BY ERIN SUSMAN, OPERATIONS AND VISTA PROGRAM MANAGER, THE HUB
Every March, we take a week to recognize the dedicated individuals who answer the call to serve their communities during AmeriCorps Week. Last year, AmeriCorps week marked the end of how we knew things before the pandemic. Immediately following AmeriCorps week, our members began serving remotely, and we started to find new ways to continue to build capacity in communities in the face of new and mounting obstacles.
Despite those obstacles, our members, like countless others, continued to answer the call to serve. They raised their hands. They stood up. They continued to show up (virtually or physically distant) for their communities. They volunteered to put their neighbors and complete strangers first, with the shared mission to build a future that is more just for everyone.
AmeriCorps engages 270,000 dedicated individuals each year in sustained, results-driven service through AmeriCorps State, National, VISTA, and NCCC, and AmeriCorps Seniors programs. Last year, more than 3,400 of these individuals served in West Virginia. At The Hub, our members have found new ways to keep their communities engaged with each other through the pandemic, educated children and adults as citizen scientists, connected residents to local, affordable food options and monthly food boxes, and served as amplifiers of the good happening in their backyards.
This AmeriCorps Week (March 7-13), we celebrate the impact of our programs and offer our thanks to each and every one for volunteering to serve others. To our current members — Amy, Catherine, Dara, Jon, Maya, Megan and Olivia — thank you for all that you do to build a better future for West Virginia. We also are deeply appreciative to our program alumni, who continue to do wonderful things in their communities!
Erin Susman is The Hub’s Operational and VISTA Program Manager. You can reach her at firstname.lastname@example.org.