Last month, Michigan’s AmeriCorps State and VISTA members celebrated a very special time in their service term year. The first full week of March was set aside as AmeriCorps Week, in which the AmeriCorps members across the state participated in a campaign to raise awareness about their program. Members participated in various outreach events, performed community service outside of their host site duties, and committed acts of kindness to those in their community. One person, however, set the bar high with her AmeriCorps Week festivities, and Corps Support wants to spotlight her great efforts!
Heather Tait, a VISTA member serving at Grayling Main Street, seemed to have a well-prepared game plan for AmeriCorps Week, as she participated every day enthusiastically. In just five days, Heather ran a social media campaign using posts with hashtags, such as #MotivationalMonday and #YouGotServed, to showcase exciting experiences and share her AmeriCorps-plastered photos. A special edition of Main Street Monday labeled AmeriCorps Night was organized and hosted by Heather too! She reached out to her community members and even the civil servants in her area, including the City of Grayling staff, the Police Department, and the Fire Department. Presentations at her host site and a local preschool, a front-page article (Page 1, Page 2) written in a well-known paper, and a radio interview with her co-member Hannah Juhl sparked community conversation about AmeriCorps in a great way! It is safe to say Heather was busy spreading the message of “Getting Things Done for America” to her neighbors.
Heather was very involved in the programming and coordination of these visual events. When asked to share her thoughts on the week, she explained a new simplified phrase she adopted for her remaining term—“just one person”. Heather concedes one setback to AmeriCorps work is the seemingly impersonal reporting and sometimes unknown impact made in the community directly related to her work. She decided to change her mindset and working on improving just one person’s life at a time. By using this to measure her success instead of strictly numbers, she feels she has succeeded and done extremely important work. Heather is doing great things in her community in the name of AmeriCorps. Thank you Heather for all your hard work and dedication to service!
CEDAM hosts the Michigan Financial Opportunity Corps and the Rural Opportunity VISTA program AmeriCorps programs. We would like to thank the Corps Support Committee (Jennifer Tucker, Lily Fossel and Autumn Zywicki) for providing content to the Voices of AmeriCorps series.