On Thanksgiving, AmeriCorps reflects on the year so far and expresses gratitude.
On Thanksgiving, communities across the country gather to share a meal and express gratitude for the past year. And we have a lot to be thankful for at AmeriCorps. In September, we kicked off a yearlong celebration of 30 years of getting things done for America with our partners and grantees who have stood with us to transform the lives of our members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers who are on the ground addressing our communities’ most pressing challenges. The last 30 years of service would not have been possible without them. They are, and continue to be, the vehicle of our success.
As we approach Giving Season, we want to highlight the moments when Americans faced adversity but did not give up; instead, picked each other up and supported one another.
New Mexico Wildfire and Floods
In January, New Mexicans faced the largest wildfire in their state’s history. When the fire was contained, heavy rain and thunderstorms followed, which led to flash floods. The historic fire and subsequent flooding devastated communities and tribal nations. In partnership with the Federal Emergency Management Agency and nonprofit and volunteer organizations, we supported local communities, providing home assessments, mucking and gutting, debris removal, roof tarping, and more.
#Shareworthy: #AmeriCorps members stand with #NewMexico communities and #tribal nations as they recover from a historic wildfire and flooding that followed. #RT to say #AmeriThanks with us and read more about our #Disaster response: https://t.co/dHBlfrUXBr pic.twitter.com/GeGk1dqlnS— AmeriCorps (@AmeriCorps) February 14, 2023
Typhoon Mawar was the most powerful tropical storm to hit Guam since 2002 – with thousands still without water and electricity six weeks later. We're grateful for our members who supported the community with disaster recovery efforts, assisting with chainsaw operations and vegetative debris removal across the island. AmeriCorps members served alongside the Roofing Installation Support Emergency Utilization Program to help repair more than 500 metal roofs for survivors. One of the homeowners shared, “I’m very grateful for the assistance. Finally, my grandchildren can return to a safe home.”
In August, Hawaii was hit by a series of wildfires that caused extensive damage and resulted in the death of at least 115 people in Lahaina, the deadliest wildfire in modern US history. The island of Maui was the hardest hit by the wind-driven fires, which prompted evacuations. After President Biden announced the wildfires as a major disaster declaration, AmeriCorps members deployed to support the community and donations management.
The COVID-19 Pandemic’s Impact on Education
President Biden charged us to get student success back on track through the National Partnership for Student Success. AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers have played a vital role in helping students improve their reading levels, develop essential social and emotional skills, and achieve success both in and outside the classroom. Moreover, these volunteers also improve their own wellness, receive a stipend, and gain education benefits that they can pass down to their families.
From our AmeriCorps members and AmeriCorps Seniors volunteers to the millions of Americans who serve their community every day, we have a lot to be grateful for this Thanksgiving. As you reflect on the year with your family and loved ones, consider how you can lift up your community in time ahead of you. It’s never too early to begin planning your MLK Day of Service or too late to put your passion into action.