In coordination with the Benton County Disaster Coalition, Volunteer Iowa's Disaster Program Officer Michael Rojas and the Habitat for Humanity of Iowa Mobile Response Team participated in a Van Horne community cleanup day on Saturday, May 21. To organize the activities, Michael collaborated with Van Horne City Clerk Linda Klopping, who was crucial in locating homes, contacting survivors, and accumulating information about the work that needed to be done. Volunteers showed up with equipment and an abundance of enthusiasm and were able to jump right into helping clear debris and work on multiple properties throughout the day. The community took notice of the efforts of the AmeriCorps Disaster Response Team and the passion that they brought with them. The team is hoping to continue to roll out these community clean up days as the need leftover from the August 10 derecho is still great.
Help is still needed to help communities and families in the county impacted by last summer's storm. Anyone interested in helping organize or coordinating volunteers in Benton County should contact Kayla Paulson, Coordinator with United Way of East Central Iowa at Email: Kayla.firstname.lastname@example.org or phone: 319-398-5372, Extension 837.