Thanks, Mom, for Being an Inspiration
We learned a lot from our moms. More often than not, mothers encouraged the spirit to serve that many of us have in our own lives. We even see Mom’s inspiration when we look at our AmeriCorps and Senior Corps pledges, because her fingerprints are all over them.
Mom made sure we were safe (“Put on your seat belt.”), kept up with our studies (“Did you finish your homework?”), and did everything they could to keep us healthy (“Eat your veggies.”).
She encouraged us to take action (“Get off the couch and go outside.”), seek common ground in conflicts (“Tell her you’re sorry. Do it now.”), and taught us to persevere when we wanted to quit (“Keep trying. I know you can do it!”).
Best of all, Moms can be inspirations for us throughout our lives – demonstrating how to care for friends, neighbors, and the communities where we live.
Here’s an example. Pictured above are Michael Cobb and Linda Meadows, a mother and son duo who both serve with the Reading Partners AmeriCorps program in Baltimore, MD.
Guess what? Linda’s service inspired Michael to join.
Linda volunteers to tutor students at the Cherry Hill Elementary library in south Baltimore because, as she explained to Forbes, “I like to encourage young people. They need to be told they can do it.” (This is the place where we say, “We told you so.”)
She recruited her son to join AmeriCorps and Reading Partners when he moved to Maryland from Connecticut. Michael is now the Reading Partners volunteer coordinator at the Furman L. Templeton Preparatory Academy, a charter elementary school in west Baltimore.
National service inspires more national service, especially when you have programs with histories that go back 20, 40, even 50 years. These things are bound to happen – and we are happy that their examples help us tap into our better selves.
As we approach Mother’s Day, we say thanks to all the national service moms who have embraced the legacy of service by joining AmeriCorps and Senior Corps, or by supporting our volunteers. And to all the moms out there, whether they are around the corner or with us in spirit, thank you for everything you’ve done to get us where we are today.
Thank you for being our inspiration.
CNCS Office of External Affairs
P.S. Next week is Senior Corps Week! Follow our social media channels on Twitter and Facebook to join the celebration.
The Impact of National Service
Volunteer Florida puts Service Spotlight on Children of Inmates
With the support of AmeriCorps members, Children of Inmates enhanced bonding programs at 16 correctional facilities and organized over 400 bonding visits in 2016. In addition, AmeriCorps members launched a literacy campaign, 5,000 Books Read, to encourage children and their incarcerated parent to read books aloud during bonding visits. Over the last several months, children have read over 250 books during their visits. Additionally, AmeriCorps members have collected over 2,500 donated books. AmeriCorps members also recruited 75 community volunteers, providing 1,078 hours of volunteer service to build the capacity for bonding visit trips.
City Year Hosts Star-Studded Spring Break: Destination Education Event (AmeriCorps)
City Year Los Angeles’ hosted the 7th annual Spring Break: Destination Education, their largest fundraising event open to teens, tweens, and adults in support of education on May 6 at Sony Studios. Host Octavia Spencer, City Year AmeriCorps members, and celebrity supporters including Mahershala Ali, Orlando Bloom, Liam Hemsworth, Ne-Yo, Emma Roberts, Tracee Ellis Ross, Jussie Smollett, Pharrell Williams and Zendaya were in attendance. City Year is a national education-based nonprofit organization that helps high-need urban schools keep students in school and on track to graduate.
Elder Orphans a Growing Concern in North Dakota (Senior Companions)
Elsie Brenkworth doesn’t like people telling her what to do. So when her daughter who lives in Maryland lined up someone to visit the 93-year-old weekly at her home here, Brenkworth resisted. Volunteer companion Mary McCormack, 64, admits it was a stumbling start for the two. “At first, she tried to get rid of me,” McCormack laughed, “so we did have some weeks when we didn’t get together.” Now, their friendship is humming along, with a two- to three-hour visit every Tuesday. Brenkworth is among a growing number of seniors in the state who live alone. In fact, North Dakota tops all states in the percentage of seniors living solo, a situation that for some means a day-to-day feeling of deep isolation.
Each week, we will provide a social media shareable to use on your networks. Our 240,000 senior volunteers are making an impact in communities across the nation, and we are ready to celebrate their service during Senior Corps Week 2017. Help us thank our Foster Grandparent, Senior Companion, and RSVP volunteers by sharing this post across your social networks. And check our social media channels for more when we kickoff Senior Corps Week on Monday, May 15!
National Service in the News
Marshfield Clinic Health System Starting New Program to Curb Drug Abuse
A new program from Marshfield Clinic Health System will be launched in September to help people suffering from substance abuse in northern Wisconsin. MCHS Recovery Corps program is a part of AmeriCorps, a national service network launched in 1994. Since then, nearly 1 million AmeriCorps members have contributed approximately 1.2 billion hours in service across the country. The new program is recruiting 20 full-time AmeriCorps members to work as recovery coaches throughout the area served by the HOPE Consortium, a partnership of 10 different organizations working to address issues related to opioid abuse.
Fill your days with volunteer work that makes a difference
The Pocono Record, Pennsylvania
When Suzanne Bornemann’s employment came to an end, she wondered how she would fill her days. That’s around the time she heard about the Retired and Senior Volunteer Program and decided to check it out. Suzanne still has the letter — dated March 17, 2011 — that welcomed her as an RSVP volunteer. Having had first-hand experience with family members needing nursing home care, she began her RSVP volunteer service by visiting Golden Living Nursing Home in East Stroudsburg to help with activities. Suzanne recalled how her mother cared for her grandmother when she had Alzheimer’s and eventually went to a nursing home. “I saw what my mother went through,” Suzanne said.
Foster Grandparent Program launches in LISD
The Leader, Texas
Many schools throughout the country host Grandparents Day as a way to remind students the knowledge and experiences older generations can share – in Lewisville ISD (LISD), there’s another grandparent program underway. Since 1965, the Foster Grandparent Program (FGP) has provided emotional support, mentoring and tutoring for youths in schools, Head Start centers, daycares, and juvenile facilities nationwide. Adults age 55 and older can apply to be a Foster Grandparent. The program, which falls under the Senior Corps and is funded primarily by the Corporation for National Community Service, offers mutually beneficial opportunities for both grandparents and students. “The grandparents can come into the school and be the grandparent for the classroom,” FGP volunteer coordinator Lori Kloepper said.
California’s Disaster Volunteer Program of the Year – AmeriCorps NCCC
This award honors an outstanding California disaster volunteer program that has demonstrated an unwavering service commitment to the local community. During the Oroville Spillway evacuation incident, CaliforniaVolunteers reached out to the Pacific Region NCCC Campus to support shelter operations at the American Red Cross Shelter, established at the Silver Dollar Fairgrounds in Chico. The first team of 13 NCCC team members arrived just hours after the shelter was opened. Additional NCCC teams arrived to assist throughout the time that the shelter was opened. In all, 43 NCCC team members assisted shelter operations in Chico with the last team leaving when the shelter was closed nearly two weeks later. While working at the shelter, the members assisted with meal service and cleaning duties, as well as setting up sleeping space for evacuees. They also acted as security and helped with all duties involved in closing the shelter.
Retired Air Force officer, Vietnam Veteran heads to National Veterans Golden Age Games
VAntage Point, U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs blog
Air Force Veteran Glenn Bremenkamp served 20 years before retiring as a major in 1972. He’s flown missions in Vietnam, and also served as a forward air controller during the same conflict. Retired Air Force Maj. Glenn Bremenkamp is one of nearly 800 Veterans competing in this year’s National Veterans Golden Age Games. The event takes place May 7-11 in Biloxi, Mississippi, and AmeriCorps NCCC members are serving on site to support the games.
Strengthening Communities with the Friends Program
Girard at Large, New Hampshire
Rich talked with Laura Scott of The Friends Program. Laura spoke about the non-profit organization, bringing awareness to their origin as a youth mentoring program and sharing about how they took on more programs as they grew. After discussing the youth program, she told Rich about their homeless shelter, the RSVP program, Foster Grandparent Program and more.The Friends Program was established in 1975 and works to strengthen communities by building relationships through volunteer involvement. They annually serve approximately 4,000 at-risk youth, homeless families and fragile seniors with by mobilizing approximately 800 volunteers, who contribute over 250,000 volunteer hours annually.
College Graduates: Is a Gap Year Right For You?
Studying for finals and scraping together a thesis is a good distraction from the question most soon-to-be college graduates face: What’s next? With an average of $37,172 in loans, many grads are itching to get into the job market. But diving into the workplace isn’t the only option. Here are some gap-year opportunities to consider. When Maria King graduated from Tufts University in 2012, she considered graduate school and applied for a few jobs before ultimately deciding to buy a ticket to Australia to travel and volunteer with World Wide Opportunities on Organic Farms (WWOOF). “I knew that I wanted to take time to travel after graduation,” says King.
Volunteers essential to building stronger communities
Benton Evening News, Illinois
As society looks for solutions to community challenges to promote economic growth and improve quality of life, an important resource that cannot be overlooked is the volunteer. Whether it is volunteering for a local school, community organization, church, hospital or volunteer fire department, all have a major impact on our communities and our way of life. The billions of hours donated annually by our nation’s volunteers are essential to building stronger communities and meeting the many challenges we face today. Their economic impact is undeniable.
National Service News updates
To keep up with the latest in National Service News, click the links to our bulletins below:
• May 2, 2017
• May 3, 2017
• May 4, 2017
• May 5, 2017
• May 6-8, 2017