Do you know what tomorrow is? Besides being a long-anticipated Saturday, it is the beginning of AmeriCorps Week! This year it is May 8-15. That’s right folks, too much partying for one Saturday. So what exactly is AmeriCorps Week, you ask? Thankfully, the kinds fellows at www.americorpsweek.gov have a much better more eloquent answer than I: “The fourth annual AmeriCorps Week, taking place May 8-15, 2010, provides the perfect opportunity for AmeriCorps members, alums, grantees, program partners, and friends to shine a spotlight on AmeriCorps and to motivate more Americans to serve. The Edward M. Kennedy Serve America Act has set a bold vision of expansion, impact, and innovation for AmeriCorps, and momentum for national service has never been stronger. Individuals and organizations with a special interest in AmeriCorps—especially, members, programs, and alums—are encouraged to use their creativity to mark the week in any way they see fit. The choice is up to you!”
Our VISTA program will be celebrating with a service project. After determining the date and the fact that majority of us wanted to do something hands-on and outside, one of my members got me in contact with her friend Jason who operates multiple community gardens in Baltimore. Much as we’re working to raise awareness about AmeriCorps, Jason is working to raise awareness- and support- of a new garden in the WestPort neighborhood of Baltimore City. It is in its beginning phases, and we will be taking down an old fence, laying a tire path and wood chips, planting perennials and spreading wildflower seeds. The soil isn’t great for growing vegetables yet, so the idea is to beautify the area to attract attention and grow plants which detoxify the soil. I, for one, am super excited about it.
Laura, Regional Coordinator Extraordinaire, has organized a state-wide networking event on May 13! Destination AmeriCorps occurs this Thursday and will follow the Sowing the Seeds of Sustainability Volunteer Management Conference, hosted by the Governor’s Office on Service and Volunteerism, the Corporation for National and Community Service, and the Maryland Association of Nonprofit Organizations.
Last but not least, I would like to point out that Volunteer Maryland knows no moderation. Fully believing that one week, even an 8-day week, is not enough we’ve instituted AmeriFridays. Participation is easy! We all plan to wear AmeriCorps, Volunteer Maryland, or VISTA shirts every Friday in May. Who knows what great networking will happen when you’re going about your day and someone spots the A on your sleeve?