by John Taylor, AmeriCorps Program Director, and Kevin McGhee, AmeriCorps Program Specialist, Michigan Primary Care Association
Governor Rick Snyder has declared the week of May 12, 2012, as Michigan’s AmeriCorps Week. AmeriCorps Week engages state and national members in shining a spotlight on the great service that AmeriCorps members provide across Michigan and across the country during this celebration.
AmeriCorps Week is a recruitment and recognition campaign designed to bring more Americans into service, salute AmeriCorps members and alums for their powerful impact, and thank the community partners who make AmeriCorps possible.
AmeriCorps Week events showcase the power of service and educate key stakeholders about happenings across the country. They include statewide AmeriCorps gatherings, “AmeriCorps for a Day” events with local VIPs, community service projects, recruitment fairs, and more.
AmeriCorps members take on the challenges their communities face. They believe in the AmeriCorps motto of “Getting Things Done,” and are part of the solution.
Michigan’s AmeriCorps programs are housed within nonprofit organizations, schools, Health Centers, and other agencies. Michigan Primary Care Association receives federal funding from the Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC) to recruit, place, and support 25 AmeriCorps members in our Community HealthCorps program. The Corporation for National and Community Service administers the federal funding.
It has been exciting to watch our AmeriCorps members help organizations improve access to care, engage their communities, and continue serving others after their service commitment ends. Additionally, it is rewarding that 17% of our members continued employment with the host site where they served, and 34% have continued serving as employees or volunteers of nonprofit organizations.
In a recent report released by the MCSC, Michigan’s AmeriCorps members:
- Completed more than 835,000 hours of service and training
- Recruited more than 19,000 volunteers
- Earned more than $3 million in education awards for successfully completing their term of service
In honor of Michigan’s AmeriCorps Week (May 12‐19), MCSC is hosting a Michigan’s AmeriCorps Twitter chat! Join us @miamericorps on Wednesday, May 16 from 12-1 pm as we fill the Twitter feed with talk about AmeriCorps. We want everyone to get involved – AmeriCorps members and alums, program directors, nonprofits, communities, and more! Michigan’s AmeriCorps Week is a chance to shine a spotlight on all the great service our AmeriCorps members are doing throughout the state. It’s also an opportunity for members to help recruit additional volunteers to serve beside them!
MPCA Community HealthCorps members will be assisting in the 6th annual Metro-Detroit AmeriCorps Week Project on Monday, May 14 on Belle Isle from 9 am-4 pm. This year’s project will be in partnership with Belle Isle Conservancy. Activities include removing invasive plant species, beautifying and securing old Belle Isle Zoo buildings, and general cleanup and beautification of the park in preparation for the Grand Prix.
Also during the week MPCA Community HealthCorps and other AmeriCorps programs across Michigan will convene more than 300 AmeriCorps members for the 2012 Russ Mawby Signature Service Project on May 18-19. They will participate in a variety of service projects and work with several organizations to make a significant impact on the Grand Traverse region. Partners for this year’s project include Habitat for Humanity Grand Traverse Region, SEEDS, Grand Traverse Regional Land Conservancy, Conservation Resource Alliance, Traverse Bay Area ISD, United Way of Northwest Michigan, and Elemental Media. For more information, visit www.mi-ssp.com.