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Bring American Volunteers to American TV!

October 20, 2011

Raise your hand if you did some amazing work during your year of service? How great would it have been if some of those service moments were caught on tape and televised around the country?

Good news for you and (the rest of us), there is a TV pilot in the works that will do just that.

Titled American Volunteers, this show could be the next big thing by exposing AmeriCorps and its Alums to the general public in an exciting new way.

Meet Michael, Brendan, and Aaron – three energetic AmeriCorps Alumni who met while serving during the relief efforts of Hurricane Katrina, make up the dynamic team behind the show. Conceived, by Brendan, while he was working with Habitat for Humanity and living with 20 other AmeriCorps members (sound familiar?), he realized that he was gaining experiences that most local citizens had never been exposed to.

“Having only been there a year, there were neighborhoods and experiences that we [AmeriCorps members] got a chance to be a part of, that we realized people, who have lived there 10-20 years, have never had a chance to be a part of.”

He proposed the idea to Aaron, an NCCC Alum, in a bar in New Orleans; According to the three, it is the only place business can really get done in the Big Easy. After a few more conversations and having Michael, a filmmaker who also served in AmeriCorps with Habitat, come onboard, they filmed the promo video (see below), setting the wheels of this big project in motion. Having the opportunity to interview this dynamic team helped me understand a bit more of what they are trying to accomplish.

First off, they want to introduce the concept of voluntourism. As Michael describes it,

“[Voluntourism] is the merging of travel and volunteering as a way to help out and be a part of the community you travel to in a more meaningful way.”

As part of the show’s concept, the three of them will be traveling across the country to volunteer with different nonprofit and community groups on projects that addresses a local need – much like the experience of an NCCC team. They want to show that volunteering doesn’t require much of an overhaul of current lifestyle, but instead, service can actually enhance travel experiences in a richer way, with opportunities for service learning with the local population.

Secondly, they want to accurately represent the service movement in volunteerism.  As Aaron states, these three want to make AmeriCorps and other national service groups “a household brand name for volunteerism”, bringing to light the stories of our experiences; ones of Americans helping out other Americans.

They hope that American Volunteers will help to increase the visibility of young leaders in service and authentically capture the volunteer experience.

We all could use a reminder about how easy and refreshing volunteering can be in our lives. After watching their promo video, that idea could not be clearer. The three are having a lot of fun, while being intentional on making a local impact on wherever they travel to.

American Volunteers could help bring the attention needed to help save service in the next years and draw the proper spotlight back to the value of national service.

Check out their Facebook page and support them on Kickstarter.

Watch their promo video below. Do they have a hit on their hands?

10 Comments leave one →
  1. October 20, 2011 10:11 am

    Wonderful idea!!!

    I’ll be interested to see where it goes. The more we can make service sexy and fun, the more we can convince people that taking care of their communities is important and not just for government or a select few! I for one hope this really takes off.

  2. October 20, 2011 10:18 am

    For sure! This could be something great for capturing the multifaceted experience of volunteerism.

    – Ken

  3. October 20, 2011 10:57 am

    Sounds like a great idea, I hope it works……I think it would be great to also see people in their communities enjoying community service. I didn’t really have vacation money after AmeriCorps lol. Best Wishes!!!

  4. October 20, 2011 11:15 am

    Maybe we should have started a Kickstarter for post AC vacation funds. Thanks for reading!

    – Ken

  5. October 23, 2011 3:48 pm

    Thanks for all the positive feedback and support! We have 10 hours left in the Kickstarter campaign! This is our last push before we roll out a new website, new video, and more…help us make it happen!

  6. WeasleyFan1 permalink
    March 18, 2013 6:27 pm

    I know one of those people.


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