Megan Hill, from Havre de Grace, who is serving with an AmeriCorps NCCC (National Community Corps) team from the North Central Region campus in Vinton, Iowa, is working with the American Red Cross in response to Hurricane Isaac, managing a shelter for evacuated residents through Sept. 19.
Hill is part of a nine-member NCCC team and is assisting with the daily operations of the shelter at the Louisiana State University of Shreveport gymnasium in Louisiana as well as the cleaning and closing of the shelter when the time arises.
"AmeriCorps NCCC has prepared members to assist in disasters like Hurricane Isaac. The team is ready to help in any way possible," Team Leader Hill said.
The American Red Cross immediately responds to about 70,000 natural and man-made disasters in the U.S., ranging from fires to hurricanes, floods, earthquakes, tornadoes, hazardous materials spills, transportation accidents and explosions. Red Cross disaster relief focuses on meeting people's immediate emergency needs caused by disaster. When disaster threatens or strikes, the Red Cross provides shelter, food and health and emotional health services to address basic human needs and assist individuals and families in resuming their normal daily activities independently.
AmeriCorps NCCC is a full-time, residential, national service program in which 1,100 young adults serve nationwide each year. During their 10-month term, NCCC members – all 18 to 24 years old – work on teams of eight to 12 on projects that address critical needs related to natural and other disasters, infrastructure improvement, environmental stewardship and conservation, energy conservation and urban and rural development. Members mentor students, construct and rehabilitate low-income housing, respond to natural disasters, clean up streams, help communities develop emergency plans and address countless other local needs. The North Central Region campus in Vinton, Iowa, is one five regional campuses in the United States and serves Indiana, Illinois, Iowa, Michigan, Minnesota, Nebraska, North Dakota, Ohio, South Dakota and Wisconsin. The other campuses are in Perry Point; Sacramento, Calif.; Vicksburg, Miss.; and Denver, Colo.
In exchange for their service, NCCC members receive $5,550 to help pay for college or to pay back existing student loans. Other benefits include a small living stipend, room and board, leadership development, increased self-confidence and the knowledge that, through active citizenship, people can indeed make a difference. AmeriCorps NCCC is administered by the Corporation for National and Community Service. The Corporation improves lives, strengthens communities and fosters civic engagement through service and volunteering. For more information about AmeriCorps NCCC, visit the website, http://www.americorps.gov/nccc.