Peace Corps Responds to Hurricane Katrina in Extraordinary Way

WASHINGTON, D.C., September 13, 2005 In an unprecedented move and for the first time in the Peace Corps 44-year history, volunteers have begun working domestically.

Peace Corps activated its Crisis Corps volunteers last week to aid the Federal Emergency Management Agencys relief operation in the gulf coast region. Yesterday, the first group of Crisis Corps volunteers was deployed to Baton Rouge with the second group heading to Baton Rouge and Houston today to assist survivors.

The Crisis Corps allows exceptional former Peace Corps volunteers to re-enroll in the Peace Corps for short term assignments. Volunteers work on projects that require immediate assistance, utilizing the skills they learned during their Peace Corps service and in post service careers.

"While the Peace Corps is an international volunteer organization, the Peace Corps spirit of giving has no borders," said Peace Corps Director Gaddi H. Vasquez. "Therefore, as thousands of Americans are suffering tremendous hardship, it is imperative for Peace Corps to respond and provide support to the relief efforts."

Nearly 600 returned Peace Corps volunteers have taken the opportunity to use their invaluable skills and experience to address ongoing community needs in 40 different countries since Crisis Corps inception in 1996. Crisis Corps volunteers work on short term projects, utilizing the skills they learned as Peace Corps volunteers and in post service careers. To find out more about the Crisis Corps\' Katrina efforts, please visit the Crisis Corps section.

Peace Corps representatives are available for media interviews to discuss the Peace Corps\' efforts in providing disaster relief for Hurricane Katrina.

To schedule an interview, please contact the Peace Corps Office of Press Relations at 202.692.2230 or email [email protected].

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