Hope Force - 3 Years Associate Member of NVOAD

May 26, 2016

Written by: Joey Stoltzfus, Disaster Response Manager

Secondary This past week marked the 24th annual gathering of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters (National VOAD) in Minneapolis, Minnesota. HFI and other national non-profit organizations, private sector partners, state and federal emergency management representatives and state and territory VOADs participated. In short, National VOAD is an important movement of people with a heart to serve those who have been deeply impacted by disaster and crisis. The work shops and panel sessions are filled with those from all faiths:  Islamic, Jewish, Christian, Catholic and Mormons. National VOAD is a place to focus on common values and interests, serving to help devastated communities, homes and people restored to a new normal.

Hope Force International (HFI) is in its 3rd year as an associate member of the National VOAD. We are also members of the state VOAD expression in Tennessee (TNVOAD). At the National VOAD, the workshops and panel sessions are filled with much information, processes and procedures -- but the focus on connecting and building relationships are the key component of the conference. When HFI reaches into communities devastated by disaster, we are connecting with VOAD members; having these relationships are key points of connection to share resources, information and collaboration when possible. When our focus is survivor-centric, much can be accomplished in those early days of a disaster, which sets the course for the long-term recovery.

Harvest.TornadoNational VOAD began in 1970, and over the past 46 years, the VOAD movement has grown to more then 100 member organizations. The National VOAD is guided by 4 principles called the 4C’s:  cooperation, communication, coordination, and collaboration. When the latest disaster leaves the news cycle, it is these non-profit organizations that continue to walk with communities and homeowners through the rebuilding process -- working tirelessly to secure funding and volunteers for the rebuilds.  As a result, strangers become family through the process.

We encourage you, our Hope Force International Reservists, to get to know your local VOAD. When disasters strike your area, your local VOAD goes into activation mode. You can be a great asset because of the HFI training you have been through!

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