Contact: Elyse V. Walter
Governor Rick Snyder has declared the week of May 14 through May 21, 2011, as Michigan's AmeriCorps Week. AmeriCorps Week provides an opportunity to shine a spotlight on the great service being done by AmeriCorps members across the state during this fourth annual celebration.
This year more than 1,200 AmeriCorps members will impact Michigan and its communities through 370 nonprofits. These members tackle critical issues in the state's communities through activities such as mentoring youth, providing housing resources, assisting medically uninsured residents with gaining affordable healthcare services, responding to local and national disasters, and much more.
Michigan's AmeriCorps is an initiative of the Michigan Community Service Commission.
"Now is the time to recognize the value and the impact of AmeriCorps members across the state of Michigan," said Paula Kaiser VanDam, Executive Director of the Michigan Community Service Commission. "Every day, their service is tackling critical community issues including health care, affordable housing, illiteracy, the environment, and much more."
As part of a nationwide effort, AmeriCorps Week events and opportunities that showcase the power of service and educate key stakeholders are happening across the country the week of May 14. They include statewide AmeriCorps gatherings, "AmeriCorps for a Day" events with local VIPS, community service projects, recruitment fairs, and more.
This year, the Michigan's AmeriCorps Russ Mawby Signature Service Project will serve as Michigan's AmeriCorps Week closing event. The Signature Service Project, taking place on May 20 and 21 will bring together more than 350 AmeriCorps members to assist with various service projects in Grand Rapids' Wealthy Street neighborhood and city parks. This unique event is coordinated by the American Red Cross of Greater Grand Rapids, Elemental Media, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, Habitat for Humanity of Kent County, and the Michigan Community Service Commission.
To celebrate the 2011 AmeriCorps Week, additional activities are happening all over Michigan including in Clarkston, Clinton Township, Detroit, Grand Rapids, Jackson, Lansing, and Manistique. Projects range in scope from community park clean-ups, a Disaster Awareness Symposium, gardening, and a service festival. All projects will showcase the power of AmeriCorps members and alumni and educate the public about the role, impact, and importance of AmeriCorps in our communities.
AmeriCorps members are critical to our state. In a recent report released by the Michigan Community Service Commission, 2010 Michigan's AmeriCorps members:
Completed more 930,000 hours of service in 2010.
Impacted more than 153,000 students, citizens, and volunteers.
AmeriCorps provides a pathway to employment for many Michiganians by providing them with skills training and professional development opportunities. It also helps to make college more affordable - members who successfully complete their term of service receive an education award to attend school or pay back qualified student loans.
For more information about AmeriCorps Week or to learn more about specific projects, visit