Rick Young, director of Union’s international rescue and relief program, along with several Nebraska voluntary organizations active in disaster (VOAD), were honored this week by ServeNebraska with a Step Forward Award for their work providing relief to victims of the flooding in Nebraska this spring.
According to Young, Nebraska VOAD received the award for countless hours helping coordinate relief efforts during the 2019 Midwest flooding—categorized as a Type 5 disaster. Their behind-the-scenes leadership set up and coordinated a detailed distribution structure to successfully and efficiently dispense needed relief during the disaster.
Young and his IRR team managed two large multi-agency warehouses in Omaha to handle donations that came in from around the country for flooding victims.
Because he also serves as the Disaster Relief Coordinator for Kansas-Nebraska Adventist Community Services, Young was called to help Nebraska VOAD with donation management and wanted to give his students the opportunity to put their classroom learning to work in a large-scale disaster situation.
“Our students help out with Red Cross calls on a regular basis, but those are usually structure fires that involve a single-family or a few families,” said Young at the time. “The floods are impacting many hundreds of people across the state and managing a donations warehouse is something that our students learn how to do in the classroom, but don’t always get to experience first-hand.”
ServeNebraska is the Nebraska Volunteer Service Commission, which coordinates community involvement to address the needs of our communities and support volunteer efforts. The ServeNebraska Step Forward Awards are selected by the governor each year to recognize outstanding people and groups for their time and service in the state.
The Union College international rescue and relief program prepares students for careers in public safety, community development, and the medical field. The program combines rigorous coursework and a variety of emergency and disaster management certifications with hands-on training such as wilderness survival and rescue in Colorado, and an overseas semester learning about global health in a developing nation. Learn more at ucollege.edu/irr