Last Friday, I looked at my calendar and nearly had a heart attack. A feeling of sheer panic came over me as I realized that I had exactly 13 weeks left in my service year with Volunteer Maryland; a state AmeriCorps program. So many different things have been taking up my time from day to day that it’s been a while since I took some time to step back and look at the big picture. Seeing my remaining weeks laid out, I can tell you that I (along with my fellow Regional Coordinator, Megan) will be one busy bee!
In addition, I will be on the road a LOT! Last Thursday started off my road tour. I had the chance to participate in the Serve America Bus Tour, an initiative of Service Nation in honor of the second anniversary of the Serve America Act. I, along with Volunteer Maryland staff, joined with the Governor’s Office of Service and Volunteerism, and various other AmeriCorps programs serving in Maryland to celebrate service in America. We visited two organizations where amazing work is being done and heard from representatives of organizations that employ AmeriCorps members. We first stopped at Paul’s Place, an organization serving the community of Pigtown in Southeast Baltimore. Pigtown is known to be one of the seven most poverty-stricken neighborhoods in America. We then visited a work site in northwest Baltimore where
Specifically, I will be participating in two kinds of organizational visits conducted throughout the year. First, I will be joining our Program Manager on a series of visits to the host organizations where our Volunteer Maryland Coordinators (VMCs) are currently serving. The purpose of these visits is to generally check in to see what the VMC has established or maintained during the service year and to talk about whether these implementations are working for the organization. The visits also allow us to talk about realistic ways to make sure that these implementations are sustainable for the organization.
The second kind of visit that I will be participating in are the visits to determine the organizations that will be hosting our next class of VMCs; VM Class 24. These visits are very important because they provide Volunteer Maryland with the very first glimpse of the day to day process of an organization applying to be a partner. That being said, there are certain items that Volunteer Maryland looks for in an organization which include the following:
– Will the organization be able to provide support to a VMC both as a staff member and as an AmeriCorps member with Volunteer Maryland?
– Are the goals for the partnership realistic and if not, what changes can be agreed upon to make those goals more realistic?
– Are the desired outcomes for the partnership sustainable after a VMC finishes their service year?
I couldn’t ask for a more perfect time to be traveling throughout Maryland! Its spring, the trees are finally green, and the air is fresh! I love it! Do you travel for your job? Tell us about what you like about being able to get out of the office!