It’s AmeriCorps Week!

Tuesday, May 17, 2011-On Friday, May 20 and Saturday, May 21 more than 300 Michigan’s AmeriCorps members from across the state will come together in Grand Rapids for the annual Russ Mawby Signature Service Project. AmeriCorps members will assist with various community projects and work with several organizations to make a significant impact on the Grand Rapids community (see below for more information).

Each year, the Russ Mawby Signature Service Project brings hundreds of AmeriCorps members to one Michigan community for two days of training, teambuilding, and service. By the end of the second day, several projects are completed, visibly demonstrating the power of Michigan’s AmeriCorps members in action. The 2011 project is a partnership with the Michigan Community Service Commission, Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, Habitat for Humanity of Kent County, American Red Cross of Greater Grand Rapids, and Elemental Media.

This year’s project has been designated as Michigan’s 2011 AmeriCorps Week closing event. AmeriCorps Week is a nationwide recruitment and recognition event designed to bring more Americans into service, salute AmeriCorps members and alums for their powerful impact, and thank the community partners who make AmeriCorps possible. AmeriCorps Week provides an opportunity for AmeriCorps members, alums, grantees, program partners, and friends to shine a spotlight on the work done by members in communities across the country and to motivate more Americans to join AmeriCorps or volunteer in their communities.

Friends of Grand Rapids Parks Projects

We know parks are essential to a community’s quality of life. AmeriCorps members will work with Friends of Grand Rapids Parks and the City of Grand Rapids to enhance their annual “I LOVE GR PARKS” event. Members will help communities get a jump on the upcoming summer by sprucing up local parks; including Wilcox, Richmond, MLK, and Huff, among others. Teams of AmeriCorps members will work with neighborhood volunteers to conduct playground repair, court resurfacing, trash cleanup, equipment installation, and general repair.

Habitat for Humanity of Kent County

As part of the Wealthy Heights Partnership Project, Habitat for Humanity of Kent County has been focused on revitalizing the Wealthy Heights neighborhood of East Hills. In addition to being one of Grand Rapids’ most eclectic and diverse neighborhoods, Wealthy Heights is home to Habitat Kent’s first net-zero energy home, which offers a hard working family a nearly $0 energy bill at the end of the month. AmeriCorps members will assist with revitalization efforts by scraping and painting homes, doing a variety of landscaping projects, and repairing or replacing porches, fences, windows, and doors. For more information on the Wealthy Heights Partnership Project, click here.

On-Site Book Drive

As part of the 2011 Russ Mawby Signature Service project, an on-site book drive will occur at various service project sites on May 20 and 21. All collected books will be donated to the Heart of West Michigan United Way Schools of Hope program.

To learn more visit http://mi-ssp.com/index.html

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