Media Advisory: 350 AmeriCorps Members to Serve Grand Rapids May 20 & 21
Contact: Elyse V. Walter
Friday, May 20 from 3:00 p.m. - 5:00 p.m.
Saturday, May 21 from 10:00 a.m. - 3:00 p.m.
100 Youell SE
Grand Rapids, MI 49503
This year, the Michigan's AmeriCorps Russ Mawby Signature Service Project has been designated as Michigan's 2011 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 community projects in Grand Rapids. Members will participate in projects in the Wealthy Heights neighborhood and various Grand Rapids parks. This unique event is coordinated by Habitat for Humanity of Kent County, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, the American Red Cross of Greater Grand Rapids, Elemental Media, and the Michigan Community Service Commission.
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The Russ Mawby Signature Service Project is an annual event where AmeriCorps members from all around the state join together for two days of training, teambuilding, and service. By the end of the second day, many projects are completed, visibly demonstrating the impact of AmeriCorps members in action. This year's project has been designated as Michigan's 2011 AmeriCorps Week closing event. AmeriCorps
Week provides an opportunity for AmeriCorps members, alums, grantees, program partners, and friends to shine a spotlight on the service being done by members in communities across the country - and to motivate more Americans to join AmeriCorps or volunteer in their communities.
Financial support for the 2011 Russ Mawby Signature Service Project is provided by Ford Motor Company Fund and Community Services, Consumers Energy, Meijer, and Heart of West Michigan United Way, with assistance from the City of Grand Rapids Parks and Recreation.
is often described as the domestic Peace Corps. Individuals, called members, take on the challenges facing communities by serving within nonprofit organizations, schools, and other agencies throughout the state.
Michigan's AmeriCorps, administered by the Michigan Community Service Commission (MCSC), currently has 26 AmeriCorps programs and engages more than 1,200 members through 370 nonprofits. The MCSC builds a culture of service by providing vision and resources to strengthen communities through volunteerism.
In 2010-2011, the MCSC is granting nearly $10 million in federal funds to local communities for volunteer programs and activities. The MCSC is funding 26 AmeriCorps programs, 25 Learn and Serve programs, and seven Volunteer Michigan grantees. The Governor's Service Awards and Mentor Michigan are also premier programs of the MCSC. The MCSC is housed in the Michigan Department of Human Services, whose mission is to assist children, families, and vulnerable adults to be safe, stable, and self-supporting.
Habitat for Humanity of Kent County
Habitat for Humanity of Kent County is a local affiliate of an international nonprofit organization whose mission is to end substandard housing. Since its founding in 1983, Habitat Kent has broken ground on 300 houses locally and funded an additional 500 homes around the world through tithing. We are committed to serving God, building hope and transforming lives through neighborhood revitalization and homeownership for families who otherwise could not afford a home of their own. Since 2007, Habitat Kent has built every house - new and renovated - to LEED for Homes Certified Standards (Leadership in Energy and Environmental Design) in keeping with our commitment to affordability and environmental responsibility.
Friends of Grand Rapids Parks
The Friends of Grand Rapids Parks is an independent, citizen led, nonprofit enterprise founded in 2008 to protect, enhance, and expand parks and public spaces through volunteer mobilization, resource generation, and raising awareness about the value of parks. We are convinced that vibrant parks and public spaces are essential to support the community's economic competitiveness, environmental health, and cultural well-being. Our goal is to help Grand Rapids rebuild and sustain an exceptional system of parks and public spaces and, by extension, increase home values, improve citizen health, safeguard air and water quality, and strengthen the community's ability to retain and attract residents, businesses, and visitors.
American Red Cross of Greater Grand Rapids
The American Red Cross, a humanitarian organization led by volunteers and guided by its Congressional Charter and the Fundamental Principles of the International Red Cross Movement, provides relief to victims of disaster and helps people prevent, prepare for, and respond to emergencies.
A couple years ago some Midwestern guys got together with the idea of helping those less fortunate. As they began researching charities and nonprofits they started digging up incredible stories of philanthropy that were happening right in their backyard. They quickly realized there was no medium for this content and were amazed so much good was going on without their knowledge. Rather than start their own nonprofit, they decided to be a voice for existing causes. Elemental is a media company that is going against the grain of standard news. They are using their website and digital magazines as platforms to showcase positive stories, and promote cause based businesses, charities, and individuals who are actively helping others. By publishing these unheard stories they're hoping to inspire involvement and bridge the gap between people with resources and those in need. In a world obsessed with negative news, Elemental is here to expose the other side of the story.