Submitted by dsong on
AmeriCorps Staff

For decades, Americans have stepped up to address our nation and the world’s most pressing needs and build the next generation of leaders in all professions – from education to emergency response, public health, public service, and more. 

The movement continues today to address communities’ challenges and create career opportunities for Americans who commit to service and volunteerism. Every year, on March 1 and during the second full week of March, millions of Americans join in Peace Corps Week and AmeriCorps Week celebrations to recognize and thank these service members who step up to make a difference in our communities, like Don. 

A “triple crown” service member of the world

Don during Habitat for Humanity Global Village Build trip in El Salvador

Don has served with both Peace Corps and AmeriCorps multiple times. In honor of Peace Corps Week and AmeriCorps Week, he shares his motivations behind serving communities at home and abroad.

“Our family has always been doing service for others. My mother was from Honduras, and extended members of our family always wanted to come to America. We hosted and helped them, and my parents frequently traveled to Honduras with food and clothing packages. How the airplane ever flew is beyond me. My family's commitment to support those in need started my life in public service.

I first volunteered with our church's community service and accompanied my father, who was building migrant housing through the Farmers Home Administration USDA around the state. When President Kennedy established the Peace Corps in 1961, I wanted to be a part of it. So, I joined during my senior year of college and was assigned to Eastern Caribbean 22 from 1977 to 1979 on the island of Antigua, West Indies. After completing my service tour, I continued volunteering in the States through civic organizations in my community. I joined Pikes Peak Habitat for Humanity when I moved to Colorado Springs, following my father's footsteps, who served with Habitat for Humanity Metro Denver.

When Hurricane Mitch struck Central America in 1998, Peace Corps Crises Corps, now known as Peace Corps Response, called for Returned Peace Corps Volunteers. I jumped at the chance to serve for six weeks to six months in Honduras in honor of my mother, traveling the country to support rebuilding efforts. When the COVID-19 pandemic hit, I joined the AmeriCorps Habitat for Humanity of Metro Denver and served three tours since 2021. I have been an on-site construction project leader and am currently in the Production Shop. We build walls for the construction sites and assemble and paint doors, cabinets, stairs, and other items to support where the need is greatest.

Don, left, and AmeriCorps member Erin serving with Habitat for Humanity Metro Denver 

I will never forget the experiences I earned from serving with the Peace Corps and AmeriCorps. With the agencies' strengthened partnership, I am even more excited for Americans to volunteer and serve our communities.”

Celebrate members and alums like Don

National service members like Don are the Americans who make a positive impact in our communities and transform lives. Habitat for Humanity Metro Denver team says, "Don defines what it means to have a heart for service. Don has selflessly committed his life to serving others, both in the Metro Denver community and around the world. Don is always thinking of ways we can deliver on our mission and engage others in the process. We are so grateful for his continued service!"

This AmeriCorps Week takes place during the agency’s 30th anniversary. Join us to demonstrate how AmeriCorps and national service is not a moment but a movement that continues to bring out the best of America. Find out how you can celebrate the millions of Americans who are committed to a life of service and share the impact of volunteerism in our country.