Americorps week in NH shows the power of service organizations

Americorps Week summary

April 11-17 was Americorps Week: A chance to recognize all the members who are serving in their communities and across the country.  New Hampshire has a long standing and successful record with the Corporation for National and Community Service with the SCA NH corps being one of the oldest residential Americorps programs of its kind in the country.  In New Hampshire alone hundreds of members are serving in a variety of programs.   The SCA NH corps collaborated in the past week with these organizations to demonstrate the opportunities and impact of service.

The week began with a well-attended alumni reception on Sunday.  Monday saw us gathering at the Historic Upham Walker House in our states capital.  Official proclamations were made by a representative from the Senate and Gov. Lynch came in person to greet the Americorps members and launch the Week.  That evening we gathered at a local college for an Americorps Service Panel which gave the public a chance to hear about the variety of programs serving throughout the state.

Thoughout the week, the state and around the country Americorps members served in their respective programs as they do all year round.  In NH these programs include the SCA NH corps; Americorps Victims Assistance Program and Afterschool Program, CityYear, Campus Compact’s Green corps, and variety of VISTAs serving in organizations such as Families in Transistion and the Goodwill.  Three of our members also headed over to SCA’s program headquarters in Charlestown to meet with Representative Charlie Bass and help him understand the value of Corporation for National and Community Service programs like the Americorps opportunities that SCA has in NH and across the country.

The week concluded with members writing dedication cards to military service personnel and their families; thanking them for their service to our country and dedicating the Americorps Week hours of service.  This was completed at the Life After AmeriCorps where members present their programs to each other and attend workshops to help them tap into the variety of opportunities and benefits of being part of Americorps.

As if that wasn’t enough, the 150+ members then walked down town to the Manchester Valley Cemetery to put in an afternoon of service work in the cold rain!  The Valley Cemetery is a historic cemetery, city park, and arboretum.  Everyone pitched in with scraping clearing the iron fence to prepare it for painting in warmer weather; a view shed was opened up, and 20 bags of trash and recyclables were collected. We were welcomed and thanked by the City Parks and Friends of the Valley Cemetery for support and even Mayor Gatsas and Superintendent of Schools Dr.Bennan stopped by to recognize all the hard efforts and contributions Americorps Service members are making every day.