Tuesday, February 12, 2008

Hey U-T, don't forget about VSD!

The Union-Tribune recently published an article about California's new plan to use volunteers to aid in disaster relief. Volunteer San Diego was instrumental in the deployment of volunteers to assist those affected by last October's firestorms, but was forgotton for this article. The following is a letter to the Union-Tribune written by VSDs Executive Director Sue Carter:

As the county’s lead agency for coordinating spontaneous volunteers during a disaster, we at Volunteer San Diego were pleased to see yesterday’s article highlighting the contributions and potential of volunteers (Volunteers' fire response is foundation of state plan).

More than 3,000 volunteers were mobilized in the first three weeks through Volunteer San Diego. At the fire’s onset, we connected volunteers to organizations such as 2-1-1 San Diego. Our trained volunteer Disaster Cadre, the first of its kind in the state, coordinated thousands of incoming volunteer calls and emails. More recently, our registered volunteers assisted with sandbagging and erosion control.

Despite the limited disaster funding that Baker noted, Volunteer San Diego continues its commitment to volunteer coordination in disaster, offering basic and advanced trainings on disaster response and preparedness; collaborating with other disaster responders; and working with the state to further develop systems that ensure effective and safe volunteering in disasters.

Equally important are Volunteer San Diego’s diverse volunteer opportunities that build, connect and strengthen our community during ‘peacetime’ and better prepare us to respond in disaster.

Sue Carter

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Thursday, February 07, 2008

Buick Invitational a success!

For the past few years Volunteer San Diego has teamed up with the Buick Invitational at Torrey Pines Golf Course to organize volunteers to help staff their event. In exchange for valuable volunteer time they have helped VSD continue our multitude of programs through generous donations.

This year the event took place January 21-27th and for the first time in tournament history rain sullied the course while the normally balmy weather was disrupted by fierce winds. Nevertheless, volunteers showed up in droves to man the concession stands and participate in other behind-the-scenes activities. The dedication of our volunteers is inspiring, as exmeplified by one volunteer's testimonial:

"It was a fairly hectic time at the Buick Invitational because of the damage to the golf course during the previous nights rainstorm.... At 9:15am the crowds were allowed into the golf course and then the fun began. There was only one functioning concession stand with a skeleton crew working, but luckily enough volunteers stayed around and employees were called in to assist. Everyone worked as a team to get the job done and we succeeded!"

Despite the less than inviting conditions, 57 volunteers participated donating over 500 hours! Thank you so much to each and every one of you!

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