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Not Everything in DC is Broken: DC Chapter Comes Together For Service and Professional Development

October 1, 2013

Today’s guest post comes from the Washington D.C. Chapter of AmeriCorps Alums Blog (americorpsalumsdc), and was written by Lizzie Martinez and originally posted on September 12, 2013.

Thirty minutes after we started serving, our Food & Friends leader walked by to check on us. “Wait,” he said, seeing us finishing up our first project, “You guys are done already? Dang, you work fast.”

As usual, AmeriCorps Alums worked hard all morning for our first service event of the year. We partnered with Food & Friends, which prepares and delivers meals for people living with HIV/AIDS, cancer, and other life-threatening illnesses. They prepare most meals from scratch in their own facility and deliver throughout the DC, Maryland, Virginia area – even as far away as Fredericksburg.

DC AmeriCorps Alums Chapter during its recent service project/grad school professional development event

DC AmeriCorps Alums Chapter during its recent service project/grad school professional development event

More than 20 alums came out on a Saturday morning to complete a few projects. One group helped deliver food to clients around DC. The other group worked on the semi-annual project of packing emergency food boxes for clients, in case a delivery was missed or in case of natural disaster.

We packed more than 500 emergency food bags including packing hamburger patties and turkey burgers, emergency veggie bags, and bags of non-perishable goods.

And of course we had fun meeting other Alums and hearing their stories. My favorite part of service with Alums is getting to hear everyone ask each other – where did you serve? And to hear the answers!

We had alums who served in DC when NCCC had a campus here, a few who just finished up their year of service, and even a few second year AmeriCorps members starting another year.

After we finished serving, we gathered around lunch to hear about a grad school program: IPSL programs combine academic studies and community service and full cultural immersion to give students a deeper, more meaningful study abroad experience. Students study abroad in Italy, Thailand, and/or Ecuador during their two-year program as well as complete a practical capstone project tackling a problem in the community.

Carrie (who is also an AmeriCorps Alum) from IPSL gave a great presentation and took questions on it. If you’re interested in a great grad program, check it out at, and find out more about how IPSL is supporting AmeriCorps.

Got ideas for a great service project? Email  Hope to see you at our next service event!

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