As you know, over the past few months many areas of the United States have been faced with serious crises as a result of devastation brought about by floods, tornadoes, and wildfires. The effects of these natural disasters can be severe, requiring long term recovery efforts such as those still underway in New Orleans and throughout the Gulf Coast Region following Hurricane Katrina in 2005.
Consequently, I would like to remind Federal employees of the opportunity to help make a difference and also encourage Federal agencies to continue to support employee volunteerism activities by tapping into the incredible generosity Federal employees have always demonstrated during and in the aftermath of emergencies.
There are many opportunities for Federal employees to volunteer in conjunction with any planned travel or meetings in areas affected by natural disasters in the United States. Federal employees (and their families, as applicable) are asked to consider extending their stay and using their available time off flexibilities to volunteer in affected regions. (For “Guidance on Scheduling Work and Granting Time Off to Permit Federal Employees to Participate in Volunteer Activities” please see the U.S. Office of Personnel Management’s (OPM’s) Website at www.opm.gov/oca/leave/html/Volunteer2.asp. OPM believes this is a proactive way to help our fellow citizens and an effective way to do our part to participate in recovery efforts.)
Federal agencies and employees are encouraged to contact volunteer organizations through Internet portals such as Volunteer.Gov, a comprehensive Website established by the USA Freedom Corps. For general information on these volunteer opportunities, please see www.usafreedomcorps.gov/ as well as other portals maintained by national non-profit organizations involved in rebuilding efforts. For specific information on the Office of the Federal Coordinator for Gulf Coast Rebuilding, please see the Department of Homeland Security’s Website at www.dhs.gov/xprepresp/programs/editorial_0816.shtm. Information on volunteer opportunities in support of recovery from flooding in Iowa is available at flood2008.iowa.gov/index.php?topic=volunteer.
For additional information, agency Chief Human Capital Officers and/or Human Resources Directors should contact their assigned OPM Human Capital Officer. Employees should contact their agency human resources office for assistance.
cc: Chief Human Capital Officers
Human Resources Directors