Berea woman leads crews into disaster areas


BEREA, Ky. (WTVQ)- After months of disaster response work in South Carolina, Sherry Buresh got home to Berea on Wednesday afternoon knowing it wouldn’t be long before she had to pack up and ship out again.

Buresh doesn’t mind that one bit. For 13-years, it’s what she’s been doing and the last three of those have been in a leadership position with an organization called, All Hands Volunteers. Buresh admits she didn’t expect to get the title when she “put in” for director of U.S. disaster response; but she got the spot.

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All Hands Volunteers is a US-based, non-profit organization, which addresses the immediate and long-term needs of communities impacted by natural disasters by engaging volunteers, partner organizations and local communities. On its website the group says, “We aim to demonstrate the power and value of volunteering through the tangible work done, the hope it brings to suffering communities, and the transformative experiences it provides for volunteers.”

Buresh tells tales of earthquake recovery efforts in Nepal, leaving the site one day before her husband, an All Hands volunteer, arrived.

Most recently, Buresh has been serving in South Carolina saying All Hands was the last team to leave the state, hit hard by floods this past Fall. That was Buresh’s last stop before heading back to Berea, Wednesday.

“Not a whole lot lately, it’s just been one disaster after another, back to back.” Buresh talks about not being home often, especially in 2015. Her next assignment, fighting to restore what Winter Storm Goliath took from places in Mississippi, Texas and most recently, Missouri.

“We go in, we talk to the community, we see exactly what the need is,” she says. “That emotional part is what makes you want to go help and be able and if you can’t have the emotions with it to be able to sympathize or empathize with the survivors of the disaster then you’re in the wrong business.”

Buresh encourages anyone with a heart to serve, searching for volunteer efforts to contact All Hands. Find the organization’s website at