Monday, September 29, 2014

AmeriCorps: Hitting the Ground Running

Hello everyone!  My name is Andrew, and I am excited to be a part of this year’s AmeriCorps team working with the American Red Cross.  We are a total of six this year working with the Preparedness team in the Central Valley Region, and boy did we have to hit the ground running.

Our predecessors laid down great groundwork in our communities, and it will be a challenge to live up to and exceed all of the work and hours they put in before us.  However, I know that we have a highly motivated team that is more than ready to live up to the challenge.  

From left to right: Veronica, Korri, Andrew

The first few weeks have been a bit hectic with training, and it had me rearing to get out into the community to meet our neighbors and spread the Be Red Cross Ready message.  My counterpart for Tulare and Kings Counties, Korri, and I were accompanied by our Latino Community Preparedness Coordinator Veronica on our first community outreach presentations.  We were honored to speak in front of three 6th grade classes at John J. Doyle Elementary school in Porterville, CA.  The children were eager to learn how to create their own preparedness kits and emergency action plans.  What’s more is they pledged to take this new information home with them to share with the other members of their household.

And so our mission is well underway.  I am excited to meet and teach members of our surrounding communities over the course of the next year.  I have no doubt that the time will fly by, and that we will leave our communities in a more knowledgeable and safer place than they were before.

Andrew Basham
AmeriCorps NPRC 2014-2015
Preparedness Coordinator
American Red Cross Central Valley Region

Friday, September 12, 2014

Celebrating 20 Years of AmeriCorps: #GettingThingsDone For The Central Valley

How many people get to say they were welcomed to their new job by four different U.S. Presidents? Well here in the Central Valley we know at least 6 who can say that they were.

Veronica, Elizabeth, Alexandria, Korri, Daniel, and Andrew are the new AmeriCorps NPRC members for the Red Cross Central Valley, and they were officially sworn in today by President Barack Obama, alongside Presidents Bill Clinton, George W. Bush, and George H. W. Bush.  The special event was organized to honor the 20th Anniversary of the AmeriCorps program, which was founded in 1994 by President Clinton.

The event was live streamed from the South Lawn of the White House with AmeriCorps members simultaneously pledging service from their offices around the country. Here in the Valley, the six new members participated in the Fresno, Visalia, and Bakersfield Red Cross offices surrounded by volunteers and employees cheering them on and welcoming them into the Red Cross family.

Here’s video of Elizabeth, Veronica, and Alex participating from the Fresno office:

Now that they’re official, the Red Cross Central Valley AmeriCorps team will work in our community for the next 11 months, responding to disasters and increasing community preparedness through outreach and education.

To honor the milestone anniversary, Voices for National Service has issued a report, with a forward written by Chelsea Clinton, celebrating 20 years of service and impact through AmeriCorps. The report chronicles the history of AmeriCorps and celebrates the transformative impact AmeriCorps members have in local communities each day.

Now you can celebrate with us! Check out these infographics from the Corporation for National & Community Service Blog, highlighting all the work AmeriCorps has done over the last two decades. Then join the conversation online using the hashtag #GettingThingsDone to welcome the new AmeriCorps members and celebrate 20 years of service.

We can't wait to see how these six talented AmeriCorps members will get things done with Red Cross Central Valley!

Jessica Piffero
Regional Director of Communications