April is Volunteer Appreciation Month. What better time to spotlight our HVAF volunteers as well as employees and volunteers as they share, in their own words, their unique volunteer experiences in the community. All month long, we’ll be sharing their stories on the HVAF blog.
Meet Sgt. Tanner J. Archibald USA (Ret.), HVAF volunteer
On March 2, 2012, Southern Indiana was hit with devastating tornadoes that uprooted communities across multiple counties. I volunteered my time in Sellersburg, Ind., through FEMA’s “OneStop” disaster assistance program at Ivy Tech. One-Stop was a temporary location created to address the individual needs of the survivors. When someone would call seeking relief, we helped direct them to critical resources, including locating shelter and clothing. It was jaw-dropping to see what happened to the towns in a matter of minutes. Even worse, it was horrifying to see the chaos that ensued while trying to put the pieces of their lives back together. Our team worked in coordination with Red Cross, Habit for Humanity and other groups from around the country, including AmeriCorps as well as local fire and law enforcement. The disaster relief groups put in great effort to help the people affected by the tornadoes. My help was only a small part of the entire effort. During my volunteer experience, I saw communities join together and lend a helping hand to complete strangers to help rebuild homes and lives.