Michigan hosts over 800 AmeriCorps members, who serve at 300 sites across the state. Most days, members focus on their specific mission, but one day every year, members gather regionally for a day of service in celebration of Dr. Russell “Russ” Mawby, who now serves as an honorary trustee for The W.K. Kellogg Foundation. His efforts to bring AmeriCorps to Michigan mean more than 42,000 people have served Michigan since 1994, which amounts to over 26 million hours of service in foreclosure, financial education, environmental cleanup, healthcare and much more.
“So it has been a mindset from the very beginning, I think, that we benefit from collaborative efforts and that a community benefits if the various organizations, nonprofits most of them, if they do collaborate to the extent possible.”
-Dr. Russ Mawby
The 2017 Regional Russ Mawby Signature Service Projects brought together the diverse AmeriCorps cohort for a day of intensive service that visibly demonstrates the power of Michigan AmeriCorps in action. Members gathered in six regions, and each region had a variety of projects.
For example, at Ingham County Land Bank‘s vacant lot sites, members cleared brush and planted gardens. They weeded asparagus and planted raspberries to help provide fresh produce for the Greater Lansing Food Bank. Tri-cities members worked on fighting urban blight in Flint by boarding up vacant houses and clearing brush and debris from yards. Huron Pines built and placed bird houses in Hartwick Pines State Park with members from as far as Hart.
The Russ Mawby Signature Service Day gathered 800 AmeriCorps members from different communities and intensified their efforts through collaboration and dedication, and the proof is in the projects completed around the state. What better way to honor Dr. Russ Mawby.
Find out more about CEDAM’s AmeriCorps here.