New York Times, Senator Udall Highlight Hurricane Sandy Relief Efforts of Service and Conservation Corps


Washington Conservation Corps Corpmembers are among those who are helping to staff shelters in New York City. 
Credit: Robert Stolarik for The New York Times

Washington, DC -- Following the devastation left by Hurricane Sandy, numerous members of The Corps Network have responded with disaster relief assistance in communities along the Eastern Seaboard. The efforts of Service and Conservation Corps located in New Jersey and New York, as well as those arriving from out-of-state as part of a broader National Service mission have already garnered significant recognition.

Yesterday The New York Times published a story about the work of Corps deployed from across the country to New York City as part of a National Service and FEMA effort to staff shelters and immediately help with other recovery needs. In total, over 968 National Service members have been deployed to disaster affected communities in 7 states. A significant portion of those service members come from 7 different organizational members of The Corps Network, including Washington Conservation Corps, Montana Conservation Corps, Conservation Corps Minnesota and Iowa, Rocky Mountain Youth Corps, Utah Conservation Corps, Southwest Conservation Corps, and AmeriCorps National Civilian Conservation Corps.

Earlier this week, Senator Mark Udall of New Mexico wrote on his Facebook page that he was "Extremely proud of the volunteers from New Mexico's Rocky Mountain Youth Corps (Taos) who are heading to the northeast for the next 30 days to help with Sandy disaster relief. These young citizens are showing what service is all about while honoring our state and making our country stronger."

Wendy Spencer, CEO of the branch of government that administers National Service programs, the Corporation for National and Community Service, remarked that "“Our thoughts and prayers are with the families affected by Hurricane Sandy. We salute individuals at every level of government, in nonprofit and faith-based organizations, and in the private sector whose work is helping save lives, provide shelter, and rebuild communities. Our work is just beginning as first responders and other emergency personnel manage life-saving and rescue efforts. Before the recovery is complete, we expect thousands of national service members from AmeriCorps and Senior Corps programs to help families and local and state officials rebuild these communities.”

Even before the arrival of National Service programs from around the country, several local Corps began responding to needs in their own communities. Immediately after the storm, Corpsmembers of Brooklyn's Green City Force and Manhattan's New York Restoration Project began distributing critical supplies, removing debris, and restoring local parks and green spaces. The Student Conservation Association has also sent volunteers to help restore Hudson River Park and City Year has sent Corpsmembers to help on Staten Island. In New Jersey, the 12 state-operated Youth Corps have been engaged in a variety of relief activities throughout the state.

Some Corps are helping in other ways as well. For instance, the Vermont Youth Conservation Corps has announced a "Smash4Sandy"  fundraiser to help send produce from their farm and others in Vermont to people who were affected by Sandy and need fresh food. "Participants who donate to the Corps relief efforts will be able to throw a pumpkin out of the West Monitor Barn at a variety of targets below to win fun prizes," explained an email from the Corps. It is hoped that the event will raise $25,000 to help relief efforts.

If you are interested in donating to relief efforts, many of the Corps programs who have sent crews are requesting your help. The Corporation for National and Community Service also has generated a list of recommended organizations and venues for those who wish to volunteer their time or contribute.

About The Corps Network

The Corps Network is the voice of the nation’s 150+ Service and Conservation Corps. Corps operate in all states and the District of Columbia. Each year they collectively enroll over 30,000 Corpsmembers from ages 16-25 and mobilize an additional 289,000 community volunteers who work alongside Corpsmembers to generate 13.5 million hours of service every year. Learn more at www.corpsnetwork.org

Media Contact:

Levi Novey
The Corps Network
1100 G Street, NW, Suite 1000
Washington, DC 20005
Phone: 202.737.6272
Fax: 202.737.6277
Email: lnovey@corpsnetwork.org