Daily Update September 18, 2019

 


Inspiritus Welcomes Disaster Relief Expert Sherry Buresh

INSPIRITUS Gains Nationally Recognized Disaster Response Expert Sherry Buresh, Just In Time For Devastating Hurricane Season.

Inspiritus is building its capacity to offer expert disaster relief solutions that support local communities with preparedness, disaster response, and long-term recovery services.

We are thrilled to welcome Sherry Buresh to our team to lead this effort. Sherry brings her extensive experience in leading countless disaster responses, including:

  • Hurricane Katrina
  • Hurricane Harvey
  • Hurricane Irma
  • Hurricane Maria
  • Pilger, Nebraska Tornadoes
  • Nashville, Tennessee Floods
  • Gatlinburg, Tennessee Fires
  • Nepal Earthquake

It all began at Camp Victor

Sherry's career in disaster relief began following Hurricane Katrina, when she deployed a team of 60 volunteers to a base called Camp Victor at Christus Victor Lutheran Church, Ocean Springs, MS, where she worked alongside the Rev. Dr. P. Morgan Gordy, Pastor of Christ Lutheran Church in Nashville, TN.

Since then, her Volunteer Reception Center (VRC) leadership has resulted in coordinating and leading over 3,000 volunteers during a 10 day period in cleaning up after tornadoes; registering and tracking hours for 5,000 volunteers within a two week period; registering 18,808 volunteers; and tracking 92,545 volunteer hours over a 2 month period.

The National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters honored Sherry with the "National VOAD Member of the Year Award" in 2014 and 2017. Sherry also received the “Peace and Towels Award" as recognition for her selfless service. Sherry has chaired Kentucky Voluntary Organizations Active in Disasters and the Eastern KY Long-Term Recovery Coordinating Committee (2004-2006).

Her “on the ground” Disaster Response experience includes:  

  • Training and Managing Home/Property Clean-up
  • Setting up VRCs (Volunteer Reception Centers)
  • Warehousing Donations
  • Organizing Delivery of Emergency In-Kind Donations
  • Guiding onsite Christian Spiritual Care

She is a Member of:

  • National Volunteer Organization Active in Disasters Volunteer Management Committee
  • Pathfinder Missions (Hurricane Katrina Recovery Organization) - Board Member
  • Christian Emergency Network - Disaster Advisor
  • Kentucky Community Crisis Response Team
  • Weather Service Advisory Member
  • Local Emergency Planning Committees
  • Kentucky Community Crisis Response Board - Board Member (2006-2009)
  • National Council on Readiness & Preparedness - National Task Force Advisory Committee National Congress on Secure Communities - Committee Member & Panelist

When Sherry is not deployed or training partner groups, you will find her enthusiastically sharing her “inspirational stories of lives helped and transformed during crisis.” She and her husband, also an emergency responder, have 4 children and 4 grandchildren.

Interesting read: Sherry was featured in Popular Mechanics by a journalist who volunteered with her after Hurricane Irma and Maria disaster response in the Virgin Islands. Warning: This article may inspire you to volunteer with Sherry in our next Inspiritus disaster response. Click here to read.

HAPPENING NOW!

HURRICANE DORIAN RESPONSE

Sherry was on the job with Inspiritus for three days when we first got wind of Hurricane Dorian. She rapidly put together a plan with little to no resources, and set us in motion to prepare to respond. Our long-term recovery staff were already deployed along the Georgia coast and in South Georgia, helping homeowners who have yet to recover from Hurricane Irma and Michael. Sherry was especially concerned about how Hurricane Dorian might impact those vulnerable homes.

Inspiritus quickly established a Dorian Response lead volunteer team, ready to deploy and setup a volunteer base along the Georgia coast, if needed. As Dorian made its slow journey along the southeastern US coastline, Sherry had staff calling on our clients all along the coast, preparing them for the storm and checking on them the morning after. We were relieved to learn our clients were safe from additional damages.

However, our attention quickly shifted to the North Carolina coast, where Ocracoke Island suffered 6-8 foot storm surges and hundreds of homes in the region were damaged. Many families impacted by Dorian in North Carolina are those who have yet to recover from last year's Hurricane Florence.

Right now, Sherry and her team are operating a base camp along the North Carolina coast, and have a thick binder full of homes in need. Most of these homeowners are low-to-no income women or men with disabilities, many are senior citizens who are alone, and all are suffering exposure to unhealthy living situations due to mold and water damage that grows worse each week.

Today, teams of volunteers are deploying from our base to tarp roofs, gut water damaged homes, and chainsaw fallen trees. Every day, one home at a time, homeowners are being given hope. Inspiritus will be providing free housing and meals to volunteer teams to help do this work.

Click here to volunteer this month.

Inspiritus needs your help to meet the needs of those impacted by Dorian. Your donations and volunteerism support are what makes this work possible. Please join us in lending your support.

Inspiritus helps Dorian Impacted Homes in NC

Our work depends entirely on volunteers & donations.

´╗┐Your support matters.

Please consider donating to help those in crisis, today.

After you click 'DONATE NOW' select "DISASTER RELIEF" from the pull-down menu.

Thank you for your generosity.

INSPIRITUS Gains Nationally Recognized Disaster Response Expert Sherry Buresh, Just In Time For Devastating Hurricane Season

Inspiritus formerly Lutheran Services of Georgia & Lutheran Services in Tennessee

404-875-0201 | weinspirit.org

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SAVE THE DATE
2019 Georgia Conference on Children and Families October 28-30, 2019 at Marriott Augusta
2020 Together Georgia Day at the Capitol January 29, 2020
2020 Executive Retreat April 16 & 17, 2020 at Lanier Islands Legacy Lodge


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