Governor gives advice for volunteering

Published 10:54 am Monday, May 2, 2011

MONTGOMERY – Alabama Gov. Robert Bentley’s office released guidance on volunteering and making donations in the wake of the deadly storms that swept through Alabama April 27.

Bentley’s office urged volunteers, or those wishing to donate goods, services or money, to work through recognized groups or to call the state hotline.

“In a community struggling to respond to and recover from a disaster, an influx of unexpected or unneeded volunteers and donations can make the process even more difficult,” statement from his office says.

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According to Bentley’s office, the volunteer and donations response following the deadly tornado outbreak in the state of Alabama has been tremendous. Gov. Bentley is encouraging volunteers to use Alabama’s Statewide 2-1-1 Volunteer Call Center.

Alabama’s Statewide 2-1-1 Volunteer Call Center is a 24/7 volunteer and donations hotline that provides an opportunity for people to connect to available volunteer and donation options. By calling 2-1-1 (in the state of Alabama or toll free 1-888-421-1266) or visiting, individuals can register to volunteer or provide a financial donation to the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund.

All volunteers not affiliated with an organization should register with 2-1-1. Once registered, volunteers will receive notifications of volunteer opportunities across the state.

“In the coming days, weeks and months, volunteers will be needed across the state to help in the relief effort,” Bentley said. “The coordination of volunteers is the best way to serve effectively during time of disaster.”

• To Register to Volunteer call 2-1-1 (in-state) or 1-888-421-1266 (out-of-state) or via the website

• Donations to the Governor’s Emergency Relief Fund can be made at or by calling 2-1-1

• For a list of Volunteer Reception Centers (VRCs) in Alabama please visit

The Governor’s Office of Faith Based and Community Initiatives (GFBCI) is overseeing the statewide volunteer response effort and has the following suggestions for volunteers wanting to help.

Financial Contributions are Preferred:

This allows relief organizations to purchase exactly what items are needed to assist in the response and recovery efforts. Funds will also provide direct victim assistance.

Confirm the Need Before Collecting:

Donors should be wary of anyone who claims that “everything is needed.” Many groups have been disappointed that their efforts and the goods they collected were not appreciated. A community hit by disaster, however, does not have the time, manpower or money to sort and dispose of unneeded donations. Get precise information and confirm the need before collecting any donated goods or used clothing. Get precise information and confirm the need before collecting any donated goods or used clothing.