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Grant Wood Area Education Agency
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Grant Wood AEA
Flood Recovery Update

Friday, June 20, 2008

Dr. Fielder addressed all staff who were available at the end of the day on Friday. He told the group, “Things will never be the same as they were before the flood. We are salt of the earth, hardworking Midwesterners. When people talk about this flood and the ensuing recovery effort, they will talk about this as the Magnificent Recovery.’” He encouraged staff to use that phrase when they talk about the work we are about in the coming weeks.

Dr. Fielder thanked everyone for their heroic efforts to save and salvage as much as we did. He noted how we moved three times – first up to lift items from the floodwaters, then out of the building with packing virtually everything on the first floor, and then over to the 33rd Avenue facility where many of the staff will remain relocated for several months.

Fielder said, “This has been physically and mentally exhausting work. We’ve all been doing three jobs the last ten days – our real work, our flood recovery work, and providing support to friends and family who were affected by the flood.”

He encouraged everyone to take care of themselves. “Go home. Rest. And don’t plan to work on agency business over the weekend.” If staff have enough energy left, he said, “Go help someone who needs the assistance. Don’t plan to work here.”

Sixth Street Office Closed Next Week
The disaster crews will begin removing drywall next week; no staff should be in the Sixth Street offices unless they get clearance from their supervisor. Focus of the work next week will be to establish some level of normalcy for those working in the 33rd Avenue building.

Volunteers Still Needed
A number of agency staff members still need help in restoring their homes. If you can volunteer or if you know of a church group, a service group or out-of-town friends who have volunteered to work, we have three sites where help would be greatly appreciated. Please call the agency’s volunteer hot-line: 319-929-7538. Also, on the Flood Recovery section of our agency Web site, we have a list of materials and equipment that staff need for the cleanup work. Bleach is probably the number one item we will continue to need.

We Will Take Care of Our Affected Staff Members
We are working through the details to make sure our GWAEA employee relief fund will be a tax-deductible charity (501c3). Word has been spread nationwide about this relief fund, and we anticipate individuals as well as other organizations will contribute to the fund. Leslee Sandberg has been named the chair person for this committee. It has representatives from management, classified and contracted staff as well as several retirees.

If you would like to give to the fund, you may stop by the 33rd Avenue office and drop off cash or checks; or you may mail your contribution to: Grant Wood AEA Employee Relief Fund in care of Kelly Couchman, Hills Bank, 3610 Williams Blvd SW, Cedar Rapids, IA 52404.

Food Stamps Available to Affected Families
We have been advised that food stamps are available to flood victim families, regardless of their income levels. They may receive up to $300 in food stamps. To get more information about the program, call 319-892-6800.

Daily Updates
Starting Monday, June 23, Dr. Fielder will provide staff briefings at 4 p.m. daily at the 33rd Avenue facility. Notes of what is shared will be posted to this Web site for staff who could not attend.