Volunteer Organizations Discuss How to Share ResourcesBy Daniel Cherry | Published 24 May 2012 06:02pm |
As budget cuts continue, volunteer organizations are forced to work harder than ever to meet the needs of disadvantaged Mississippians. MPB's Daniel Cherry reports how several groups are combining efforts to serve more residents.
In times of need whether it be an economic decline or a natural disaster, many residents rely on charities and volunteer organizations to get by. Ken Skalitzky with FEMA is a go-between for federal disaster response and state volunteers. He says volunteer organizations haven't been immune to the poor economy.
"The economy has hurt the volunteer agencies as much as it's hurt everybody else so that we've got to work smarter. The more we can talk about that, the better we can engage folks with pets and people in wheelchairs and how to help them recover."
That's why several of Mississippi's largest volunteer organizations are combining efforts. For example, some groups are great at organizing labor...others have a knack for writing grants. So why not join forces during a disaster? David Mallery is Executive Director of the Mississippi Commission for Volunteer Service.
"The tougher the times get, the scarcer the resources are, the more we have to make sure that we're doing a good job in our state and our communities of partnering to make use of those scarce resources."
Volunteer organizers commend Mississippians for continuing to give their time and effort to serving others, but Trey Jones, Executive Director of Mississippi Habitat for Humanity says the best thing Mississippians can do to help, is make sure they're ready if disaster should strike.
"First make sure that you've got yourself covered. Make sure that you at home are prepared for the next disaster because we will need you to be prepared so that you can help somebody else."
Hurricane season begins June 1st, and volunteer groups say they want to be ready if and when Mississippi gets hit.
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