This past devastating hurricane season brought out the best in many members of Virginia VOAD. VOAD (Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster) is a group of voluntary and non-governmental agencies that collaborate during responses to disaster. In the past, members of state VOADs mostly responded to in-state disaster declarations. The dynamics have changed and many state VOAD members now respond to out of state disasters when their specific skills and resources are requested. Virginia VOAD is very fortunate to have members with extensive response and recovery resources. Many members have recently been deployed to Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico, and California.
One Virginia organization, Mercy Chefs,quickly mobilized setting up kitchens in hurricane ravaged areas in Puerto Rico, Texas, Florida, and fire-impacted Sonoma County, CA. Another organization, Virginia Baptist Disaster Response, set up kitchens and shower trailers in Texas and Florida, and continues to assist in clean up. Humanity Road was in each affected area, connecting people, animals, and emergency officials with help and resources. FeedMore sent staff and food to the Houston Food Bank
Norm Gold, President of Virginia VOAD, shares that he has been truly moved by the work of volunteers across the country, saying “The stories I’ve heard In the short time I’ve been President of VA VOAD have been heart breaking and inspiring. Sometimes when our members talk about their accomplishments, they make it sound matter of fact, but to me, they are all truly heroes.”