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DHSS Press Release

Rita Landgraf, Secretary
Jill Fredel, Director of Communications
302-255-9047, Cell 302-357-7498

Date: November 1, 2012


During Hurricane Sandy, Delaware AmeriCorps served in numerous ways at the state's shelters, including registering guests, settling families into the living quarters, setting up cots, ordering new supplies, serving food, keeping guests informed of the storm, keeping guests company and running nightly games for the children. AmeriCorps members worked alongside the Red Cross, Junior ROTC, Air National Guard, Delaware Medical Reserve Corps, the SPCA and Delaware State Troopers to make this difficult time for the residents of Delaware a little easier.

Many guests at the shelther were extremely grateful for the company, the food service and a safe place to stay until they could return to their homes.

Gov. Jack Markell visited shelters at Cape Henlopen, William Penn and Middletown high schools, and Lt. Gov. Matt Denn visited shelters at William Penn and Middletown high schools to show their support.

"On behalf of the people of Delaware, I am grateful to these young people for the many ways they comforted people in shelters," Gov. Markell said. "Delaware AmeriCorps members proved what a commitment to service means. In a time of need, they provided information, companionship, and above all, compassion."

AmeriCorps member Cody Dougherty-Hayes served at Smyrna Middle School and stated that "over 70 people came to the shelter. They were very thankful for our assistance and the same warm place to stay during the storm. I felt good about my service and being able to help."

"At a time when many families and communities in the East Coast, and especially here in Delaware, are measuring the impact of Hurricane Sandy to their homes and properties, it is good to know that AmeriCorps and Senior Corps members have stepped up to assist with shelter operations and clean-up in the affected areas of the state. That is what service is all about, lifting up others in their time of need," said Erastus Mong'are, Senior Administrator of the State Office of Volunteerism.

AmeriCorps members from Habitat for Humanity assisted at shelters at Middletown, William Penn and Cape Henlopen high schools, and at the Smyrna Middle School. A few weeks ago, AmeriCorps members received American Red Cross Disaster Relief Training and will continue to serve with the Red Cross if needed in the weeks ahead.

"Being able to take action during the storm felt like a natural extension of what we do every day at Habitat for Humanity," Rebecca Petersen, AmeriCorps member from Sussex County, said of her experience serving at the shelter. "We were able to put community members at ease by helping to provide a simple, but safe shelter from the elements."

With a mission of putting God's love into action, Habitat for Humanity brings people together to build homes, communities and hope. The vision of Habitat for Humanity is a world where everyone has a decent place to live, whether housing people during the storm or building homes together with them.

Delaware Health and Social Services is committed to improving the quality of the lives of Delaware's citizens by promoting health and well-being, fostering self-sufficiency, and protecting vulnerable populations.