Twitter Campaign Seeks $60k In 60 days To Help U.S. Tornado Victims Rebuild

Last month, tornadoes devastated 20% of the U.S. Midwest. Well, there’s a group of folks seeking to raise $60k in 60 days to help these tornado victims rebuild. And you’ll be amazed by what they do with the money.

After Hurricane Katrina in 2006, Dave Skoblar and and Pat Tirri wanted to help. They looked into ways to help out via NOLA, but there was so much confusing red tape – not to mention the whole process seemed ridiculously expensive – so they decided to start their our own charity. “A charity,” Skoblar tells us “that treated volunteers less like bovine-minded ATMs and more like the common everyday heroes they are.”

What does this mean? Well, you may not think about this, but volunteering is expensive for volunteers. They need to travel to sites and have basic needs met (like food and shelter) as they’re helping those ravaged by disasters rebuild their lives. And volunteers aren’t getting paid to do this good work, of course. This makes volunteering kind of a hard sell as most of us depend on weekly paychecks to take care of our own families and using vacation time to help out is one thing, but paying large amounts of money for it too? It’s just not an option for many.

Project 195 recognizes this and tries to find the most affordable ways for its volunteers to get to these sites, as many volunteer organizations do, but they also  take it a step further. They set up hostels for volunteers, offering wifi and breakfast for $20 a night, allowing volunteers to help out without it being a financial hardship.

$60k will allow them to set up five self-sustaining volunteer hostels in the affected areas to assist with debris removal and rebuilding. Each hostel will house 20 volunteers, resulting in more than 1,100 hours of work each week. Check out this video for more info and to see the great work they do:

Oh and their last project in Joplin, Missouri? They purchased a home from a distressed family facing potential foreclosure, converted it into a volunteer only hostel and when the “last nail in the rebuilding process hits home, Joplin House (as it’s known) will be donated to a homeless family from the tornado of 5/29/11 or to the city of Joplin [to be used] as a group home.”

And don’t think they’re profiting from this in any way. Dave tells us that “Project195 is really unique in that almost no money goes to overhead. Most non profits have huge overhead and administration costs. Any money that comes in goes right out to fund our various projects, tools, equipment, bills, etc. No member of the board takes a salary or stipend of any kind. It just wouldn’t be our style.”

So what are you waiting for? Help get the word out about this campaign – and why not chip in a few bucks while you’re at it?

(Volunteer image from Shutterstock)

@MaryCLong Mary C. Long is Chief Ghost at Digital Media Ghost. She writes about everything online and is published widely, with a focus on privacy concerns, specifically social sabotage.