In the simplest terms, an AmeriCorps member’s job is to be of service to the communities they are working in. With a host organization like Habitat for Humanity Central Arizona this basic tenant of my year of service was not difficult to fulfill.

As a Marketing Program Development AmeriCorps I was tasked with creating a Text-to-Give donation program. Creating this program from scratch has been an amazing learning experience. The research, planning, and execution involved has prepared me for whatever a marketing career may throw at me. As much as internships gave me some important tools, being an AmeriCorps member allowed me to be much more hands-on than an internship ever afforded me. It allowed me to show the potential I had while also getting the long-term mentoring to foster that potential.

 

This has been a strange and difficult year for many. While I began my AmeriCorps service expecting some challenges, no one was truly prepared for what was to come. I am so grateful that I and the other AmeriCorps were able to stay on to complete our service, as so many members were not able to do so due to COVID-19. Being a part of an organization like Habitat that took the challenge of working together from home and turned it into an opportunity to implement creative ideas was incredibly encouraging in a time that could have been filled with worry and fear for me.

A need for decent, affordable housing was already at crisis levels across the Valley with 1 in 7 Arizona families spending at least half of their income on housing and the pandemic has only exacerbated this crisis. This means that AmeriCorps members will play a bigger role than ever at Habitat Central Arizona. I may be almost finished with my service, but there are many members that are just beginning. Not only have the Deconstruct Coordinator and Family Services Coordinator positions filled again, but three more AmeriCorps member positions have been filled as well. I am so glad that others have the opportunity that I did to work in communities throughout Arizona whose needs for affordable housing are only going to increase.

 

Habitat AmeriCorps members have been proudly serving communities across the country for over 25 years. Since the program’s inception in 1994, more than 11,256 AmeriCorps members have worked with Habitat to serve more than 122,758 individuals, engaging more than 4.2 million volunteers and raising tens of millions of dollars to meet the housing needs of families in the U.S. I am proud to have served at Habitat and to have been a part of so many families becoming Habitat homeowners.

For more information about Habitat’s partnership with AmeriCorps and how this critical work will continue to be done click here!