Flood Call Center at Simpsonwood is Connected to 22 Other Faith Groups

10/4/2009

By Sybil Davidson

The phones are ringing at the Disaster Response call center as volunteers from around North Georgia and across the United States are being connected to flood cleanup and rebuilding needs in our area.
 
The call center is getting 30 to 35 calls per day and has 2 to 3 volunteers at a time answering phones.
 
A typical call is from a church group offering to volunteer. The call center connects them with a repair or recovery project then ensures that they have the proper tools and materials to complete the project once they arrive.
 
Many of the volunteers calling in are from out of state.
 
“The great thing about the Call Center is that North Georgia Disaster Response is connected to so many other groups, plus the whole United Methodist connection” said Julia Crim, North Georgia United Methodist Volunteers in Missions Coordinator.
 
As a part of Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD), North Georgia is working with 22 faith based groups including Baptists, Catholics, Lutherans, Mormons, Presbyterians, Samaritans Purse and others, along with FEMA, GMA, United Way, Red Cross and state organizations.
 
“Until today we have had daily conference calls, and now we’re talking every other day,” said Mike Yoder, chair of the Conference Disaster Response Committee. “We discuss what we need and what we have.”
 
For instance, when UMCOR sent a tractor trailer truck of flood buckets to our conference the Mormon organization offered its warehouse as a storage point until North Georgia could get the buckets distributed.
 
“With UMCOR involved we have all the United Methodist Conferences in the world working with us,” said Yoder. “We’re getting people from Virginia, Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida.”
 
The number for the call center is 678.533.1443. Hours are Monday to Friday 7 a.m. to 7 p.m. this week and 8 a.m. to 6 p.m. starting next week.
 
To volunteer to staff the call center, contact Julia Crim at 678.462.4335.


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