Thousands of volunteers in Americus - WALB.com, Albany News, Weather, Sports

Thousands of volunteers in Americus

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March 10, 2007

Americus -- It's estimated that there are up to 2,000 people in Americus trying to clean up and rebuild the city. Disaster recovery would be nothing without all the helping hands from all over the country.

Leaders in charge at the Disaster Recovery Center say there is now a place for these volunteers to sign up to help. They want all volunteers in Americus to sign in, have a place for a good meal, get sleep, even healthcare.

Disaster recovery leaders say all volunteers should sign in with the county, so everyone working in Americus can be accounted for. They've set up a volunteer staging area at the Americus Sumter County High School North Campus gym.

The volunteers are all over town. From 17-year-old Jesse Harbuck, raking up debris from a Church's front lawn.

"It's not everyday when you do see something and you feel the need to help, you need to," said Jesse Harbuck.

All the way to 83-year-old Henry Young, serving food to workers who need to be fed.

"When I volunteer it makes me feel like I'm doing something to help somebody," said Henry Young.

The pictures show it all. Americus needs a lot of help. Disaster recovery leaders established a place for all those wanting to lend a hand. A staging area so volunteers can sign in, leave emergency contact information, have a meal, shower, or get tetanus shots.

"This is a big push this weekend, try to give these people a chance to work, but also to help get our community here cleaned up," said Randy Howard of GEMA.

Workers at the Disaster Recovery Center say it's important for church, business, or volunteer groups to sign in with the county to keep track of who is in Americus and where volunteers are needed.

And no matter what the age, anyone can help rebuild Americus from this disaster.

"There's people here who've lost a whole lot more than we have. There's two people that died and then there's us. We just lost a church you know, it's a building. That's not the church, this is the church. It's just a good feeling you get when you get something accomplished.

And together volunteers will work together until a final goal is accomplished, to see Americus rebuilt.

If you'd like to help out you are invited to sign up at the volunteer staging area, it's at the North Campus high school gym, which is off Bump Head Road. All groups are asked to sign in at the old high school. Community leaders say it's for the volunteer's own safety.

You can also visit the Disaster Recovery Center for more information on where volunteers are needed. It's located on Martin Luther King Boulevard at Rucker Street. Those still seeking assistance the center is open daily so you can get the help you need from local, state, or federal agencies.

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