AmeriCorps Members Impact Lives and Communities

March 16, 2018

Want to know how many lives have been impacted so far by members of YWCA Central Alabama’s “Building Communities, Bettering Lives” AmeriCorps program? Enough to fit on three cruise ships.

The 40 AmeriCorps members have touched 10,787 lives – and that was just in their first quarter of service. “They make all the difference in the world,” Birmingham Mayor Randall Woodfin said following a recent celebration honoring past and current members during AmeriCorps Week 2018.

A national service initiative, AmeriCorps is similar to the Peace Corps but is for those interested in serving nationally rather than internationally. Since 1995, 1 million members have provided 1.4 billion hours of service.

YWCA AmeriCorps members serve at 24 different sites, including the YW and its 16 partner agencies. Each member devotes more than 1,720 hours to serving the community in areas like homelessness prevention, domestic violence services, environmental stewardship, mentoring youth, hunger relief and social justice initiatives.

“Each of you has brought your skills and voice to the table,” YWCA CEO Yolanda Sullivan told the members. “You have made a tremendous difference in our organization and to the lives of those you mentor and serve. We could not be more proud of you.”

Mayor Woodfin said he has seen the AmeriCorps members who serve in city government in action and has been amazed at their impact. “Not only are they passionate and motivated, they also have the work ethic and drive to be on the solutions end of addressing issues,” he said.

Matthew Powe, who serves at Woodlawn Foundation and is based at Oliver Elementary, said he enjoys being able to provide the same support he had as a student. “Growing up, I had tons of people help me get to where I am today,” he said. “Each and every day I go into that school building and see those kids, it helps bring a smile to my face and it helps inspire me. I know there’s somebody out there that I’m making a difference for.”

The YW’s AmeriCorps program is held in partnership through the Alabama Governor’s Office of Volunteer Services and the Corporation for National and Community Service. For more information, contact
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