Flood Recovery Volunteers
Volunteer with us to help survivors of the Eastern Kentucky flood disaster by building & repairing homes!
NOTE: At this stage of disaster recovery (over a year after the flood), we can no longer guarantee that we have projects available for building & repairing homes for flood survivors. Please call ahead. Projects for low-income individuals & families will also be available. Our hope is that you will serve where you're most needed!
An historic and disastrous 1,000-year flood swept through a widespread area of East Kentucky on July 28, 2022. Over 40 lives were lost, and in our 4-county service area alone (Breathitt, Knott, Leslie, and Perry counties) approximately 4,667 homes were affected by the flood, with 432 homes destroyed. We estimate that 3,293 of these homes were either completely destroyed or so heavily damaged as to be uninhabitable without repairs.
Around 11,480 people have been directly impacted by the flood in the counties we serve. With many, if not most, of these families struggling financially before the flood even happened, they are now finding it very difficult to replace the home they had. Even now, months after the flood, hundreds of survivors are still displaced, with many living in travel trailers, hotel rooms at state parks, staying with family, or even living in unheated/un-air conditioned, flood-damaged homes or in tents nearby.
There isn’t enough available funding to cover the level of need in our community for flood relief & recovery, so volunteer labor is crucial to providing new homes and home repairs for flood survivors. If you’re able to help, please get in touch as soon as possible – we’d love to hear from you!
I Want to Volunteer!
Families in East Kentucky need your help. Recovery lasts a lot longer than media attention, and our community will need volunteers for years as we enter this long-term recovery period. Literally overnight, hundreds of people lost everything they’d worked so hard for, and now, they are struggling to rebuild their lives. If you are able to commit your time or support to East Kentucky’s flood survivors, please reach out to us and make an impact on the future of our region in-person!
Service days are typically Monday-Thursday, with occasional work on Fridays. Large groups are typically split into teams of 5 and dispersed to worksites. Sometimes, depending on the size of the project, a group of 4-8 may all serve together at a single worksite. Groups staying for multiple days or for our weeklong experience will either need to provide their own housing or work with our Volunteer Coordinator to arrange and reserve accommodations. In addition, volunteers – whether individuals or groups – will need to provide their own transportation (small groups need at least 2 vehicles), snacks, and meals.
You will receive important forms and other documents (e.g., Worksite Rules, waivers, Tips on What to Wear/What Not to Wear, a Packing Guide, etc.) from our Volunteer Coordinator, so watch for those!
What You'll Be Doing
Below are the typical activities and projects HDA does for Flood Recovery. On the application form, you can select the activities you’re interested in, and if there’s something you are not interested in doing, please let us know! Based on project availability.
You’ll be helping folks who have lost everything or whose homes have been severely damaged. The help you give will bring hope to our community and will help keep survivors from reaching their breaking point.
Individuals & Small Groups
From a single individual to groups of 4-8 volunteers, we welcome those who are ready to jump in and help out on whatever projects we have up and going at the time! These volunteers need no housing and usually serve for one day. When you register, please give us some idea of your skill level. If you are a "Small Skilled Group," make sure to let us know, especially since this is a current major need of ours!
Whether you're from a high school or college/university, a church, civic group, or a business or corporation, we'd be delighted to welcome you to serve with HDA! Large groups typically include 10-50 individuals (capped at 55) serving for 1 week. Since we will provide your accommodations and will require our on-staff carpenters to supervise you each day, large groups of volunteers will need to pay volunteer fees. The fees help pay for multi-day housing & construction materials.
Local Volunteers are individuals, small groups, and large groups from Breathitt, Knott, Leslie, or Perry County. The best time to serve with us is during the week - Monday through Friday. Individual local volunteers cannot serve on Saturdays, since we reserve this time for event-level projects. If you are interested in serving your community through HDA, please give us a call to see if we'll have work available on the day(s) & time(s) you're hoping to serve.
Please contact us if you’re not sure which group you fall into – 606-436-0497!
Special Opportunities for Volunteers
The Ultimate House Raising Challenge
This opportunity is ideal for Corporate Retreats or for large groups looking to make a huge impact during a weeklong experience! Gather a group of no more than 20 individuals, set aside a week (Monday through Thursday) to serve, and contribute a $25,000 sponsorship to HDA to sponsor the building of a new home for an East KY 2022 flood survivor! Your team will completely "dry-in" a new home in only 4 days. Note that those participating in this challenge do not pay volunteer fees.
Donors, Funders & Friends
We love it when our supporters get the chance to work directly with us on a project! If you contribute financially to HDA or are an agency, group, or even an individual who supports our work, please contact us to see what opportunities are available to you to help flood survivors in need. From making home repairs to building new homes, we'd enjoy having you serve our community in-person with us! You'll see the need firsthand, and you'll be able to experience the work HDA does and meet those who directly benefit from it.
Please contact us to discuss your specific needs!
Construction experience is not required, although experienced volunteers (specifically those experienced in framing houses) are an ongoing need. Volunteer labor is essential to keeping construction & repair costs low for flood survivors and will help us greatly in speeding construction for those in need of a quality home.