Posted by: Dan Stoecker, Executive Director, National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
First responders, volunteers, and community and voluntary organizations – these are usually the first people on the ground to help following a disaster. These key members of the emergency management team are vital in helping communities and individuals prepare for, respond to, and recover from disasters and are invaluable links between the communities they regularly serve and tribal, local, state, and federal government.
The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (National VOAD) is a coalition of 53 national nonprofit organizations and 55 State/Territory members, representing hundreds of additional organizations, that share knowledge and resources throughout the disaster cycle – preparation, response and recovery – to help disaster survivors and their communities. Voluntary organizations, including many faith based organizations, are actively supporting the states and local governments engaged in wildfire response efforts. As wildfire response efforts continue throughout Colorado, the members of the Colorado VOAD (COVOAD), provide aid and relief services to disaster survivors, volunteers, and the thousands of firefighters working to control the growing fires across the state.
Organizations such as the American Red Cross, the Salvation Army, United Way and Adventist Community Services have been working tirelessly since the beginning of response efforts to set up donation centers, provide meals and shelters to displaced residents and provide needed supplies. Several other organizations have been in contact with the COVOAD office to offer assistance including Mennonite Disaster Service, Southern Baptist Convention North American Mission Board, and other local partner organizations.
With thousands of firefighters and first responders continuing to come together to bravely fight the blazes on the frontline, there are many others looking for ways to help. As the fires continue to spread and new fires emerge, we encourage individuals interested in helping to consider a monetary donation to the organization of their choice.
Financial support to voluntary agencies responding to disasters is the most effective way to help disaster survivors and response efforts in Colorado. Providing monetary donations allows disaster agencies to purchase exactly what is needed.
For more information on what you can do to help, please visit www.nvoad.org.
For agencies actively engaged in Colorado, visit www.helpcoloradonow.org, or contact Colorado 2-1-1.