Congratulations Maryland VOAD!!!

National VOAD Innovative Program of the Year

National VOAD awards recognize organizational and individual excellence and contributions that reflect “the best of the best” in service and support within the entire VOAD movement.

The Innovation Award is given to one local, regional, state or territory VOAD or a VOAD member organization in good standing, nominated by their peers, for exceptional innovation or ingenuity through the development and implementation of a program or project that has: provided a long‐term solution to a specific community’s problem utilizing one of the core four C’s of National VOAD; or created a unique project or program that filled a gap or unmet need in a community in preparing for, responding to, and/or recovering from disasters that positively impacted the lives of victims and could be replicated as a model for other communities.

As reported last month, Maryland VOAD and the Eastern Shore Long Term Recovery Committee received National VOAD’s Innovative Program of the Year Award. Pictured here is Pastor Phil receiving the award on behalf of Maryland VOAD and the ESLTRC with April Wood (President and CEO of National VOAD, and Elizabeth Disco-Shearer (Chair, NVOAD Board of Directors).

The Innovative Program of the Year Award is award to an organization within National VOAD “for exceptional innovation or ingenuity through the development and implementation of a program or project that has provided a long‐term solution to a specific community’s problem.” The innovations sited for reception of this award include:

  • Combining a mitigation component to the long-term recovery response—not just repairing homes but elevating them two feet above the 100-year flood plain anticipated levels.
  • Forming a Blue Ribbon Mitigation Task Group of over 50 people from environmental groups, universities, state, county, municipal and federal agencies and National VOAD member groups to provide support and to assist in the raising the $6 million needed to complete the project.
  • Using VOAD member volunteers to assist with the elevation of the homes. (Previously, the entire elevation process was contracted out.) Mennonite Disaster Service (MDS) is partnering with us by taking the lead in the construction process. In elevating the first two homes with volunteer labor, we have seen a cost savings of $35,000 for each home.
  • Partnering with coastal universities to do a research project alongside of the elevation project to demonstrate its worth to other coastal communities, allow them to understand the components for doing such a project and offering this as an alternative to other strategies used within coastal communities.

In his remarks while receiving the award, Pastor Phil said, “With the increased number and intensity of storms, and the proclivity for significant levels of tidal flooding in the communities of Somerset and Dorchester counties, it was imperative that ESLTRC, with the support of Maryland VOAD, draw different conclusions, and chose a different path forward in the long-term recovery process.”

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