The Managing Director’s Office of Emergency Management recognized the efforts of the Southeastern Pennsylvania Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (SEPA VOAD) today during a ceremony for Volunteer Week 2012 in Philadelphia.
“Volunteer Week in Philadelphia,” said Samantha Phillips, Philadelphia’s Acting Deputy Managing Director for Emergency Management, “is an opportunity for us to celebrate the dedication of ordinary people who accomplish extraordinary things through service.”
SEPA VOAD helps to prepare the region for disaster and coordinate recovery and response. It is a part of a national collaboration of diverse organizations that strive to meet community needs in the wake of a large-scale disaster.
Last year following Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee, 24 volunteers from four SEPA VOAD agencies responded to Philadelphia’s call for assistance. Those agencies included the Eastern Pennsylvania Conference of the United Methodist Church, Lutheran Disaster Response – Eastern Pennsylvania, a ministry of Lutheran Congregational Services, Southern Baptist Disaster Relief – Southeastern Pennsylvania, and United Church of Christ Disaster Ministry – Southeastern Pennsylvania Conference. They helped residents clean out and recover from the damaging flood waters associated with those storms.
“All of the work from the SEPA VOAD agencies to support the volunteers and clean out damaged properties,” Phillips said, “was a tremendous service to the City of Philadelphia and those impacted by the storms.
Volunteer Week was established to honor those who dedicate themselves to taking action and improving their community. It’s also about inspiring, recognizing and encouraging people to seek out imaginative ways to engage in their community.
For more information, please visit the Philadelphia Office of Emergency Management at www.phila.gov/ready. You can also follow PhilaOEM on Twitter, Facebook, Google+, LinkedIn, MySpace, Blogspot and YouTube.