So Much For My Good Idea….

My family and I regularly visit the gulf coast of Florida for a summer vacation. I still plan to visit the area, and was wanting to make my vacation a little more meaningful to me this year by volunteering to assist in cleanup or related work for the oil spill.


I followed the official channels to volunteer, and received a less than encouraging response for the regional chapter of the American Red Cross (whom was listed as the official volunteer organization). Here are snippets of the message:

You are receiving this email because you submitted your contact information to the Bay County Oil Spill Volunteer Database.  We have so many people expressing a desire to help that we can’t respond individually to everyone.  Following is some information that may answer your questions and that you need to know.

*  BP has hired contractors to handle all aspects of the oil spill clean up.
*  BP has hired contractors to handle all aspects of dealing with affected wildlife.
*  We are not encouraging or accepting monetary donations or the donations of items because BP is required to pay all expenses associated with oil spill clean up and recovery.
*  We have well over 1,000 local citizens who have signed up to volunteer with the oil spill clean up. 
*  We will not be asking for volunteers from outside of our local area.
*  Volunteers will not be allowed to work in areas where they might come into contact with hazardous materials (tar balls, sheen, oil).

*  Volunteers will not be allowed to handle affected wildlife.
*  Operating under the constraints of current guidelines, we are looking for meaningful volunteer assignments.
*  As volunteer assignments are developed, we will communicate those to you.
*  Beware organizations (local and national) making representations as to their involvement in the oil spill clean up or asking for donations related to oils spill clean up.

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