At the New York Disaster Interfaith Services 2016 Annual Meeting and Partnership Awards on January 14th, the Construction Volunteers and Donations Committee (CVD) of the Brooklyn Long Term Recovery Group was recognized for their efforts in 2015. The CVD is a collaboration of disaster case managers, rebuild partners, volunteer recruiters, and donors to meet the unmet rebuild needs of our Brooklyn neighbors. The basic gist is most organizations do not have the resources in and of themselves to take care of all the unmet need, but together, our combined resources are able to help a lot more neighbors get back to safe, healthy, and comfortable homes. I have been privileged to chair this committee since March of 2014.
The system is far from perfect, nothing is in life, certainly not in the wake of a natural disaster. But the system at the CVD has worked. In fact it has worked quite well. By the end of 2014, other recovery coalitions were beginning to ask me to come and explain why our system in Brooklyn was proving successful. And I told them all the same secret, our system works in Brooklyn because I am surrounded by wonderful, talented people who want it to work. What we’ve been doing at the CVD is not rocket science. But it does require folks to set aside egos, to resist being territorial, to exercise flexibility while still maintaining their organizations particular criteria and standards.
There are a lot of folks who deserve recognition and our thanks who have served faithfully at CVD the last two years. Not taking anything away from their contributions, I would like to thank five individuals who have been at the CVD from the start. If I had been more prepared, I would have made sure they come forward and received the NYDIS award on January 14th, as it is their hard work, both at the meetings and behind the scenes, that has allowed our little committee have a huge impact on Brooklyn. So to my four colleagues pictured above – Jenn Pogue-Geile (LSSNY), Gillian Prince (NYAC), Caitlin McLaughlin (LSSNY), and Richard Vernon (The Salvation Army) – and to Dana Nelson (CCBQ) who couldn’t attend the banquet, thank you. Thank you for wanting this to work. Thank you for making the CVD meetings something to look forward to. Thank you for creating a place where recovery partners could keep the same common goal in focus, helping our neighbors.
Pastor Brian Steadman