Congratulations to Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) Award Winners!
A brief background of Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD): VOAD focuses on the grounding principles of the “4 Cs:” cooperation, communication, coordination, and collaboration. Each year National VOAD has an annual conference which is the central networking and educational event for the VOAD movement each year. The conference draws representation from more than 100 national member organizations as well as State/Territory VOADs, government and private sector partners. There were approximately 715 attendees this year. The conference consists of various plenary sessions, interactive workshops, networking opportunities, meals, and vendor exhibitions. 2022 was the first year since 2019 that the conference took place in person.
During the Annual Award Dinner on May 3rd, there were three different LDR Partners were recognized.
1) State/Territory VOAD of the Year – Pennsylvania VOAD
This is awarded annually to one of the State/Territorial VOADs in good standing that, in the past year, has: 1. Demonstrated the promotion of optimal effectiveness of voluntary organizations in preparing for, responding to, and/or recovering from disasters; 2. Increased the growth and strength of the VOAD Movement in their State or Territory; 3. Made extraordinary progress in advancing one or more of the core 4 C’s of the VOAD movement. Julia Menzo, PA VOAD Vice President, LDR PA Coordinator, and LDR Eastern Region Facilitator accepted the award. Starting in 2017 the PA VOAD members worked effectively to support Americans who were forced to evacuate Puerto Rico after Hurricane Maria. PA VOAD has also assisted with the resettlement of Afghan evacuees and are now preparing to assist Ukrainians who have been displaced due to conflict. During this time the PA VOAD members have also responded to Hurricane Isaias and Hurricane Ida, along with several other low-attention, undeclared disasters. Julia’s leadership and willingness to work alongside others has strengthened the PA VOAD, including LDR’s ability to reach underserved communities. Julia and the PA VOAD have walked along side these community leaders as they recover after a disaster and being better prepared for future events.
2) Innovative Program of the Year – Miami Valley (Ohio) Long Term Recovery Operations Group Tornado Survivor Pathway to Home Ownership
Awarded to one local, regional, state or territory VOAD or a VOAD member organization in good standing for exceptional innovation or ingenuity through the development and implementation of a program or project that has: 1. Provided a long-term solution to a specific community’s problem utilizing one of the core 4 C’s of National VOAD; or 2. Created a unique project or program that filled a gap or unmet need in a community in preparing for, responding to, and/or recovering from disasters that positively impacted the lives of victims and could be replicated as a model for other communities. LDR provided funding and technical assistance to support the program and the current Program Director, John Pyron, assisted with project development while serving at LSS of Central Ohio.
3) Spirit Award – Jean Peercy, LDR
This is awarded annually to an individual, typically a paid staff member, who, in the past year, exhibited outstanding commitment to service, the 4 C’s and the VOAD Movement and has: 1. Exemplified the core purpose of the VOAD Movement by promoting and practicing National VOAD’s core principles of the 4 C’s; and/or, 2. Facilitated increased support of the VOAD movement by developing and maintaining partnerships between voluntary organizations; and/or, 3. Embodied the passion, dedication, and professionalism of the VOAD Movement. Jean Peercy is one of the longest tenured and most experienced LDR representatives in the United States and has served disaster-impacted communities across the country. She has also served in leadership roles in various National VOAD committees, most recently multiple terms as the Chair of the Long- Term Recovery Group Committee. Jean has facilitated trainings on topics ranging from muck and gut of disaster damaged dwellings to volunteer management, construction coordination, and long-term recovery group development. With her spouse, Dale, “the Peercys” as they are affectionately known, have earned a reputation of being strong and willing support for community and VOAD partners across the country.