On Wednesday, May 19th, Disaster Services Corporation SVDP- USA was awarded the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) “Member of the Year” for 2021. Awarded annually to one of the National Member Agencies in good standing that, in the past year: 1. Exemplified the core purpose of the VOAD movement, which is to promote Cooperation, Communication, Coordination and Collaboration among voluntary organizations active in disasters within the United States and its territories, and practiced those values; 2. Facilitated relationships between voluntary organizations and other public and private entities engaged in all phases of disaster planning, response, recovery and mitigation; and 3. Demonstrated extraordinary support for the mission, goals, and activities of National VOAD.
St Vincent de Paul is one of the few original founding members of National VOAD. The Disaster Services Corporation, SVdP-USA has a strong history of being an active member and supporting the National VOAD leadership and partner organizations.“This is such a great honor for our organization, and we are appreciative of the work of our volunteers and core team that make a difference daily in the lives of disaster survivors” said Elizabeth Disco-Shearer, CEO.
About National VOAD
National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster (VOAD) was founded over 50 years ago in response to the challenges many disaster organizations experienced following Hurricane Camille, a category 5 storm that hit the Gulf Coast in August 1969. Up until that time, numerous governmental, private sector and nonprofit organizations served disaster survivors independently of one another. As a result, help came to the survivors haphazardly.
In 1970, seven national disaster response organizations convened for the first time to find a way to better coordinate responses and more effectively serve disaster survivors and their communities. As an outcome, National VOAD was formed as a forum for sharing knowledge and coordinating resources — money, materials and manpower – throughout the disaster cycle: preparation, response and recovery.
Today, National VOAD is a coalition of 70+ of the nation’s most reputable national organizations (faith-based, community-based and other non-profit organizations) and 56 State/Territory VOADs, which represent Local/Regional VOADs and hundreds of other member organizations throughout the country.
About Disaster Services Corporation, SVdP-USA
The Disaster Services Corporation (DSC) is a Catholic lay organization that helps people in situational poverty brought about by natural and man-made disasters get their lives back in order. It is a subsidiary corporation of the National Council of the United States Society of St. Vincent de Paul (SVDP). SVDP has provided disaster relief since its founding in France in 1833. For many years, DSC operated as a program within SVDP. In 2017, DSC became an independent 501(C3) non-profit, still deeply aligned and coordinated with the Society of St. Vincent de Paul, offering a variety of programs to assist Vincentians and Non-Vincentians alike before, during, and after disaster. The Disaster Services Corporation work is focused on systemic change in long term recovery through person-to-person support services, including Parish Recovery Assistance Centers, Disaster Case Management, Economic Recovery programs and their nationally known House in a Box ™ program.
About the Society of St. Vincent de Paul
One of the largest charitable organizations in the world, the Society of St. Vincent de Paul (www.svdpusa.org) is an international, nonprofit, Catholic lay organization of about 800,000 men and women who voluntarily join together to grow spiritually by offering person-to-person service to the needy and suffering in 150 countries on five continents.
With the U.S. headquarters in St. Louis, Mo., membership in the United States totals nearly 100,000 in 4,400 communities. SVDP offers a variety of programs and services, including home visits, housing assistance, disaster relief, education and mentoring, food pantries, dining halls, clothing, assistance with transportation, prescription medication, and rent and utility assistance. The Society also works to provide care for the sick, the incarcerated and the elderly. Over the past year, SVDP provided over $1.2 billion in tangible and in-kind services to those in need, made more than 1.8 million personal visits (homes, hospitals, prisons and eldercare facilities) and helped more than 23.8 million people regardless of race, religion or national origin.
The Society of St Vincent de Paul Disaster Services is a founding member of the National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster and its Disaster Services Corporation provides relief and recovery to disaster survivors across the United States and American Territories.
Kevin Peach, COO at Kpeach@svdpdisaster.org