"Victim" speaks to a mentality, not circumstance. One chooses to be a victim- it's not thrust upon you, and it's not a necessity. Admittedly, I'm a bit biased- but I don't see any tornado victims out there helping each other. It's the survivors going from here to there and everywhere asking a simple, shortened "How you?"- followed by a "How can I help ya?" if the answer's not good.
Alabama's been blessed thus far with an outpouring of love and support from all over the country, and Alabama has a few words for you: Thank you, and keep it coming. The following is some information that I hope will help those looking to help.
God bless you for thinking of helping- and may God continue to bless my Alabama home.
Alabama’s Statewide 2-1-1 Volunteer Call Center is a 24/7 volunteer and donations hotline that provides an opportunity for people to connect to available volunteer and donation options. By calling 2-1-1 (in the state of Alabama (or toll free 1-888-421-1266) or visiting www.servealabama.gov, individuals can register to volunteer or provide a financial donation to the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund. [Earlier: The United Way of Central Alabama reports it has an immediate need for volunteers to work its 211 Help Line.] All volunteers not affiliated with an organization should register with 2-1-1. Once registered, volunteers will receive notifications of volunteer opportunities across the state.
“In the coming days, weeks and months, volunteers will be needed across the state to help in the relief effort,” said Governor Robert Bentley. “The coordination of volunteers is the best way to serve effectively during time of disaster.”
• To Register to Volunteer call 2-1-1 (in-state) or 1-888-421-1266 (out-of-state) or via the website www.servealabama.gov
• Donations to the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund can be made at www.servealabama.gov or by calling 2-1-1
• For a list of Volunteer Reception Centers (VRCs) in Alabama please visit www.ServeAlabama.gov
The Governor’s Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives (GFBCI) is overseeing the statewide volunteer response effort and has the following suggestions for volunteers wanting to help.
> Financial Contributions are Preferred:
This allows relief organizations to purchase exactly what items are needed to assist in the response and recovery efforts. Funds will also provide direct victim assistance.
> Confirm the Need Before Collecting:
Donors should be wary of anyone who claims that “everything is needed.” Many groups have been disappointed that their efforts and the goods they collected were not appreciated. A community hit by disaster, however, does not have the time, manpower or money to sort and dispose of unneeded donations. Get precise information and confirm the need before collecting any donated goods or used clothing. Get precise information and confirm the need before collecting any donated goods or used clothing.
> Volunteer Wisely to Help Others:
In a community struggling to respond to and recover from a disaster, an influx of unexpected or unneeded volunteers and donations can make the process even more difficult. The best way to volunteer if you are not affiliated with an organization is to call 2-1-1 in Alabama, toll free 1-888-421-1266, or servealabama.gov. In local areas you can visit your regional Volunteer Reception Center. A list of VRC's is available on servealabama.gov. Discuss with volunteer organizers how your needs for food, water and shelter will be met while you are volunteering.