AmeriCorps Week 2010 - We Got it Done!

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AmeriCorps Week 2010 - We Got it Done!
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 
May 21, 2010

AmeriCorps Week 2010
We Got it Done!

The fourth annual AmeriCorps Week was a major success! Thanks to all the AmeriCorps members, alums, staff, partners, and friends who joined in us in shining the spotlight on the extraordinary service and accomplishments of AmeriCorps and in helping recruit more Americans into service.     
 
The fourth annual AmeriCorps Week was a major success!  From building homes and neighborhood cleanups to planting community gardens and signing up new volunteers, AmeriCorps members and alums celebrated AmeriCorps Week by doing what they do best – service.  They also took time to thank their community partners, spread the word about AmeriCorps, and recruit more Americans into service.  At a time when AmeriCorps is expanding, millions of Americans learned about AmeriCorps’ value and impact through school presentations, recruitment fairs, open houses, social media, and press coverage.  AmeriCorps Week was also a time to say “Thank You” to AmeriCorps members and alums.  Members of Congress, Governors, Mayors, businesses, nonprofits, and people who’ve benefited from the helping hands of an AmeriCorps member all took time to salute the men and women of AmeriCorps for their dedication and accomplishments.

We’d like to thank AmeriCorps Alums and its chapters across the country for their strong leadership in organizing AmeriCorps Week events, Major League Baseball and the NFL Players Association for showcasing AmeriCorps, the Kentucky Commission on Community Volunteerism and Service for hosting an extraordinary national kick-off event, and all the AmeriCorps members, alums, staff, partners, grantees, and friends who made this week so successful.  To learn more about AmeriCorps Week, visit www.AmeriCorpsWeek.gov.

FAST FACTS

  • More than 480 events across the country, from Georgia to Guam, and Arizona to Alaska
  • AmeriCorps Week resolutions passed by U.S. House of Representatives and U.S. Senate
  • Proclamations from 20 Governors
  • Extensive use of social media and 80+ print and broadcast stories
  • AmeriCorps’ 634,000 members have provided more than 775 million hours of service
  • AmeriCorps members last year mobilized 2.4 million community volunteers for the organizations they serve

EVENT HIGHLIGHTS

Here are some highlights of more than 480 AmeriCorps Week events that took place across the nation. Click here for a full listing of events.

  • The national kick off event for 2010 AmeriCorps Week was a 24-hour Build A Bed Project in Frankfort, KY. The project brought together AmeriCorps members from across Kentucky, three AmeriCorps NCCC teams, a Hoopa Tribe AmeriCorps team from California and nearly 1,000 volunteers to build 545 beds for needy school-aged children across the state. Every bed was accompanied by a mattress and care package that includes a set of sheets, a handmade quilt, a night light, books, a stuffed toy, and toiletries.  The massive project brought together all streams of national service to help increase the quality of sleep for more than 500 Kentucky children, improving health, academic readiness, and long-term success.
  • AmeriCorps Alums took on a leadership role in 2010 AmeriCorps Week, organizing events across the country and using their network to get things done and spread the word about AmeriCorps.  AmeriCorps Alums chapters organized projects in Austin, TX; Chicago, IL; Philadelphia, PA; Portland, ME; Quad Cities, IA/IL; Nashville, TN; New Orleans, LA; Sacramento, CA; and Washington, D.C. Read more on the AmeriCorps Alums blog.
  • The St. Bernard Project in Chalmette, LA, hosted AmeriCorps Rebuild Week, during which current and past AmeriCorps contributed hundreds of hours of service to rebuilding a home and organized to other special events including a night at a New Orleans Zephyrs game, and a Welcome Home party for one of our client families.
  • More than 1,000 AmeriCorps members and community volunteers in Detroit, MI, planted a 15,000 square-foot community garden, cleaned up parks and neighborhoods, and offered service-learning and educational opportunities.
  • Mayor Michael Nutter headlined a rally in Philadelphia, PA, before 1,000 AmeriCorps members and volunteers, who then fanned out throughout the city for day of service, one of many AmeriCorps Week events across Pennsylvania. 
  • Major and minor league baseball teams across the country held AmeriCorps appreciation nights, including the Cleveland Indians and Washington Nationals, and members were recognized during the ESPN2 televised halftime event at the Real Salt Lake soccer game in Utah.
  • Through the collaboration of 8 AmeriCorps programs in Austin, Texas, the Austin AmeriCorps Alumni Network, and One Star representatives, a dozen activities took place during the week that engaged the community and spotlighted AmeriCorps and its members, ending with the Day of Service when over 250 participants came together for service.  Comedian Conan O’Brien was a surprise guest speaker at the ‘Austin AmeriCorps Awareness’ event at the state capitol.
  • Organizers of the Team Tennessee AmeriCorps Week event in Nashville refocused their service project to respond to devastating floods, the worst disaster in the state’s history.  About 140 members and alums from across the state spent a day mucking out and gutting homes, cleaning up flood-damaged roadways, and sorting and repacking donations for delivery.  Read a first-hand account from the Nashville AmeriCorps Alum Chapter Leader.
  • In the nation’s capital, Mayor Adrian Fenty issued a proclamation saluting the commitment of AmeriCorps members. Serve DC and the AmeriCorps Leadership Council organized a full week of activities, including AmeriCorps at Bat! Night at the Washington Nationals game, a ‘Speed Networking for Good’ event, and an All Corps Service Day to beautify local neighborhoods.
  • AmeriCorps Week in Ohio kicked off at the May 8 Cleveland Indians game, which featured an on-field AmeriCorps recognition, scoreboard PSA, and recruitment info throughout the stadium.  More than a dozen events took place across the state, including neighborhood clean ups, food drives, and AmeriCorps Member for a Day events.
  • In front of the state legislative hall in Dover, Delaware, about 50 AmeriCorps members and Habitat for Humanity volunteers took up hammers and saws to demonstrate the power of service and frame a new home that was transported to a nearby lot.
  • More than 100 AmeriCorps members from New Hampshire served at Bear Brook and Patuckaway State Parks cleaning up debris from severe wind storms and flooding so the parks can open to visitors.  New Hampshire's AmeriCorps members were invited to the State House in Concord and were recognized by the State Senate and House, and later in the week were honored at the Fisher Cats baseball game in Manchester, where an AmeriCorps member threw out the first pitch.
  • At Project Bloom in Chicago, a group of AmeriCorps members with the AmeriCorps Safe Families program built a sustainable, handicap-accessible garden, creating a source of healthy low-cost food for hundreds of disabled residents at Chicago’s Anixter Center.
  • AmeriCorps Week events took place across Michigan, including Detroit, Grand Rapids, Houghton, Jackson, Lansing, and Petoskey. Projects ranged in scope from community park clean-ups, a Celebration of Service breakfast, native plant gardening, and book drives.  In Kalamazoo, more than 250 AmeriCorps members participated in a variety of building projects and a large-scale clean-up of the Kalamazoo River as part of Michigan's AmeriCorps Russ Mawby Signature Service Project organized by the Michigan Commission for Community Service.
  • Nearly 200 AmeriCorps members in Vermont came together for a statewide national service conference that featured remarks by Governor Douglas and a service project to create hundreds of “Hero Packs” that will be distributed by Operation Military Kids to youth around Vermont whose parents have been deployed to Iraq or Afghanistan.   The conference was followed by “The Art of Service,” an event to showcase service-themed art from Vermont national service programs that was held on the State House Lawn. 
  • In Bradenton, Fla., the 20/20 AmeriCorps VISTA Vision Project partnered with the Sun Coast Center for Independent Living to spearhead the third annual “Six Days Six Ramps” project, building six ramps for homebound disable residents, including veterans.
  • Iowa marked AmeriCorps Week with events across the state, including food drives in five cities, tree-planting, open houses, flood cleanup, a leadership institute, and AmeriCorps Night at the Davenport River Bandits.  Members serving at the Broadway Neighborhood Center in the south side of Iowa City organized a music festival to bring positive attention to a part of the city that is often overlooked, and  about 250 volunteers were expected to participate in "Rock the Block" neighborhood beautification project in Des Moines.
  • In Salisbury, Md., AmeriCorps members serving with the Association of Farmworker Opportunity Programs held a clothing drive to collect long sleeve shirts and pants for farmworkers, a first line of defense against pesticide exposure.
  • Virginia celebrated the week with a proclamation from Governor Robert McDonnell and projects across the state including a park restoration, family fun fair, clothing drive for newborns, and AmeriCorps Night at the Richmond minor league game.
  • The National Society for American Indian Elderly (NSAIE) VISTA project held AmeriCorps recruitment events at eight Tribal Sites across the country, including presentations at the 2010 Yavapai Nation College Fair in Phoenix, AZ;  the Kenaitze Indian Tribal Learning Center in Kenai, Alaska; and high school students and elders at the Oneida Nation in Wisconsin.
  • Alaska First Lady Sandy Parnell honored AmeriCorps members and other outstanding volunteers at a ceremony for the First Lady’s Volunteers of the Year Awards.
  • Arizona celebrated AmeriCorps Week across the state including painting out graffiti in Parker, a community center clean-up in Flagstaff, painting and cleaning up apartments for veterans with disabilities in Tucson, a county wide food drive in La Paz County, an AmeriCorps Recruitment fair at the University of Arizona, and serving meals to homeless in Tempe.
  • Members of Cape Code AmeriCorps in Massachusetts recruited volunteers to build a coastal mitigation nursery on the site of a former beachfront hotel to grow plant species to hold down sand dunes and beautify public spaces.
  • AmeriCorps members from southwestern Minnesota worked at an organic garden run by the Sisters of Notre Dame in Mankato that grows produce for the local food shelf and provides youth gardening classes for local kids.

ELECTED OFFICIALS

  • For the first time, both the United States Senate and the House of Representatives passed AmeriCorps Week resolutions recognizing the significant accomplishments of AmeriCorps in meeting national and community needs.
  • AmeriCorps Week Governor’s proclamations were issued in Alabama, Arkansas, California, Colorado, Georgia, Kentucky, Illinois, Maine, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New York, North Dakota, North Carolina, Ohio, South Dakota, Utah, Virginia, Wyoming and Washington.  Several Governors, including John Baldacci (ME), Pat Quinn (Il), James Douglas (VT), and others invited AmeriCorps members to attend the signing ceremony and thanked them for the commitment to service.   
  • U.S. Senators Jay Rockefeller (WV) and Representative Gwen Moore (WI), both former VISTAs, joined Senator Daniel Inouye (HI) and Corporation for National and Community Service CEO Patrick Corvington and Board Members Hyepin Im and Eric Tannenblatt at a Capitol Hill reception honoring the legacy and accomplishments of the VISTA program on its 45th anniversary.  Hundreds of VISTA alums, members, and projects sponsors attended the event, which also included a photo exhibit by VISTA alum Federico Santi about his service in South Florida in the late 1960s.
  • Rep. Doris Matsui joined AmeriCorps members at the Sacramento Food Bank to serve as an “AmeriCorps Member for a Day” and presented them with a copy of the House Resolution recognizing the value of AmeriCorps that Rep. Matsui introduced on their behalf and passed the House with bipartisan support earlier in the week. 
  • In an effort to promote AmeriCorps Week and science, technology, engineering, and math (STEM) education, U.S. Senator Ted Kaufman (D-Del.) visited Serviam Girls Academy in New Castle, Del, and Public Allies AmeriCorps site, where he assisted with a STEM educational lesson for middle school students.
  • In New Mexico, U.S. Rep. Martin Heinrich served in a landscaping project at Amigos Y Amigas, a nonprofit organization that provides services to families-at-risk. Rep. Heinrich is the only member of Congress to have graduated from AmeriCorps since it took its current form.

WHAT PEOPLE ARE SAYING

  • “Montana’s AmeriCorps members are unsung heroes, they take on challenging issues and tasks and work with others to help make our communities and state a better place to live.”  -  Montana Governor Brian Schweitzer
  • “Serving others is the greatest and most rewarding work we can do, and AmeriCorps provides fantastic opportunities to reach out a helping hand to those in need.” California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger
  • "In just 2 1/2 hours you see the walls of a house framed. This is the power of AmeriCorps."  -- Kevin Gilmore, executive director of Sussex County, Delaware Habitat for Humanity
  • “Since its inception in 1994, the AmeriCorps national service program has proven to be a highly effective way to engage Americans in meeting a wide range of local and national needs and promoting the ethic of service and volunteering.”  - U.S. House Resolution 1338, passed on May 13, 2010.
  • “National service programs have engaged millions of people in the United States in results-driven service in the Nation's most vulnerable communities, providing hope and help to people facing economic and social needs.”  U.S. Senate Resolution passed by unanimous consent on May 7, 2010.
  • “Iowans owe a debt of gratitude to AmeriCorps, VISTA, and NCCC members who have worked so hard for our communities, so I am pleased to have the opportunity to thank them.”  Rep. Dave Loebsack (IA)
  • "I am proud of Peace Corps’ relationship with AmeriCorps and the valuable work we achieve together.  AmeriCorps is a wonderful opportunity for our volunteers to continue working in the field of public service.“ -- Peace Corps Director Aaron S. Williams.

PRESS AND SOCIAL MEDIA

  • AmeriCorps Week was buzzing in the blogosphere and social media.  The AmeriCorps Week Twitter feed had 1,262 followers, more than double last year, and the Facebook page also doubled to more than 2,700 fans. More than 60 bloggers wrote about AmeriCorps during the week, and hundreds of photos have been shared on the AmeriCorps Week Flickr stream and other photo albums.  This year 25 volunteer e-reporters and photographers provided real time updates about their activities.
  • Millions of Americans learned about AmeriCorps impact and value through news coverage during AmeriCorps Week, including national stories in USA Today and National Journal and more than 80 local stories across the country.
  • The Yavapai County AmeriCorps VISTA Project utilized AmeriCorps Week to create a “Speak Up for Service social media storm” in support of National Service, asking people to Speak Up!, Tweet Off!, or Post! their support for the work being done in this community by national service.

To learn more about AmeriCorps Week, visit www.AmeriCorpsWeek.gov.

 

Media Contact

Samantha Jo Warfield
(202) 606-6775
sjwarfield@cns.gov

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