Americans' Urge to Help Overcomes Lock Down Limitations

Thousands of COVID-19 volunteers and donated essential supplies are matched
with states’ needs through an innovative pro bono tech and volunteer partnership

BOULDER, CO, April 9, 2020 – Americans are no stranger to disaster. A hallmark of U.S. culture is the immediate outpouring of offers from volunteers and companies urgently wanting to help those stricken by misfortune. But, the new coronavirus pandemic has brought out another aspect of American society— the tenacity and ingenuity to work around obstacles to helping that until this point in our lifetime were unseen, namely that of social distancing.

In the face of the escalating COVID-19 pandemic, National Voluntary Agencies Active in Disaster (NVOAD), Visionlink’s Disaster Technologies Division and Sterling Volunteers are partnering in a public-private pro bono effort to help state governments and non-profit agencies mobilize the desire of Americans to provide help from a safe distance. The partners do this by providing systems for screening, matching, and management of offers of goods, services and volunteers state by state. This includes everything from canned food and medical grade masks, to certified medical workers and everything in between.

“The nationwide response to COVID19 requires extraordinary and lasting new partnerships between nonprofits, government, and business sector leaders,” said Greg Forrester, CEO of NVOAD, “The technology and volunteer human resources services being provided by Visionlink and Sterling enables our network of vetted members to link with state governments around the country to mobilize volunteers and process in-kind donations. Together we can maximize the willingness of Americans to volunteer and the generosity of corporations donating life-saving goods and services.”

Douglas Zimmerman, CEO of Visionlink, stated, “We simply couldn’t stand by and not support the nationwide challenge of this pandemic. Our technology suite is in use in dozens of states around the country and more are joining. We are proud to be able to partner with Sterling Volunteers to support the efforts of the NVOAD disaster agencies and the efforts of state governments to mobilize volunteers and get resources to health workers and others who urgently need them.”

The Partnership
The partners’ vision is a nationwide state-based network of secure volunteerism and in-kind donations of goods and services supporting those in need and those agencies assisting. NVOAD is extending its disaster suite of technologies created by Visionlink, including a volunteer mobilization module and an in-kind giving module to allow corporations and individuals to donate goods and services and be confident they will be paired with relevant agencies and government in all 50 states and six territories. Adoption among states is proceeding rapidly.

Visionlink is providing pro bono licenses for COVID-19 response to each state and territory, access to agencies and state governments, as well as training and technical support for response. Analytical reporting of volunteers and in-kind giving is also available to state leadership and agencies participating in the system to support decision making and operational priorities.

Sterling Volunteers will provide free background checks for COVID-19 volunteers and responders.  All volunteers can also take advantage of Sterling Volunteers’ unlimited sharing of their background check with agencies and governments they wish to volunteer with. This will reduce costs and streamline the volunteer recruitment process so help arrives faster to individuals and families hard hit by the pandemic and the disruption it causes in livelihoods, community services, and daily living.

“As exemplified in our work with ColoradoResponds, and with Connecticut and New Jersey, we are here to help states and their communities of disaster agencies by safely mobilizing trusted volunteers around urgent needs,” said Katie Zwetzig, executive director of Sterling Volunteers. “Our collaboration with Visionlink and NVOAD offers a coordinated experience that will safeguard vulnerable citizens and instill confidence in responders working alongside these volunteers.”

“We appreciate the pro bono participation of Visionlink’s Disaster Technologies Division and Sterling Volunteers,” said Forrester. “Their contribution has greatly extended our ability to support agencies and government partners to deliver what Americans need in this unparalleled tragic pandemic that has brought us all together.”

About Sterling Volunteers
Sterling—a leading provider of background and identity services—offers a foundation of trust and safety that spans across industries, professions, and borders. Our technology-powered services help organizations create great environments for their workers, partners, and customers. With office locations around the world, Sterling conducts more than 100 million searches annually. Visit Sterling online at []

About Visionlink Disaster Technologies
Visionlink’s Disaster Technologies Division is a leading provider of technology solutions to support responding agencies and government. Visionlink Disaster Technologies are created by disaster practitioners for disaster practitioners. Visit Visionlink at []

About National Voluntary Organizations Active in Disaster
National VOAD is an association of organizations that mitigate and alleviate the impact of disasters; provides a forum promoting cooperation, communication, coordination, and collaboration; and fosters more effective delivery of services to communities affected by disaster. The National VOAD coalition includes over 60 of the country’s most reputable national organizations (faith-based, community-based, and other non-governmental organizations) and 56 State/Territory VOADs, which represent Local/Regional VOADs and hundreds of other member organizations throughout the country. Visit NVOAD at []

Media Contacts:
Carol Miller, Visionlink Disaster Technologies,, 202-306-0130
Jamie Serino, Sterling Volunteers,
Greg Forrester, National Voluntary Agencies Active in Disaster,