Alabama First Lady Diane Bentley addresses volunteers at the Alabama Disaster Volunteer Appreciation Day event.
Scientology Volunteer Ministers provided relief after tornadoes decimated Birmingham and Tuscaloosa Alabama.

Birmingham, Alabama—More than 200 volunteers representing thousands who helped those devastated by the April 2011 tornadoes were honored in Birmingham August 25, 2011 at a special dinner marking Alabama Disaster Volunteer Appreciation Day.

Alabama First Lady Diane Bentley and Birmingham Mayor William A. Bell joined the FEMA Voluntary Agency Liaison and the Chair of Alabama VOAD (Volunteer Organizations Active in Disaster) at the podium at the WorkPlay entertainment complex in Birmingham to thank the volunteers on behalf of the people of Alabama.

In keeping with the theme of the event, the volunteers dressed in the colorful signature t-shirts of the more than 40 church and community volunteer organizations they represented, church banners adorned the walls and a slideshow composed of hundreds of photos of volunteers in action played continuously throughout the evening.

The First Lady, speaking on behalf of the governor, expressed her appreciation for the tremendous help the volunteers brought to the people of the state.

From April 25-28, 2011, a series of tornados plowed through the country from Texas to Virginia killing more than 346.  In Alabama alone, 150 tornadoes killed 249 and an estimated 14,000 homes were destroyed or left uninhabitable.

With emergency services stretched far beyond the limit despite Governor Robert Bentley mobilizing 1,400 Alabama National to provide assistance, it was volunteers working in neighborhoods throughout the state who made all the difference to thousands of Alabamans.

“Volunteers were the backbone of the relief effort in Alabama,” says Joava Good Deputy National Director of the Churches of Scientology Disaster Response. “We were proud to be part of this program to acknowledge them for their compassion and hard work.”

The Alabama Disaster Volunteer Appreciation Day event was organized by Alabama VOAD, the Governor’s Office of the State of Alabama and the Church of Scientology Disaster Response.