Humanity Road Volunteers Paying It Forward

In 2010, Humanity Road responded to 72 events at a cost that averages to about $46 an event; less than many pay for a tank of gas. How is a small nonprofit able to make such a difference on a tiny budget? The key is a dedicated team of volunteers.
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Boydton - Virginia - US

April 13, 2011 - PRLog -- WASHINGTON, DC / BOYDTON, VA – April 13, 2011 Humanity Road, Inc., a nonprofit organization focused on disaster communications, has released its 2010 annual report.  In it are some truly impressive numbers.  During the group’s founding year, Humanity Road volunteers responded to 72 events in 53 countries at a total cost of $3,330.  That averages out to about $46 per event; less than many pay for a tank of gas.  How is a small nonprofit able to make such a difference on such a tiny budget?  The key is a dedicated team of volunteers, including victims of earlier disasters who are “paying it forward.”

In all, seventy-three volunteers from thirteen countries and seventeen states within the USA contributed thousands of volunteer hours supporting disaster response for fifty three events and three disaster drills.  This support was delivered online in the form of public service announcements in social media.  Volunteers also assisted with identifying urgent needs, relaying local guidance during an event, as well curating critical information within online databases and crowdmaps.  Major events supported during 2010 include the Haiti Earthquake, Hurricane Agatha and a subsequent Volcano eruption in May in Central America, the Gulf Coast oil spill, last September’s earthquake in Christchurch New Zealand, and disaster drills including San Diego Viz Center’s Exercise 24 and the UN OCHA sponsored Bogota, Colombia drill as part of the Standby Task Force.

These volunteers are dedicated humanitarians who are tenacious and skilled at connecting people in need with those who can help.  “Having disaster strike your home town is debilitating,” said Humanity Road Vice President Catherine Graham.  “Recovery is important and part of that recovery often involves helping others who are faced with similar circumstances.  This is the nature of spontaneous volunteerism and it is cathartic.”

In honor of National Volunteer Week, Humanity Road recognizes the efforts of volunteers including those who have firsthand experience with catastrophic disasters and who are now paying it forward.  Leesa Astredo, a native of New Orleans, has contributed thousands of hours of volunteer service in the years since her home town was impacted by Hurricane Katrina.  In 2010, Leesa helped to provide vital information to victims of the Haiti earthquake and other major disasters.  She also launched an online encyclopedia of disaster information called  Simone Coutinho joined Humanity Road after catastrophic mudslides struck Brazil in 2010.  Simone used her online research and disaster communication skills to assist victims of a massive blizzard this past winter in Chicago.  “They bring immeasurable value in understanding and empathy, as they know firsthand what challenges people are facing” added Catherine.

Through skilled and self-directed work teams, Humanity Road and its network of global volunteers aim to provide the public and disaster response agencies worldwide with timely and accurate aid information needed in times of crisis.  For more information or to download a copy of the annual report, visit  Humanity Road, Inc. is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit corporation.

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A global volunteer disaster response organization using Internet and mobile device technology to educate the public by delivering critical preparedness and recovery information before, during and after disaster.
Source:Christine Thompson
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Tags:Disaster, Volunteer, Community, Preparedness, Social Media, Crowdsourcing, Twitter, Facebook, Crisis Mapping
Industry:Family, Internet, Technology
Location:Boydton - Virginia - United States
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