National & Community Service
|From Project: FEMA 1768, Disaster Relief|
I love AmeriCorps. I love what is has done for my personal growth. I love what it has done for the people, communities, and organizations which receive direct assistance from AmeriCorps members. I am overwhelmingly grateful for opportunities to learn new skills and utilize my current abilities to better the communities in which I live and serve. And I'm happy that I can be proud to be American in this context-- that I can feel good about my nation as a young person coming of age in an ever-changing political climate. No shame here.
So naysayers' comments, like Glenn Beck's comparisons of AmeriCorps to Hitler and the SS regime, are particularly painful to those of us putting in countless hours toward the greater good of humanity through national and community service. Obama is not going to force any young people to do public service. We are not being brainwashed, as has been recently suggested. Sure, I have my own personal interests vested in this program-- I look forward to job training, networking, and the education award at the end-- but the reason I choose to put in heavy work weeks for little pay in a city that costs too much to live in, is because I'm able to do something. Maybe any difference I make will be small; I know I'm not going to fix the world. But when the Midwest flooded last summer, my NCCC team gutted basements, hauled out moldy belongings and scrubbed walls with bleach, and when the Green River floods in Seattle and the Red Cross must open shelters, I will be there.
I love AmeriCorps. If you support AmeriCorps and want Glenn Beck's slander to stop, sign this petition that asks him and his producers to focus on the positive work that AmeriCorps does for our communities.
PS. An NCCC team from the Eastern Region (where I served in 2008) made it into the New York Times article about AmeriCorps! Check it-- that was my home turf for 10 months.
Also, did you know September 11th is now Day of Caring, a national day of remembrance and service? Looking for volunteer opportunities? United Way organizes many events or you can search online. I personally recommend the Red Cross!