Waterford, MI—One year ago DRAW (Disaster Relief At Work, Inc.) was founded on a singular premise: a natural disaster is the only time in the human experience when a person or family can instantaneously go from everyday life to rock bottom. And in just 12 months, the grass-roots non-profit organization is marking its first anniversary with the immense gratification of having provided first-response disaster relief services to hundreds of people across the U.S.
With a small army of volunteers, DRAW made nine emergency-aid trips in its first year. The group provided crisis relief after Hurricane Isaac; Hurricane Sandy (two trips); the Henryville tornado; the Hattiesville tornado (two trips); the floods in Duluth, MN and Grand Rapids, MI; and, the fertilizer plant explosion in West, TX.
“We’re an organization that shows up with whatever survivors need as soon as they need it,” said Greg Martin, executive director and founder of DRAW. “Our first response teams not only bring household and personal supplies to meet immediate needs, they work alongside members of that devastated community to sift through the remains of homes to salvage valuables, remove fallen trees or just sit and listen to survivors grieve.”
DRAW’s successful inaugural year can be measured by the following key statistics:
- 16,139 total miles traveled by first response teams
- 1,164 volunteers helping to fill buckets, directly or indirectly
- 2,440 buckets distributed to disaster survivors
- 219 families directly helped in the aftermath (home and property repairs, clean-up, salvage valuables, etc.)
DRAW will celebrate its first anniversary on its actual founding date, Wednesday, May 22, 2013, by holding a fundraising “webathon” at www.drawbuckets.org. An ongoing tally of funds raised through the course of the day will be posted on DRAW’s Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/drawbuckets.
“Natural disasters have no mercy; any person in any place at any time could be the next tragedy survivor and DRAW wants to be there to help,” said Martin.
Headquartered in Waterford, Michigan, DRAW is a non-profit, 501(c)3 dedicated to providing relief services to communities that have been hit by natural disasters. DRAW aids survivors by filling and donating five-gallon buckets filled with supplies including toiletries, patching and repair items, cleaning products and more. Interested donors can purchase a specific type of bucket from DRAW’s “Bucket List,” make a general monetary donation, or physically help fill buckets.