Alice McGowen, digital volunteer with Humanity Road
- April 21, 2018
-- Alice McGowen, a digital volunteer from Jerseyville, IL has received the Illinois Governor's Volunteer Service award for her service to Humanity Road. Alice has been disabled for 21 years and does most of her volunteering remotely from home on her computer. Technology and Computers were not her primary skillset and a challenge she needed to conquer in order to master her preparedness knowledge and help improve her outreach. Alice spent many hours studying and attending online courses to improve her skills. She now serves as the Team Leader of the Vulnerable Population/Service Dog Team for Humanity Road where she established the Disability, Accessibility and Functional needs social media awareness program and launched a new hashtag to track information for vulnerable population's #DAFN. In her role she not only supports her local area but national campaigns.
Alice is a retired Certified Central Service Tech, and Certified Nurses Aid and lives in Illinois with her service animal, Annie. Alice's disability means she spends most of her days at home isolated from the public and her community, but that only helped to inspire her. Being interested in disaster preparedness she saw the need for building her go-bag for disasters but specializing it for her individual needs. As she searched for information, it dawned on her that many individuals who are disabled also face the same challenges and it inspired her to begin reaching the public via social media. Ms. McGowen launched a campaign for vulnerable populations to help fill that gap. She compiled and shared Illinois state and county vulnerable population registries and promotes them in social media. She is trained in CDC Crisis and Emergency Risk Communications (CERC), ADA Accessible Assembly Areas and is also the recipient of the Presidential Lifetime Achievement Award from President Obama.
Establishing a common hashtag in social media has greatly improved the chances of finding information for vulnerable populations and their caretakers. When she started her journey several years ago in volunteering her time online and packing her first go-bag she never planned on doing a regional or national campaign. The need for these types of services is great, and she has stayed with it for over four years. The public needs volunteers who can take the groundwork she has laid down and continue it at every state level, sharing vulnerable population registries and go-bag information geared specifically for each person's needs.
Humanity Road (https://www.humanityroad.org/
) is an award winning top rated 501c3 nonprofit, recognized at the White House by the Department of Homeland Security for its contribution to disaster response and by the United Nations as one of the top 100 innovative humanitarian aid organizations in the world. Humanity Road leverages social media to monitor and provide aid information to the public impacted by disaster and the aid agencies responding. They are the industry leader for their mission specific reports that include early indications based on social media. The organization also engages in technology experiments, disaster preparedness exercises and training to improve situational awareness, community resilience and to speed the chain of care. Visit https://www.humanityroad.org/
to learn more.