AmeriCorps Week Celebration
On a gorgeous Friday afternoon in May, at a park overlooking the Seattle skyline, dozens of AmeriCorps volunteers and alums gathered to celebrate a year of service in their communities with hot dogs, games and camaraderie.
Over one hundred local AmeriCorps members attended the May 14th AmeriCorps Week Picnic held at Gas Works Park and hosted by the IRC Seattle in conjunction with the Volunteers of America Western Washington. Also, in attendance were speakers Lynda Petersen, Chief Service Officer from the City of Seattle, as well as Barbara Stahler of the AmeriCorps VISTA Washington state office. Julien Loh from the office of Washington Governor Christine Gregoire delivered a proclamation of AmeriCorps week issued by the governor earlier this month. Attendants brought food items to the potluck, and enjoyed the afternoon playing in outdoor tournaments of kickball and volleyball.
The IRC Seattle is the lead agency in the Refugee Support Network-a collaboration of four refugee serving agencies in and around Seattle that host AmeriCorps VISTA members to better serve the community. Established in 2008, this team of ten AmeriCorps members has recruited 240 new volunteers, raised over $90,000 in grants, and gathered $150,000 in in-kind donations in the last six months alone. Since August 2009, their work has made new services available to more than 500 refugees in the Seattle area. The passionate AmeriCorps VISTA members of the Refugee Support Network, including three placed with the IRC in Seattle, work to build the capacity of sustainable programs that will aide refugees in becoming self-sufficient.
AmeriCorps members in Washington State number over 3,600 this year. These national service members provide services to meet educational, health, economic and other pressing needs across the state. AmeriCorps members work every day to strengthen non-profits, mobilize volunteers, foster public-private partnership, and advance social innovation. Nationwide, AmeriCorps volunteers have served a total of 774 million hours to mobilize 2.4 million community volunteers in 3, 300 nonprofit, faith-based, and community organizations.
AmeriCorps Week is an annual nationwide event saluting AmeriCorps members and alums for their powerful impact. Hundreds of events took places across the United States this year to thank AmeriCorps community partners and bring more Americans into service through local gatherings, recruitment fairs, school presentations, and service projects.
Washington AmeriCorps members celebrated their year of service in the sun this year thanks to the Seattle Department of Parks and recreation, which co-sponsored the event. Donations of food were made by local businesses such as QFC Wallingford, PCC Natural Markets, Field Roast Meat Grain Company, and Ken's Grocery in Greenwood to honor the occasion.
For more information on the Refugee Support Network, go to <RefugeeSupportNetwork.net>
To view photos of the even, click here
Return to the IRC in Seattle