Kayli Greene of LaGrange is among the hundreds of young leaders that have been deployed to New Jersey and New York for Hurricane Sandy relief efforts as part of the nation’s first class of FEMA Corps, a new unit of the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC).
FEMA Corps is a partnership between the Federal Emergency Management Agency and the Corporation for National and Community Service (CNCS) that began last March for people ages 18 to 24.
“Greene is part of a historic new chapter in the history of national service that will enhance our nation’s disaster capabilities and give thousands of people the opportunity to serve their country,” said Wendy Spencer, CEO of CNCS, in a CNCS press release. “I commend Kayli for answering the call to serve and making a difference for people and communities affected by Hurricane Sandy.”
Before becoming a team leader, Greene trained in Vinton, Iowa. Following training, she is leading a team of 10 people in a 10-month term of service for Hurricane Sandy recovery projects. The team left from Missouri where they were helping to close out the response for the tornado that hit Joplin in 2011. They arrived in New York on Nov. 2, and she said she was shocked at the amount of damage that had been caused by Sandy.
“Wow, this really happened,” Greene said, recalling her reaction to the disaster site. “I’m one of those people that really likes to make sure things are taken care of and people are getting all the help they can.”
Greene and her team worked directly with disaster survivors by performing one-on-one outreach to residents in affected areas, helping the survivors get information on how to register for assistance and connecting them with available sources. She also surveyed conditions of neighborhoods and reported back to the lead agencies, among other responsibilities.
“I feel proud that I get to help shape the the first class into what it will become,” Greene said. “Our class gets to make sure following classes have a good foundation to build upon so that the program can reach its greatest potential. Leading the Sandy operation has helped me see the bigger picture of all that needs to be done and who needs to be helped.”