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Volunteers Sought to Continue Clean Up Work in Vinton Area

Thursday, July 3, 2008   (0 Comments)
Posted by: Paige Robertson
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The Vinton Eagle Area News -


Volunteers sought to continue clean up work in Vinton area

Posted at 2:26 Wednesday July 2nd by Tom Lundvall

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VINTON— Over the past two weeks, the Iowa Child Advocate Services (ICAS) has evolved into taking a lead position for coordinating the help for flood victims in Vinton, Benton County, and surrounding communities.

This effort is known as the Flood of Hope© effort, and it is a grassroots community organizing effort that began with Windsor Manor and ICAS for Vinton and Benton County, and is evolving into a very concerted effort to help additional flood victims in surrounding communities.

Many of the small, rural communities are still without an organized effort to help with recovery. The people involved with Flood of Hope© are folks from various communities in and around Vinton, people who are working through their employers on recovery efforts, and volunteers from across the state. 

The needs are constantly changing as we work through the long road to recovery. The prioritized needs include fans, dehumidifiers, food, baby supplies, and help with your hands. Many families are now needing help with getting rid of debris, gutting their homes, and if possible to repair their homes. 

The gutting of homes, even for homes that may be demolished, is an important next step. Homes that have been flooded have to get rid of the wetness and mold in order to keep the community healthy and safe. This message is a plea for individuals and groups of people from outside the flood areas to join us in making a difference. Volunteers from the local communities are tired, as they have been working around the clock for over two weeks. 

We welcome groups from churches, corporations, youth group organizations, and individuals who wish to come and join a team. We will initially work with the non-profit organization, Hands On, which is coming to Vinton and willing to help out all week, and possibly into next weekend, getting homes cleaned up and gutted.

They are looking for groups of 8-12 people who can work under their team leaders helping individual families with their homes. We still need help all week long. There are four team leaders in working in Vinton. Please call 319-472-4501 as soon as possible to report that you are interested or have a group ready. Hands On needs help finding at least 30 groups of people throughout the week. Hands On takes Wednesdays off to rest and recuperate.

We will provide meals at ICAS for volunteers, and water and N95 face masks on site. Any group wanting to volunteer in Vinton, Palo, or surrounding community can contact Patti Gilbaugh at ICAS to offer your help. 

Volunteers should mark and bring with them: shovels, claw hammer, crow bar, work boots/rubber boots, latex/plastic gloves (like for washing dishes), work gloves, eye protection, and change of clothes

Each work site is expected to take 6-8 hours of team work. Volunteers need to be able to commit to that period of time, or plan to have a replacement if they have to leave early. It takes a whole team to do the work that needs to be done. Volunteers must be 18 to work independently; 14-17 year-olds can work with a parent on site; under 14 requires one parent per child under 14 on site. 

ICAS is helping Hands On by interviewing and prioritizing families that need help. If you know a family who can benefit from this resource, encourage them to register with ICAS if they have not done so.

ICAS is also working with families to do case management so those with the fewest resources and highest risk factors (such as elderly, disabled, single parent, etc.) of not getting enough help are prioritized. Family members do not need to reside within Benton County to ask for help; however, at this time Benton County residents are still being given priority for flood assistance. ICAS will do its best meet the needs of any Iowan resident, as it always has.

If you cannot physically help with this effort, but wish to contribute to the expenses, donations can be mailed to ICAS, 905 D Avenue, Vinton, IA 52349. Tax-deductible receipts are available for cash donations, in-kind necessary items (such as tools, fans, dehumidifiers, cleaning kits, or food), and corporations who allow employees to help on company time and expenses. 

ICAS is requesting no more clothing or household items (such as cookware, dishes, etc). Large appliances in good working condition are welcomed, however, calling ahead before bringing large items is recommended.

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