With the end of school approaching, many students and graduates find themselves in a transitional stage while moving home, starting a new job or simply having a summer of freedom. If that’s you, then it's also the best possible time to give a little of your free time and volunteer for a cause. Maybe you’ll do it to build your resume or to meet other do-gooders. Whatever your motivation, use this opportunity to release your inner philanthropist.
Recent natural disasters in our country like the Gulf Coast oil spill and flooding in Nashville shed light on the need for citizens to pitch in and help. Last year members of AmeriCorps in Illinois adopted a walking trail while volunteers in Washington, DC tackled a school district beautification project. More riveting tales of service can be found here to help get the creative juices flowing.
If you need a little kick start, AmeriCorps Week is May 8th - 15th. Created by Bill Clinton in 1993, AmeriCorps strives to motivate citizens to volunteer service. In addition to placing young people on community-oriented work projects throughout the country, it takes one week a year to urge members, alumni, program partners, and friends to contribute any feasible amount of free time to a better cause. Organizations across the nation seek help on a multitude of projects, and expect turnouts from local VIPs, elected officials and thousands of ordinary citizens. AmeriCorps also encourages community members to start their own projects and will provide promotional materials to help them get out of the gate.
In an era of fierce political partisanship, AmeriCorps has transcended the ideological warfare that dictates most federal government programs. George W. Bush approved funding that helped double AmeriCorps’ membership. Now, President Obama aims to expand it from 75,000 to 250,000 annually by 2017. Check out the past year of Obama's legislation regarding community service initiatives and where it intends to advance here.
As an AmeriCorps alumnae who previously served a 300 hour term I cannot say enough about the impact that each and every hour of volunteer work or service has on the community. In fact, it affected my personal life so positively that I am returning in September to complete a 1,700 hour term of service. Whether it be working on clean ups, aiding the disabled, or combating hunger and homelessness, there is a project out there suited for you. So sign up, spread the word, and 'get things done' during the 4th annual AmeriCorps Week.
Check out jobs that AmeriCorps is offering and similiar opportunities at this website.