‘WinstonStrong’ more than a local charity

From press & staff reports

‘WinstonStrong’ is a community-based recovery fund that is being used for the long-term rebuilding efforts in Winston County. These funds

are intended to be used after all other resources have been exhausted or not made available. The case managers at ‘WinstonStrong’ are there to assist with those in need through the process of using all available resources wisely and to rebuild the community.
The goal of ‘WinstonStrong’ is to provide recovery services to individuals and families affected by the April 28 storms in Winston County. These services will be provided regardless of the individual’s race, creed, gender, disability, or religious preference. Their goal is to see that all of the affected Winston County residents fully recover.
The Executive Board for ‘‘WinstonStrong’ is: Chairman Robert Taylor, Executive Director/ Co-Chair/ Treasurer Mike Dowd, Secretary/Administrative Coordinator Stephanie Black. The board members are Steve Jones, Robert Brown, Jean Harper, Lisa Luke, Larry Veazey, Mary Tabor, and Aline Haynes.
The Sub-Committee Chair is Volunteer Coordinator Hubert Yates, Construction Coordinator David Crowson, Crisis Counseling/Emotional & Spiritual Care Pastor Stacey Parvin, Community Assessment Jean Harper, and Case Management Coordinator Mellie Jordan.
Representing FEMA is Carla Moore, with MEMA VAL represented by Merideth Lee. Representing Presbyterian Disaster Assistance/VOAD is Sandra Price, and Nikki Rives is the representative of United Way.
The major elements of ‘WinstonStrong’ are:
Indentifying individuals and families with unmet needs in our community
Providing case management in order to prioritize how those needs will be met
Delivering goods, services, and funds to meet those needs
The services that ‘WinstonStrong’ offers cover the whole aspect of recovery. With their Case Management Committee services, it receives, reviews, and acts on referral cases for submission. This committee also provides and/or marshals professionals to provide counseling addressing emotional and spiritual needs of clients. In addition, they also help generate money (financial support), materials (donations, equipment, supplies, etc.) or volunteer labor crews and expertise to meet the needs of individuals who have been referred.
Community Assessment identifies participants and their basic needs, and estimated repair costs, as well as initiating the process with the cooperation of FEMA and MEMA individual assistance teams. The Crisis Counseling for Emotional and Spiritual Care works to meet emotional and spiritual needs of those affected by the storms. It provides support counseling for participants and the community, as well as identifying additional needs.
‘WinstonStrong’ Volunteer Services
One of the main aspects of ‘WinstonStrong’ is their volunteer services. At the time of publication, ‘WinstonStrong’ has seen many volunteers, not only from the surrounding area but some ranging from West Virginia and beyond. The volunteer services are listed into three categories, Response/Cleanup, Repair, and Rebuild.
Response/Cleanup: Winston County Volunteer Coordination has provided volunteer groups to assist in clean-up and debris removal to homeowners needing assistance. Over 20,000 man hours of volunteer assistance have been provided by our partnering organizations to Louisville and Winston County in clean-up operations. These services include: 1) Salvage Teams to assist the homeowner in removing belongings from site. 2) Chainsaw teams for the removal of trees and debris from within 30-50’ of the home and access ways. 3) Heavy Debris Removal – Removal of heavy tree and home debris within the limits of available equipment to the ROW for pick-up. 4) Rake and Wheelbarrow Crews for finishing clean-up of a site and removing smaller debris.
Repair: Winston Strong Volunteer Coordination is assisting qualified homeowners with connections to volunteer labor crews providing home repair services. Services include but are not limited to 1) Cleanout in preparation for repair. 2) Roofing. 3) Basic Carpentry. 4) Window and door replacement/installation. 5) Basic Wiring, sheetrock installation and finishing. 6) Painting. 7) Flooring. (You may contact WinstonStrong Case Management Services to qualify for Volunteer Assistance for repairs to your home)
Rebuild: ‘WinstonStrong’ Volunteer Rebuild Partners are gearing up and are ready to help homeowners rebuild the homes lost in the April tornado. Qualified Homeowners can receive assistance throughout the rebuild process through the Case Management System and will work with our WinstonStrong Construction Manager and Volunteer Manager to maximize available financial, material, and volunteer resources to completely rebuild a home as quickly as possible. (Contact WinstonStrong Case Management Services to qualify for Volunteer Assistance in rebuilding your home.
All volunteers are welcomed, however, due to the nature of the projects currently being undertaken and or planned, Volunteer Groups consisting of those aged 14-18 need to have adult supervision at a ratio of at least one adult per four minor volunteers. (Volunteers under the age of 14 are discouraged.)
Donations go directly to a Community Based Long Term recovery Fund. This fund is a 501C3 non-profit so all donations are tax deductible.
If you have questions related to volunteering with ‘WinstonStrong’, you may contact the Volunteer Management Coordinator at 405-403-1817 or email volunteers@winstoncounty.org. If you prefer to donate by check or in person, make your contributions payable to: Winston Community Development Disaster Relief Fund, Renasant Bank, P.O. Box 389, Louisville, MS 39339. You may also bring your donations to the Winston County Economic Development Partnership/Chamber of Commerce, 311 West Park Street, Louisville, MS 39339.
You may also visit the ‘WinstonStrong’ website www.winstonstrong.org or call 405-403-3404.

Robert Taylor and Mike Dowd work on placing a Winston Strong banner recently.

Robert Taylor and Mike Dowd work on placing a Winston Strong banner recently.