Wednesday, October 24, 2007

Persevere's Online Photo Gallery nears 50,000 views

Persevere's online photo site hosted by is fasting approaching 50,000 views. Although Persevere is not currently deployed to any disasters at this time past volunteers and friends of Persevere continue to visit the webpage and view the great photos from our completed relief projects.

Tuesday, June 19, 2007

Persevere appears on local television news in MS

Persevere appeared on WLOX's 6/18/07 10 o'clock news broadcast. To view the video click this link which will bring you to the WLOX website. Then follow the illustration below to find the video link.

Tuesday, June 12, 2007

Driscoll Joins Hands On Disaster Response

Bill Driscoll Jr., executive director of Persevere’s Katrina Relief Project, has joined the team at Hands On Disaster Response (HODR). Following the conclusion of Persevere’s Katrina Relief Project Driscoll will focus all of his attention towards HODR’s domestic disaster response operations.

In a post on Persevere’s Volunteer Reflections Blog Driscoll wrote, “It is great to be back working with Hands On Disaster Response. HODR has always been a great supporter of Persevere and our Katrina Relief Project. HODR’s business model and style served as the main inspiration for Persevere’s formation following HODR’s exit from the Gulf Coast in January 2006.

I’m excited to be working with the tremendous team at HODR and helping them expand and build an even stronger organization. HODR’s ability to both coordinate and apply volunteers and resources to a relief effort is unparalleled and I’m looking forward to continuing their incredibly effective and important work.”

See below for HODR’s official press release:



Tom Taylor

Hands On Disaster Response

Hands On Disaster Response Announces Bill Driscoll Jr. as Operations Director

Carlisle, MA, 6/5/07 – Hands On Disaster Response (HODR) is proud to welcome aboard Bill Driscoll Jr. to its Operations Staff, to focus on domestic responses. As founder of Persevere Disaster Relief, Inc., Driscoll brings with him two years of experience in disaster relief management.

Driscoll first partnered with HODR during the organization’s Hurricane Katrina response in Biloxi, Mississippi. As a full-time volunteer, Driscoll was a critical member of the operation, leading groups of volunteers and providing media support. In January 2006, First Lady Laura Bush presented Driscoll with the Presidential Call to Service Award for his work with HODR.

At the conclusion of HODR’s Katrina Relief Project, Driscoll founded Persevere Disaster Relief, Inc. As Executive Director of Persevere, Driscoll coordinated recovery work on the Mississippi Gulf Coast for another year and a half.

Both Driscoll and HODR are excited to be working together once again. David Campbell, Executive Director of HODR, said “We’re impressed with Bill’s leadership and effectiveness over the past year and we’re thrilled to have him on the team.”

Driscoll, a native of Milton, MA, graduated from Boston College in 2005 and brings with him an impressive background in film production and communications.

For additional information on HODR’s addition of Bill Driscoll Jr. as Operations Director please contact Tom Taylor or visit

ABOUT: Hands On Disaster Response is a US-based, volunteer-staffed, nonprofit organization with 501(c)3 tax-exempt status, dedicated to timely disaster response and relief. HODR has responded to recent natural disasters in Thailand, Mississippi, Indonesia and the Philippines.

- END -

Katrina Relief Project Winding Down

Persevere’s Katrina Relief Project will conclude on June 30, 2007. Persevere has been assisting survivors of Hurricane Katrina for over a year from our operations center in Pass Christian, Mississippi. Nearly 400 volunteers came from 30 states and Canada to help those in need.

We are grateful to all of those who gave their time and money to help make Persevere’s Katrina Relief Project a success. Persevere’s volunteers and donors brought the survivors of Katrina concrete progress and hope for the future as they continue to rebuild.

In an effort to finish any outstanding work in Mississippi Persevere has stopped accepting new work orders as of June 12, 2007.

Our final report with all of the facts and figures involving our Katrina Relief Project will be published in the coming weeks and available online. Stay tuned.

Persevere Disaster Relief was created in response to Hurricane Katrina in February, 2006. Following the conclusion of Persevere’s Katrina Relief Project on
June 30, 2007 the organization will essentially be “moth balled.” Persevere will lay dormant and should great need ever arise after a future disaster we will evaluate the situation.

Thursday, May 24, 2007

Greensburg, Kansas Tornado Response

Persevere's volunteers in Mississippi recently teamed up with local 3rd grade students from the Coast Episcopal School in Pass Christian. Persevere and our new found friends made temporary street signs for the Greensburg community. The enthusiastic students from Miss Weber's class helped create durable signs that will fill a vital need in the Greensburg recovery effort. The signs ensure that emergency personnel and volunteers from out of the area can easily find their destinations.

This is Persevere’s fourth street sign project. We blanketed the cities of Pass Christian, Bay St. Louis and Waveland Mississippi following Hurricane Katrina. Nearly two years later most of our street sign are still up and guiding the way in Coastal Mississippi.

Friday, April 13, 2007

Persevere Tree Team and Johnny Appleseed Project Update

The Persevere tree team continues to make steady progress against the dead standing tree problem. Dead standing trees have been a major issue since Katrina struck in August 2005. The hazardous trees pose the biggest threat to existing structures and homes being rebuilt. Persevere volunteers successfully felled and removed 85 hazardous trees in February and 53 during the month of March while leading volunteer groups on other projects. Our tree removal service continues to provide vital support to Katrina Survivors rebuilding. Persevere volunteers often take care of the first step in the rebuilding process by either clearing land or removing trees that threaten to fall on a new structure. So far in April Persevere volunteers have removed 42 hazardous trees.

During the month of March Persevere volunteers planted 225 new trees. 200 were planted at a Park in Waveland, MS as Persevere teamed up with Americorps members from St Rose in Bay St. Louis. Volunteers also planted at several homes in Pass Christian and Waveland. To date Persevere volunteers have given over 1200 young pines, live oak and magnolia trees back to the Gulf Coast.

Wednesday, March 21, 2007

Persevere is now a registered cause on By becoming a free member of you can shop online at over 685 well-known stores including Expedia, Amazon, eBay, Banana Republic and more! A portion of each of your online purchases through is donated directly to Persevere. The more you shop at the more you donate to Persevere!

Saturday, March 10, 2007

Video of awards ceremony now available online

Boston College has posted video and audio links from their alumni awards ceremony held in October. Persevere's Bill Driscoll Jr. was presented with BC's Young Alumni Award at the event. To watch the video of Bill's acceptance speech click the link below and select from either high or low bandwidth video or audio only.

Award's Link

To save time fast forward to:

Introduction - 1:26:00
Speech -1:30:40

Thursday, March 08, 2007

Persevere is now a registered charity at GoodSearch is an internet search engine that will donate a penny to Persevere for every search one of our supporters makes on their site. Simply type "Persevere Disaster Relief" in the "Who Do You GoodSearch For?" box before typing your search criteria in. It is that easy!

"GoodSearch is the search engine with a unique social mission. It's powered by Yahoo, so you get the same great search results. We donate 50% of advertising revenue to the nonprofits selected by our users. Now you and your supporters can make a difference in the lives of many people, simply by changing the way you search the Internet!"

Wednesday, March 07, 2007

Project Report 3/7/2007



Event: Tornado
Project Type: Short Term Response / Immediate Disaster Relief
Project Dates: 3/2/2007 – 3/6/2007
Location: Enterprise, Alabama


On 3/1/2007 Enterprise, Alabama was struck by a tornado that killed 9 people and caused extensive damage throughout the city. Persevere responded quickly by touring the affected area located roughly 4.5 hours from Persevere’s Mississippi operations center. After assessing the damage Persevere made nearby housing arrangements and sent for tree removal equipment in Mississippi. The tornado that touched down in Enterprise was more devastating than the tornado that hit Lady Lake, FL exactly one moth earlier.

Jim Mahar, Persevere board member and Director of BonaResponds diverted Bona’s 60 person spring break service trip to Alabama for several days to aid in the tornado recovery.

Persevere’s third disaster relief project was a complete success. We managed to sustain our Katrina Relief efforts while simultaneously responding to the Enterprise Tornado devastation. This marked the first time that Persevere has had two separate disaster relief projects operating at the same time. We had 23 volunteers working in Mississippi and 60 from BonaResponds in Alabama.

Our focus was on clearing trees and debris on/around homes. We cut approximately 50 trees and cleared 10 yards full of damaged trees and debris. BonaResponds volunteers also helped clear debris from a cemetery and comb through scattered belongings with residents trying to salvage keepsakes. Persevere’s high powered chainsaws allowed us to tackle the biggest and toughest trees that fell. Many volunteers in the area were equipped with “homeowner” chainsaws and helped a great deal but were unable to even attempt the older and thicker trees. With our professional saws and experience we were able to handle the most intimidating of trees. In only four work days we were able to remove 50 trees. We cleared several massive oaks that dated back well before the Civil War. Our efforts in removing trees that fell through and beside homes saved survivors thousands of dollars that can now be spent on repairs rather than clean-up.


Persevere teamed up with 60 volunteers from BonaResponds to provide assistance to those affected in Enterperise, AL. BonaResponds is a service organization comprised of current students, faculty, staff, alumni and other members of the St. Bonaventure University and Western NY community. Persevere’s experienced tree team cut while the BonaResponds volunteers hauled and cleared debris. BonaResponds made an invaluable contribution to this relief effort. We also worked alongside the various members of the community and the Alabama Baptist Disaster Relief Team.

Housing was graciously donated by the Coffee Baptist Vineyard Retreat Center located just outside Enterprise in Ariton, AL.

By the Numbers:

Volunteer Hours: 876

Project Expenses (fuel, meals, supplies): $194.15

Total Value of Donated Labor: $18,396.00

Friday, March 02, 2007

Alabama Tornado Response

Persevere responded to the tornado damage in Enterprise, Alabama. We assisted survivors with tree and debris clean-up. Persevere and BonaResponds teamed up to provide volunteer support to the survivors of the disaster.

Please see the the Project Report from 3/7/2007 for more details about the response.

Monday, February 19, 2007

The Johnny Appleseed Project Celebrates Mardi Gras!

Persevere volunteers handed out over 700 small trees during the Pass Christian Mardi Gras Parade. As part of our on-going Johnny Appleseed Project we decided to hand out trees instead of the traditional Mardi Gras beads. The trees were a welcomed sight and we ran out about 3/4 of the way through the route. Police estimated the crowd size between 30 and 40,000 party-goers. Persevere was joined on our float by TREE LOGIC a local band that sponsors The Johnny Appleseed Reforestation Project. Persevere's was the only float in the entire parade with a live band.

We also collected several thousand empty cans during the parade as a fundraiser. We were mentioned in the Sun Herald for our efforts and TREE LOGIC as well as one of our volunteers appeared in the Sun Herald’s online slideshow of the event. View the slideshow or read the article

Thursday, February 15, 2007

Persevere's Photo Gallery Tops 21,000 Views

This week Persevere's "Webshots" photo gallery topped well over 21,000 all time views. Our photo gallery has been online since March 2006. We continue to update the gallery with photos of our projects and volunteers. To view click here.

DVD Now Available

Persevere has produced a promotional DVD that contains two of our videos ( Persevere:Full Speed Ahead & The Persevere Tree Team) as well as some photos of our volunteers in action. If you are interested in helping fundraise and/or would like to promote Persevere let us know. We will be happy to send you a DVD or two that you can pass around at work or to friends and family. Help us continue our grass roots operation! Send us an email with your mailing address and the number of DVDs you would like. Thanks for supporting Persevere!

Tuesday, February 13, 2007

Persevering Since 2006

We here at Persevere are celebrating our successful first year! We would like to thank all of the our supporters and those who make Persevere a reality each day. Without our volunteers and donors the vital work we have completed and the ongoing projects in the community simply would not be possible.

In our first year of operation we responded to both Hurricane Katrina(our ongoing relief project) and the Ground Hog Day Tornados in Central Florida. Please continue to support Persevere and our important work along the Gulf Coast.

Friday, February 09, 2007

Project Report 2/8/2007


Event: Tornados
Project Type: Short Term Response / Immediate Disaster Relief
Project Dates: 2/2/2007 – 2/6/2007
Location: Lady Lake, Florida

In the early hours of 2/2/2007 Central Florida was struck by several tornados that killed 20 people and caused localized damage in four counties. Persevere volunteers (4) toured each area before establishing camp in the town of Lady Lake to help with tree and debris removal.

We cleared trees and debris from road ways and off of and out of trailers and houses. Persevere volunteers also helped secure tarps in place of missing roofs, take down damaged car ports and repair interior walls.

Persevere’s response was an all around success. We were able to learn a great deal in terms of responding immediately after a disaster and how to plug into the chaotic early stages of a relief effort. In total we provided help to 25, mainly elderly, households.

Persevere volunteers welcomed the help of volunteers from Hands On Gulf Coast and Hands On New Orleans (both affiliates of Hands On Network/HON). Persevere’s experienced tree team cut while the HON volunteers hauled. We also worked alongside the Lady Lake Sheriff’s Department and their teams of Lady Lake inmates that were helping clear debris from the streets and from around residences.

By the Numbers:

Volunteer Hours: 280

Project Expenses (fuel, meals, supplies): $411.00

Total Value of Donated Labor: $5,600.00

Thursday, February 08, 2007

Groudhog Day Tornado Response

Persevere responded to the Groundhog Day tornado devastation in Central Florida between 2/2 – 2/6. Given our proximity to the disaster we decided to respond and were able to help with tree and debris clean-up as a well as securing tarps to damaged roofs. A full recap of our second disaster relief project to follow soon.

Friday, February 02, 2007

Local band sponsors Johnny Appleseed Project

Persevere's Johnny Appleseed Project is proud to have the support of the local band and Gulf Coast favorite Tree Logic. The band is graciously donating a portion of every CD sold to Persevere for our efforts to replant the Gulf Coast.

To hear music by Tree Logic and learn more about the band go to their site

Holiday break brings volunteers

From Dec. 26th to mid-January Persevere hosted over 60 volunteers.

Church of the Nativity volunteers from the Baltimore area came down immediately after Christmas and spent their holiday break serving the people of the Gulf Coast. With an experienced drywaller on their team the Maryland group finished the drywall on a newly constructed house. A demolition crew took down a condemned house, leaving just the plywood layer of floor, and salvaged wood from the house for the homeowners' use in rebuilding.

Two groups from Boston College - one from the Intersections program and another supported by UGBC, VLSC and Campus Ministry - followed the Maryland group to continue work on these projects. Part of the BC team continued working with Rebecca and David, homeowners of the newly constructed house, moving ahead with siding. BC volunteers finished the demolition job, salvaging the rest of the wood. Other projects including drywall, a neighborhood debris clean-up and interior and exterior painting were also tackled by BC.

Though most members of these three groups never even overlapped work days with the others, the collaborative effort of the three was inmense. It is estimated that these groups brought Rebecca and David months forward in the recovery process, since without the volunteers they forge along on their own in time off. Along with labor costs saved to the homeowner of the demolition job, thousands of dollars worth of lumber was salvaged for rebuilding.

Thank you all for your hard work!!

The Johnny Appleseed Project

Hurricane Katrina brought an enormous storm surge which killed 4 million acres of trees in Mississippi alone according to the USDA Forest Service. As we are removing those dead and harmful trees, Persevere is also initiating the Johnny Appleseed Project, a reforestation project helping revitalize this now very brown landscape. Two tree giveaways have been scheduled around this year’s local Mardi Gras parades.

Thursday, January 25, 2007

Heights Article

Persevere is mentioned in this recent Heights article.

Click Here to read the article

Sunday, January 21, 2007

Persevere Welcomes New Volunteers to Staff

Ben Walton and Paul Bergstrom of Minnesota have joined the Persevere operations staff in Mississippi. They bring with them an extensive knowledge of forestry and chainsaw operation.

Ben and Paul worked alongside the Persevere Tree Team this past October when they were members of the Minnesota Conservation Corps. MCC sent some of their experienced members to aid in Katrina recovery.

After returning home and completing their commitment to MCC Ben and Paul decided to head back to the Gulf Coast and volunteer with Persevere. Ben and Paul have committed the next four months to volunteering with Persevere’s Katrina Relief Project.