Celebrating National AmeriCorps Week

I meant to mention this earlier, but times have been busy. This is National AmeriCorps Week. It’s a time to celebrate AmeriCorps members and all of their accomplishments! (Explanation if you don’t know about AmeriCorps: It’s a full-time volunteer program, sort of like Peace Corps except members volunteer in the US rather than going overseas. Learn more here.)

The Oregon Trail Chapter administers two state-wide AmeriCorps programs: the Oregon State Service Corps and the Clara Barton VISTA*Corps – a total of 70 members. Many of these members are in different sites throughout the state, helping community non-profits with anything from tutoring kids to fundraising. Here in the office we have four of those AmeriCorps members, and they have done  a LOT this year. They’ve given disaster preparedness presentations to schools and businesses, organized and staffed the emergency warming centers, and built the Together We Prepare Our Neighborhood program from scratch. 
But enough talk, here are the stats. In just the first seven months of service our AmeriCorps all throughout Oregon have done all of this:
  • 25 disaster presentations benefiting 519 people. 
  • 57 emergency skills classes taught, resulting in 433 youth and adults certified in an emergency skills. 
  • 930 hours of disaster response benefiting 818 people. 
  • Red Cross ALERT training provided for 1,389 youth. 
  • Disaster preparedness outreach to 2,477 additional people through community fairs, home mitigation and other methods. 
  • Tutoring and homework help for 411 students. 
  • Social support services for 2,747 youth and 1,352 adults. 
  • 3,084 after-school activities benefiting 8,280 youth. 
  • Coordination and support of 2,853 volunteers, who in turn have provided 29,296 hours of service. 
  • Development of 364 community partnerships. 
  • Gathering of $113,152 in in-kind donations for placement sites. 
  • Raising of $744,460 for placement sites (VISTA only). 
Total number of people served statewide (in first seven months): 21,279.

Wow, that’s a lot accomplished! And they’re not even finished with their year of service.
It’s not too late to celebrate! We’re actually having our AmeriCorps appreciation party next Monday since scheduling was tough this week. So what are you waiting for? Go find an AmeriCorps member and buy them dinner! Or throw them an impromptu party! Or go here to send someone an AmeriCorps Week e-card. Or just give them a hug and say, “great job!”
(P.S. In related news, fellow blogger and AmeriCorps member, Mike Fish, won an award this week at the Northwest Service Symposium for a narrative he wrote about his experience in AmeriCorps. Congratulations Mike!)