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2011 Reflections from the AmeriCorps Alums Team: Chapters Stepped Up In 2011

January 6, 2012

As I reflect back on 2011, I continue to be amazed by the dedication to service by so many alums throughout the country.  AmeriCorps Alums chapter network continues to gain momentum, and 2011 was a strong year for both chapter growth and chapter impact.  We saw the addition of ten new chapters, and exciting impact around signature days of service like MLK, Jr. Day, National AmeriCorps Week, and 9/11 Day of Service, as well as chapter partnerships with Allstate and the NBA.

But in my mind, the most important element of our chapter network is that it is led by alumni who seemingly find a way to get things done to improve their community again and again.  I hope to share a few of those examples with you.

St. Louis AmeriCorps alumni get out to volunteer during 9/11 Day

During 2011 MLK, Jr. Day, the St. Louis Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums, led by Joe Jovanovich, partnered with Ameren to distribute tens of thousands of energy efficient light bulbs to citizens of St. Louis, reducing energy consumption and saving its residents money on their monthly energy bills.  What began as just an idea was turned into reality through the determination and commitment to community that are a hallmark of the St. Louis Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums.

In Chicago, Allstate wanted to quickly mobilize its employees around a school-based volunteer project, but had no concept, no project management and a tight budget.  Up stepped the Chicago Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums, led by Patti Kurtz and Kelly Snape, and in less than six weeks, their chapter produced a project from concept to execution that helped code thousands of school books for a local Chicago public school.

The Des Moines Chapter commemorated 9/11 Day of Service in a Community Walk, their largest service event to date.

The Des Moines Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums, led by Melissa Simmermaker, participated in exemplary fashion in a variety of days of service.  From a comprehensive set of AmeriCorps Week events to celebrate the value that AmeriCorps brings to our country to an extraordinary set of 9/11 Day of Service activities, their example of sustained excellence has provided yet another example of how our chapter network continues to improve communities through the dedication and commitment of AmeriCorps alumni.

To be sure, there are other examples to recount, but we would be here all day.  The continued progress and growth of the AmeriCorps Alums chapter network leaves me excited and optimistic about what lies ahead in 2012 for AmeriCorps Alums network of chapters, and none of it could be possible without the continued commitment to service of alumni who serve in chapters across the country.

In 2012, we will be looking for grow new chapters and see that our current chapters continue to do great work in the communities they serve. As part of AmeriCorps Week 2012, AmeriCorps Alums will be offering 10 grants of $750 each to help chapters plan and implement activities during AC Week 2012. The deadline to apply is Jan 23, 2012 at 5pm ET. Apply Here!

How will your chapter “get things done” in 2012?

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