July 3, 2012 -
The Big Bend had the first scare of the 2012 hurricane season with Tropical Storm Debby. Debby was devastating for over 200 families and homes in Wakulla County. First responders, organizations and volunteers have worked around the clock. This 4th of July holiday is the perfect opportunity for individuals and businesses to say thank you and support our fellow American neighbors who lives and homes have been destroyed or damaged.
Big Bend COAD, which is a Coalition of Organizations Active in Disasters (COAD), is coordinating and collaborating with disaster response and relief organizations, faith based organizations, local Volunteer Centers and the business community in helping victims of Tropical Storm Debbie.
COAD welcomes Samaritans Purse an International Disaster Relief team to Wakulla County. Tommy Belisario, Program Manager, has arranged for teams of experienced site leaders to help lead local volunteers in "muck out" and clean up homes flooded by Tropical Storm Debby.
Citizens who have been impacted can call Big Bend 2-1-1, where counselors will help them fill out the Samaritan's work order form. Those wanting to help this 4th of July or in the next few weeks can go to volunteerleon.org to register to lend a hand.
Volunteers work teams start, July 4th, and continue through the next few weeks. Volunteers will have a safety briefing before their work shift. Volunteers need to have insect repellent, sunscreen, work boots and long pants.
Volunteers are needed to help clean up homes in the Sopchoppy area. To sign up, please visit: volunteerleon.org
Location: Lake Ellen Baptist Church, 4495 Crawfordville Hwy
Shifts: 7:30 a.m. - noon, 12:30 p.m.- 5:00 p.m., 7:30 a.m. – noon, 12:30 p.m.- 5:00 p.m.
All volunteers will have a safety briefing before their work shift. Volunteers need to have insect repellent, sunscreen, work boots, and long pants. Youth volunteer ages 14 - 15 will need a parent or guardian present at all times. Youths ages 16 - 17 will need a parent or other responsible adult present at all times.
For those individuals who want to donate goods, COAD and its partners encourage you to donate to your local Goodwill. Goodwill turns your donation into vouchers for the victims to go get needed items in Goodwill stores. Monetary donations for impacted citizens can be mailed to:
Wakulla County Coalition for Youth
P. O. Box 1688
Crawfordville, FL 32326-1688
Contact Person: Gail Campbell
COAD Partners resources for Tropical Storm Debby victims:
2-1-1 Big Bend: Dial 2-1-1 to get information on how to get assistance or how to volunteer and donate.
Ability 1st: Point of contact for citizens with disabilities.
Goodwill Industries - Big Bend, Inc.: Flood victims are being offered a $25 voucher. Vouchers can be redeemed at any Goodwill location. Anyone wishing to donate goods for flood victims are encouraged to donate them to your local Goodwill.
American Second Harvest of the Big Bend: has been delivering food to hard hit areas, will continue operations all next week.
Capital Area Chapter of the American Red Cross: Disaster relief teams currently in the field.
Samaritan's Purse: Lead volunteer organization for assisting citizens with flood "muck outs" and clean up. A team of 8 experienced site coordinators will team up with local volunteers.
Lake Ellen Baptist Church: Serving as reporting site for local volunteers wishing to be part of clean up teams and hosting Samaritan's Purse Volunteer Team.
Salvation Army: Currently working disaster relief efforts in the field, providing feeding in Panacea.
Wakulla County Coalition for Youth: Part of volunteer recruitment effort to engage citizens of Wakulla County.
Volunteer Wakulla: Part of volunteer coordination and management efforts.
VolunteerLEON-Leon County Volunteer Center: Coordination and outreach to COAD members- technical assistance volunteer disaster management.