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This week from March 7th to the 13th is AmeriCorps Week to celebrate all things AmeriCorps. Tomorrow will conclude the celebration, but there’s still time to offer thanks to the volunteers who served others.

If you’re wondering what AmeriCorps is all about, the program engages well over 250,000 Americans each year in sustained, results-driven services by combating hunger and homelessness, responding to natural disasters, helping communities impacted by COVID-19, and more.

Last year, I was given the opportunity to serve as an AmeriCorps VISTA in the City of Lancaster working on projects that brought equitable and community development to the southern half of the city. Prior to my year of service, I had never stepped foot in Lancaster County. Having just finished my degree in Urban Planning at Temple University, I was excited to take my recently acquired knowledge to the City of Lancaster when offered the opportunity. If you haven’t been, I highly suggest a trip to this small city with a population of roughly 60,000 people, especially Central Market for local foods that are amazing. The passion from those who I worked with for Lancaster Equity and the Coalition to Combat Poverty were inspiring, and to my surprise a majority of them were AmeriCorps Alums.

To this day I still keep in touch with those I worked with in the city and I follow up with the projects that I was able to contribute towards during my year of service. If you have volunteered for AmeriCorps, I’d like to thank you or if you know someone who volunteered, be sure to thank them! The experience is noteworthy and I recommend it to anyone who is curious about the program.

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