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The Daily Guide - Waynesville, MO
  • AmeriCorps and VISTA members reach out to aid others

  • Despite having no desks, computers, phones, office or supplies, Waynesville AmeriCorps and VISTA members reached out to help others when a flash flood ripped through our community just three days ago.
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  • Despite having no desks, computers, phones, office or supplies, Waynesville AmeriCorps and VISTA members reached out to help others when a flash flood ripped through our community just three days ago.
    Helping others is what they signed on to do when they joined AmeriCorps and VISTA, but more importantly it is their passion. AmeriCorps and VISTA members were among the first on the scene as streams and rivers raged through the community, taking the life of a four-year-old boy and leaving other families homeless and businesses closed.
    AmeriCorps and VISTA members filled sandbags, hoping to minimize the damage to homes and businesses. They staffed the emergency shelter, volunteering to serve on every shift and at every station, manning them throughout the days and nights. In addition to feeding and serving those in need, they are preparing to help with the cleanup – once the floodwaters subside.
    "Everyone is focused on helping others and working to minimize the impact on our community," says Dr. Kim Hawk, community resource coordinator who oversees the AmeriCorps and VISTA programs for the Waynesville R-VI School District. "As a district, we always appreciate the service that our AmeriCorps and VISTA members provide to our students, but this crisis situation has emphasized the importance of this national service program and their response to our community's needs."
    And, yet, like the victims they are serving, VISTA members have been displaced as well. As Mitchell Creek turned into a raging river after 17 inches of rain fell in three days, the trailers that served as the VISTA offices were washed from their foundations, leaving them destroyed and without supplies. In addition to computers and other office equipment, school supplies, backpacks and food items recently collected forarea students in need were destroyed. Sadly, the team's first community garden – planted to provide produce to those in need – was swept away as well.
    Temporary quarters have been established at the Waynesville Career Center, "and we are moving forward to help others first," Hawk says.
    Anyone wanting to help replace school supplies or food for the Snack in a Pack program should contact the AmeriCorps and VISTA office at (573) 842-3934.
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