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NECHAMA - Jewish Response to Disaster

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Disaster Aid, Disaster Preparedness & Relief Services, Human Service Organizations, Human Services, Public Safety, Disaster Preparedness & Relief

Mission: NECHAMA - Jewish Response to Disaster is a 501(c)(3) volunteer organization providing clean-up and recovery assistance to homes and community spaces affected by natural disasters. Guided by the Jewish value of Tikkun Olam, repairing the world, performing good acts, and helping the stranger, NECHAMA offers a helping hand in the spirit of goodwill and creating mutual respect and understanding among people.

Results: In the past 3 years, we've assisted over over 1,100 homes or community spaces, provided leadership to over 3,700 individual volunteers, provided 93,000 total hours of service, and provided $3.6 million worth of services to disaster-stricken communities.

Target demographics: Disaster Survivors

Direct beneficiaries per year: ~340 households with cleanup assistance and/or repair and rebuild services.

Geographic areas served: General United States

Programs: Direct assistance to disaster survivors in the form of mobilizing volunteers to provide cleanup services following a natural disaster event.

Community Stories

116 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

5 Elizabeth212

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

It's a difficult to understand disasters and the aftermath. We see them on cable stations and our local news stations. Homes that are ripped from foundations in tornadoes, buildings bought to rubble in earthquakes, tsunamis that roar through villages leaving death tolls that become just a figure. That is till you're in one. Pictures don't show the smell of mold and tears of many too proud to realize that our lives are forever imprinted with a nightmare.My name is Liz Treston, I live in Long Beach, NY. October 29, 2012 seems so distant for many that did not have the Atlantic come surging through it's city and front door. We were lost, devastated by the sheer destruction. We're also stereotypical New Yorkers. We wanted things fixed and back to normal the next day. We were in for a sad awakening.I don't know how we met. I was helping my neighbors gather information from disaster relief groups. There were many names. There are many souls upon this planet given a calling that says I refuse to let others give up. There will be hope and a tomorrow.My hope and a number of souls came to City, in a white van with NECHAMA written on the side. My family was assessing our damage. It was cold. We were lucky in many ways no one was hurt. The van stopped at my house. I was expecting another offer a water and a meal as I protected myself in a cocoon of uncertainty."We're here to help", said a young man. His face clean shaven and his hands with recent callouses. "Think we're okay". I knew their were others who were in worse shape then myself. When you're in the thick of the guts of your house laying in the street you don't think clearly. You worry about others. Maybe this man saw my soul. He slipped me a card and said to call when I was ready. I gave him the names of neighbors that I knew needed more help.That's what happens. You see kindness and a glimmer of a sense that things will be okay.In a few months it will be 4 years since Superstorm Sandy slid up from the South and stole out houses. It never stole our souls though because of the men and women from places that come to post disaster areas like NECHAMA.I hope that you can give to this incredible selfless group. You truly never know when a disaster will come. I am glad to know that when the water recedes NECHAMA will be there for you. When the water did recede in Long Beach I became an active member in learning and disseminating information. With the guidance of Dorothy Maples and others from the Long Term Recovery Groups we started our own non-profit to help our residents prepare for future emergencies. Again without NECHAMA and it's continuous efforts across boundaries and borders too many souls will feel lost. Help them let those in disaster areas find their way home.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Having never volunteered in disaster relief, I really didn't know what to expect. I decided on Nechama since their message was clear - mucking and gutting homes/come one, come all. After having served first as a day volunteer and then later as a residential, I couldn't be more pleased with my decision. This organization works so smoothly from top to bottom that it makes things so very simple for all volunteers involved. All anyone needs to do is show up with a good attitude, ready to go and they provide tools and leadership. Without question, I look forward to working for and with them in the near and far future. If you are looking for a group to volunteer with and/or support in any other way you see fit, I highly recommend this exceptional non profit.

I'm trying really hard to find something to be critical of but I just can't. What can I say...they really know what they're doing in this department and have everything covered.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I found Nechama on a website when I wanted to volunteer in Baton Rouge. I spent a week with them and my experience was awesome. The staff, team leaders, and my fellow volunteers were great and hard-working people. Even though it was hard work, it was very rewarding and fun to be working side by side with like-minded people. Many friendships were made as we helped many families.
I would do it again and only with Nechama.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have a long history (20 years) of volunteering and recently joined NECHAMA on a 5-day volunteering trip in Baton Rouge, LA to help with their flood relief efforts. I was very happy with my stay. The organization was on the ground, set up with tools and actively welcoming volunteers very shortly after the disaster. The staff was wonderful - they are passionate about what they do, very knowledgeable, and wonderful to be around. I received a response within a few hours at the most from the time I applied or asked any follow-up questions. In fact, I don't think I've experienced that good of a response time with any other organization I've ever volunteered with. The work was well-organized and meaningful. We did mostly muck and guts as well as debris removal, as would be standard after a flood. We were provided with all the tools and safety equipment we needed, and our team leaders were a great resource. The base we stayed at, in the basement of a church, was simple yet comfortable. We had access to showers every day after work. I had a great experience with NECHAMA from the minute I expressed interest in joining the project until my last day with the team. We all worked hard, the atmosphere was friendly and fun, and I truly felt appreciated. I would go back and volunteer with them in a heartbeat, and wholeheartedly recommend them.

3 Brittany56

Volunteer

Rating: 5

NECHAMA is hands down the BEST nonprofit I've worked with! I'm currently working for NECHAMA as a Team Leader down in Baton Rouge and it has been an amazing experience thus far. I first worked with NECHAMA earlier this year in St Louis while I was in NCCC and couldn't wait to join them again. The staff are the most selfless, caring, organized, and dedicated people I have ever met and same goes for the volunteers that they recruit along the way. It has been a blessing and I am very humbled to be here and to be a part of such a huge effort here in Baton Rouge. Looking forward to working with them again in the future!

2

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have just returned from working with NECHAMA, gutting homes in Baton Rouge. It was an absolute wonderful and challenging experience. My goal was to contribute, in some small way, to the flood victims. I was very fortunate to find NECHAMA because they were very effective and efficient in their actions. The leaders of this organization certainly exemplify their mission, giving comfort and aid selflessly. They work very hard to walk the talk. The passion, spirit and dedication of the organization is giving flood victims a sense of hope in the aftermath of their tragedy. Please contribute in some way to this organization. It tore me up to have to leave and return to my other responsibilities, but I will return to these wonderful people and their effort.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Nechama three separate times within the last year and will be more than happy to volunteer with them again whenever I can. They are a great organization starting with their leadership who are knowledgeable and hard working down to the volunteers they bring in who are always willing to come back because it was such a good experience.

Volunteers of any skill set can volunteer here and make a difference, Nechama has all the tools and leaders who are great and willing to teach. Along with providing housing Nechama makes volunteering easy and cost effective.

Disasters are never good but Nechama has the people, tools and knowledge to make a difference in survivors lives. All they need are more volunteers. Be a volunteer, be the difference, I guarantee you will want to come back again and again!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We partnered with NECHAMA to bring a group of Boston youth to Bay St. Louis, Mississippi for a week-long service trip in April 2015. The NECHAMA staff and volunteers were the definition of excellence. Each and every one of them were professional, dedicated, and friendly. The youth quickly bonded with NECHAMA, which led to an empowering and unforgettable experience for them. Thank you, NECHAMA, for providing such an enriching and engaging week of service for our teens! Read about the youths' experience here: http://southbostontoday.com/youth-ambassadors-hurricane-katrina-relief-service-trip-a-great-success/

1 Theresa68

Volunteer

Rating: 5

These AWESOME PEOPLE worked and worked and worked in my community after superstorm Sandy and they were nothing short of AWESOME! I helped them, but I am nowhere near their skill set!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Such a great organization, really committed to helping those in need. They do wonderful work and create a great atmosphere for volunteers to be useful and make a difference. Thank you for the wonderful experience!

1 Dee V.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with Nechama in St. Louis MO. Dorothy was an amazing person continuing to get the work order through and made sure volunteers where having fun and feeling needed. Cody who was a volunteer told many volunteers how to complete work at its finest. Made sure everyone was safe and having a great time. Even though I have worked with both Dorothy and Cody in the same program in the past it was great to see their dedication to help out communities that have been devastated by a natural disaster. Nechama is a great organization and I will volunteer with them again soon!!

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I volunteered with Nechama after the flooding in St Louis, MO. The staff were friendly and knowledgeable. Within just a few hours we cleaned out two basements and got to experience first hand the difference a small group of people can make given the experience and direction Nechama provides. They are a great organization and have done so much to help those that can no longer help themselves. Would highly recommend spending a day or two working with them. Everyone can do their part!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I recently worked with NECHAMA in St. Louis, MO and had a phenomenal experience. The staff was super friendly and helpful. NECHAMA requested the help from an AmeriCorps NCCC team and we were sent out to help muck and gut homes for two weeks. Not only was I able to obtain valuable skills to use in the future, the staff always found a way to make the work enjoyable and meaningful. I would highly recommend anyone to work with this organization should they get the chance!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked with NECHAMA for two weeks in St. Louis, MO, and I have nothing but great things to say about that experience. From how well prepared they were for work and to host volunteers, to how attentive they were while explaining the work that needed to get done, they were fantastic. They made my teammates and I feel at home while working with them in St Louis, and the communication and flexibility from all parties made this a fantastic experience! Thanks Dorothy, Cody, and Ross, it was a pleasure working with you all!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I worked with NECHAMA for a little over two weeks in St. Louis after the New Years Floods and it was an absolutely incredible experience. The staff are dedicated to making it a great experience for all volunteers, always willing to teach new skills and appreciating the efforts of the group. I'm looking forward to another opportunity to volunteer with them again, and encourage anyone else to do so as well.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can not say enough good things about NECHAMA. I worked with this organization in October 2014 and again in January 2015 in Detroit after the flooding in August 2014. The people that work for NECHAMA and the volunteers that I've worked with are deserving of so much love and respect. Because of my experience in Detroit, I have found my passion for disaster relief and recovery. I could not thank this organization enough for pushing me in the right direction and I would be so happy to volunteer with them again.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with Nechama in June 2015 to respond to the flooding outside of Austin. They are extremely professional and knowledgeable. The respond to a disaster with so much expertise that it makes being a volunteer very enjoyable because you can see how much good they do. I cannot highly recommend working with Nechama enough.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first served with NECHAMA on the Itawamba tornado response in Mississippi while serving in AmeriCorps NCCC. They offered such a welcoming and supportive environment to not only the disaster survivors, but also the volunteers. They created an engaging and fun environment, while still making the importance of the work we were doing known. I'm so grateful to know a group of such kind and caring people who continue to motivate and inspire others to do good. My time with them has been some of the most meaningful experiences in my life and I look forward to continuing to serve with them on future responses.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I first started serving with Nechama in 2012 on super-storm Sandy after my first service term with AmeriCorps NCCC. Since then I have been on 3 more disaster deployments 1 of which was with Nechama. I have worked in call centers, mucked and gutted homes, participated in rebuilding efforts, and done just about everything in between. No experience has ever been the same as the one that was offered by Nechama. I have never learned so much, in such a fun environment while working with such incredibly motivated leaders and volunteers. Not only am I thankful for the volunteering and learning opportunities that I have been given through this organization but I am exceptionally grateful to have made some great friends along the way.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with Nechama and along side them and it has always been a meaningful experience. The first time was during Thanksgiving after Hurricane Sandy. They expertly walked the line of making my volunteer experience engaging and fun while still making it clear the importance of the work we were doing and how seriously they were taking it. They were well organized and dedicated to the job, and I walked away with a profound respect for what the Nechama staff is capable of accomplishing.

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I decided to volunteer with NECHAMA after Hurricane Sandy hit NY and NJ. I had previously worked with AmeriCorps NCCC and it was through my friends in that organization that I discovered NECHAMA. They described it as a nonprofit that had great people with unimaginable work ethics, as I soon found out first hand. The staff and volunteers of NECHAMA went above and beyond to help victims whose lives had been altered with such gravity that when I went to my first site, I was able to tell who was the homeowner we were helping right away. The storm was written all over their face, but so was the look of unwavering gratitude towards the workers of NECHAMA who had been there day in and day out and who would continue to be there until the job was finished. The dedication of the staff and volunteers was an incredible thing to be a part of, even if it was for a short period of time. I was honored to work with them, and I hope I get to do so again.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

To preface this review, whatever I say here, would not be enough to even come close to describing how amazing NECHAMA is as an organization. This disaster response group knows how to bring volunteers in and make them feel at home, teaching each volunteer everything they need to know about the project. I've volunteered at about five different disasters with NECHAMA and each time, I have the best experience. The work they do is positively uplifting and is all done with a purpose. It is the most rewarding experience and NECHAMA's approach to helping out at disasters is second to none. NECHAMA reaches out to anyone in need, with no discrimination, which is why I keep going back.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with NECHAMA several times over the past two years and each experience has been exceeding any and all expectations. The organization is a well oiled machine when it comes to dealing with any disaster. They are organized, fun, willing to go to any length to help others and welcome all volunteers with open arms individually and as a whole. Each time I have volunteered they have provided me with housing, food, and enough work to make my time worth it and with the ability to see the impact made. I would quit my job and just tag along with this organization volunteering everywhere if money didn't rule the world. But alas, I would recommend this organization to anyone looking to volunteer and cannot wait for my next opportunity to serve with them.

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