We are working with our local affiliates and national partners in the aftermath of the Oklahoma tornadoes to determine the best ways to coordinate volunteer assistance. We know you want to help! Please register your interest to volunteer here. Check back here for updates. And follow us at @pointsoflight and @hondisaster.
Points of Light and its affiliates around the world work to activate, mobilize and engage people’s time, talent and resources to meet critical needs in disaster preparedness, response and recovery. We continue to take a lead role in long-term recovery efforts related to many recent disasters, including the 2011 Japan tsunami and earthquake, superstorm Sandy and the Sandy Hook massacre.
In 2011 HandsOn Network affiliates engaged 68,000 disaster volunteers who served 775,000 hours in 24,745 projects producing an economic impact of $16.5 million. These volunteers were engaged through disaster partnerships, such as American Red Cross and Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD).
Sixty-two percent of affiliates partner with American Red Cross and 43 percent of affiliates partner with VOAD to coordinate and mobilize volunteers.
Points of Light was awarded the 2011 Member of the Year by VOAD.
- To help individuals prepare for disasters, Points of Light provides training to its affiliates and nonprofit partners to manage spontaneous volunteers through disaster boot camps and webinars, and executes the Good & Ready program to educate and mobilize individuals and families to prepare their own homes and communities. Corporate engagement is a key driver in this initiative with a focus on engaging their employees and consumers. The focus on making sure “you and your community” are ready includes preparing volunteers to be ready to help in disaster response and in long-term recovery work. This helps build a ready corps of volunteers and volunteer leaders in a community and builds neighborhood connectivity that contributes to community resiliency and faster recovery after disaster.
- When a disaster strikes and throughout the recovery phase, Points of Light helps direct corporate resources to impacted communities and provides technical and management support to affiliates and partner organizations in affected areas to recruit, train and deploy volunteers. It also provides technology support to manage volunteers and works with partners to implement effective volunteer engagement.
Since the March 11, 2011 earthquake and tsunami in Japan, Points of Light’s affiliate, Hands On Tokyo, has engaged nearly 1,000 volunteers and numerous corporations. The Tokyo affiliate delivered thousands of supplies to more than 37 shelters and partner organizations and secured and managed contributions from a number of sources, including corporations seeking the effective use of supplies and volunteers in the country. In addition they have:
- Completed debris removal, temporary housing activities, community café and relief supply distribution in Tohoku and the impacted communities and continue to manage volunteers in the recovery of the most impacted areas.
- Through support from the Major League Baseball Players Association and Trust and individuals who gave through Ebay’s Mission Fish platform, HandsOn Tokyo is planning to begin construction on a community center with the help of volunteers in Ogatsu-cho, one of the most impacted areas this spring. Prior to the disaster, Ogatsu-cho was a thriving community. The city lost most of its public facilities in the tsunami and now has only 900 residents. To rebuild the community, a facility has been donated to be used as a community center and Hands On Tokyo will organize and manage volunteers to help build out the facility – including bringing volunteers in from Tokyo and collaboration with local residents.