Show Your ‘A”s on AmeriCorps Visibility Day
Happy spring-time! In New Hampshire, there is still snow on the ground and flurries in the forecast, but warmer days are (hopefully) in our future.
I’m glad to have the chance to share a new initiative that many of us have been working on called “Visibility Days.” To begin, I’ll try to shed some light on the origins of this idea.
In NH, anyone involved in or interested in National Service can join quarterly Service Alliance meetings. This group includes representation from AmeriCorps programs, AmeriCorps Alums NH, and Senior Corps. Volunteer NH, the organization promoting volunteerism in New Hampshire, resurrected the Service Alliance last spring as a way to promote visibility, collaborate on projects, and pool resources for all national service programming in the state.
While brainstorming the most effective way that the Service Alliance could increase visibility for AmeriCorps, VISTA member Morgan Saunders came up with the idea of having one day per month be a Visibility Day.
We jumped at the idea of implementing this great opportunity to bring about increased awareness of AmeriCorps to people outside of the Ameri-bubble. What if one day you saw multiple people wearing the same weird “A” symbol at your office, on the bus, and at the grocery store? At some point, you’d ask one of those people what it means and learn that it’s not some weird new fad; it’s a group of people engaged in making the world a better place.
As an Alum, I’m always (overly) excited to meet another alumni or currently serving member. However, for many VISTA and State & National members, there are no BDU’s to identify them like their NCCC cohorts. Similarly with AmeriCorps Alums, although we are proud of our service, we don’t always advertise it. Personally, wearing an AmeriCorps t-shirt covered in dried paint to my office would probably fall outside the line of business casual appropriateness.
Having one day per week that we all wear, carry, or use whatever AmeriCorps gear we have is a great way to help us identify our fellow AmeriCorps Alums and members who we might be working or living next to without knowing it, as well as make sure people know that AmeriCorps members and Alums are out there doing good work in their community.
Visibility Days are the first Friday of each month. The NH Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums has been promoting Visibility Days through social media. As Alums, it’s up to us to keep AmeriCorps pride vibrant and continue the culture of camaraderie among people who have served. We hope you’ll join us in taking one small step once per month which will make a big difference in increasing AmeriCorps visibility. Just like serving a term of service, it’s our collective efforts that promote the National Service movement and get things done!
Visibility Days have already begun to spread across state lines, so on April 5th; wear your AmeriCorps gear, join our Facebook event, and let’s make this happen!
Watch testimonials from New Hampshire Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums on how they were “Made in AmeriCorps” here.