engages more than five million Americans in meeting pressing community needs through Senior Corps, AmeriCorps and other programs, and leads President Obama's United We Serve initiative. For more information, visit NationalService.gov.