By: Jessica Schrader
Every year, AmeriCorps Week recognizes the service and commitment of AmeriCorps members and alums throughout the country. This year, AmeriCorps Week was Saturday, March 10 through Sunday, March 18.
Nationally, the goals of AmeriCorps Week 2012 were to create connections between current members and alums to depict the nationwide effort of which they are a part and to reach out and explain the impact of AmeriCorps members on critical issues in the country and on members’ lives. This year’s theme was AmeriCorps Works. More information about the national AmeriCorps Week can be found on the AmeriCorps website, here.
Locally, Compass and Literacy*AmeriCorps Pittsburgh participated in a food drive for the Greater Pittsburgh Community Food Bank during AmeriCorps Week. The project was developed by the AmeriCorps Week committee, which included Becky Dooley, Dani Stump, Jan Paul, Katherine Brockman, Kim Garafola, Nick Pettet, Rebekah Laslow, Molly Evans, and Usama Al-Teraifi.
At the beginning of AmeriCorps Week, members distributed approximately fifty empty paper grocery bags each to houses in their own neighborhoods. A letter from Mayor Ravenstahl was attached, letting homeowners know that AmeriCorps members were collecting food for the Food Bank and would return later in the week to pick up any food they wished to donate. Areas covered include Squirrel Hill, Bloomfield, Oakland, Shadyside, Regent Square, Highland Park, Dormont, and Mt. Lebanon.
On the morning of Friday, March 16, members returned to houses and collected over two hundred bags of food which were then transported to the food bank. It was weighed there, and the Compass and Literacy*AmeriCorps donation totaled 2,299 pounds of food!
Other events and happenings included the opportunity to participate in a service crawl, a tabling event at the Pittsburgh Public Market, and a citywide AmeriCorps talent show. There was also the chance to walk in the St. Patrick’s Day parade as representatives of AmeriCorps. The Pittsburgh members joined thousands of members and alums across the country in celebrating AmeriCorps Week, performing various service projects, getting the word out about AmeriCorps, and getting things done for America.