I am an AmeriCorps member, and I will get things done.
This last line of the AmeriCorps pledge is a straightforward, yet spirited motto. It also neatly complements United Way’s own call for volunteers and community action on United Way Day of Action, a coordinated effort to recognize volunteering as a key component of civic life and critical to achieving our mission.
And for good reason: United Ways across the U.S. see the value AmeriCorps VISTA brings to program development and implementation, particularly on days of service. United Way of West Alabama, for example, is leveraging VISTA members’ firsthand knowledge of community needs to organize their Day of Action in four of nine counties served by United Way. VISTA members are helping identify volunteer projects that benefit the communities in which they serve in addition to recruiting volunteers, acquiring and distributing project supplies, and coordinating with site leaders on the actual day of service.
Many more United Ways maximize their day of service by collaborating with VISTA members on innovative or grassroots project ideas, volunteer engagement, resource development, and site coordination. This includes United Way of Weld County, where members will coordinate a variety of projects for their host agencies and recruit volunteers and United Way of Central Kentucky, where members lead nearly every element of planning, promotion and execution of Day of Action events. In Kansas, VISTA members will support United Way of Greater Topeka by raising awareness about access to food and collaborating with volunteers to distribute and read books to children in Shawnee County.
Like so many United Ways throughout our network, they recognize the added value of national service: volunteer projects are more impact-driven, results oriented, and grounded in the community.
Are you inspired to get more done in your community after reading this post? If so, sign up for an opportunity to volunteer with United Way or consider committing to a year of service with AmeriCorps.