New VISTA Ellen Alston Recounts her First Deployment with ACSTL

The is an excerpt from Ellen’s personal blog, Semper Officium: The Call of the Corps - My Second Year Serving with AmeriCorps.

Week 3 | My First Deployment | May 27-31

. . . Wednesday, May 29 | I arrived at the office after a rainy commute to find my fellow VISTAs gone to Clarksville, leaving our little office all to myself. I caught up on the latest headlines—large tornado strikes near Lawrence, KS; 8 tornado reports a day for 12 days is a new record; Morganza Spillway set to open soon—then went back to work on my new website draft and updating the current website’s map of where ERT members are this week. I heard one team got pulled from conservation work to help with sandbagging in Clarksville. Would more deployments follow?

Just before lunch, my supervisor waltzed into the VISTA office and asked me,

“So, you want to go to a MARC??

Of course, my answer was yes! My first deployment!! For those of you who have known me a long time, you know this is a dream come true for me: to be part of an organization that sends me out to help communities recover from disaster. As added motivation, part of me also wants to show that I don’t shy away from the disaster zone, even though I wasn’t in ERT. I came to play, y’all.

Jefferson City is setting up a MARC Thursday and Friday to help residents connect with recovery resources, and I’ll be there to register survivors. My supervisor and I went through some PowerPoints to get me familiar with the MARC layout and refresh some during- and after-disaster self care tips, and I read over a Psychological First Aid review. I found some other things to do to get me to the end of the day, then I headed home to pack! . . .

To read the rest of the post and learn about AmeriCorps St. Louis at the Jefferson City MARC, check out Ellen’s full blog post here!

Program Director Kenan Ender explaining AmeriCorps St. Louis’ role at the MARC

Program Director Kenan Ender explaining AmeriCorps St. Louis’ role at the MARC