Nov 22, 2011

More Make a Difference Day Photos

Make A Difference Day!

This past Make a Difference Day AmeriCorps Alums CT was involved in some awesome service projects!

Here are some quantifiables:

Operation Hope
Team 1 - There was a total of 3 trash bags filled with leaves and 2 brown home depot bags full of weeds and any other bad plants found before we added the mulch. 7 1/2 bags of mulch spread.
Team 2 - Our team at Garden Street filled 8 leaf bags from the front and backyard of a two-family duplex.

Hollander House
Number of gazebos stained: 1
Number of residents whose company we enjoyed: 20-30
Number of Allies singing karaoke: 5

Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust - 42 lead assessment surveys completed

Housing Authority
Number of rooms painted: 3 (1 main lobby, 2 bathrooms)
Number of people interacted with at site: 3

Habitat for Humanity
Number of bags of trash collected from the neighborhood: 10
Number of roofing boards marked and lifted up scaffolding and through windows: 40
Number of houses we helped build and beautify: 2

Awesome work team!

Oct 18, 2011

Make A Difference Day this Saturday in Bridgeport!

As an AmeriCorps member, part of our mission statement was “I will carry this commitment with me this year and beyond.” As AmeriCorps Alums, we take this statement to heart, and are mobilizing for October 22nd's "Make A Difference Day" in Bridgeport,CT.

The following are projects confirmed for the day. We will be partnering with Public Allies and community members:

Operation Hope - Going to 5 properties to clean and prep for winter - mulching, weeding, maybe some painting
Bridgeport Neighborhood Trust - Going out in the Black Rock section of Bridgeport conducting surveys on residents perceptions of lead poisoning, beginning with a 45-minute training from BNT staff
Bridgeport Housing Authority - Going to a community center in low-income housing to restore and paint it so that the residents will be able to rent out the room
Hollander House - Going to an elderly housing complex where work will be divided between staining an outdoor gazebo and spending time with the residents (Spanish and Russian speakers would be ideal here).
YMCA Alpha Community Services - cleaning around some properties in Washington Park
Habitat For Humanity -Working on a House

Here is the Public Allies schedule for the day:
9:00am - meet up at the Burroughs Community Center for check-in
9:30 - split into groups and travel to sites d
9:45 - arrival and introductions
10:00-2:00 - volunteer at sites
2:15 - "working" lunch back at the Burroughs Community Center, we will ask groups to split up and sit with other groups to discuss their experience time
3:30 - group debrief of the day
4:00 - closing out the day and check-out

Please consider volunteering, and send me an email or message through this site if you are interested. There will also be a project sign up on The Make A Difference Day site, however it has not posted yet. I will send out another email with the link when it is up.

We very much encourage Alums to come out and meet each other and volunteer. There are many of you who we have not yet met, but we are very excited to do some community service with you. I'm sure most of you have participated in prior "Make a Difference Day" Projects and remember how rewarding an experience it can be.

Tina Lindstrom,MSW
CT AmeriCorps Alums Chapter Leader

You can also sign up here.

Mill River Clean Up Photos

Check out some photos from a recent service project where AmeriCorps Alums CT helped get things done!

Mill River Clean Up Photos

Mill River Clean Up Photos

Mill River Clean Up Photos

May 10, 2011

AmeriCorps Week Service Project- Community Gardening in Newhallville!

All are invited to come join AmeriCorps alums, current members, and community members to build and support community gardens this Saturday.

Free breakfast and snacks for all!

Hope to see you Saturday, May 14th!

May 8, 2011

AmeriCorps Night at the Rock Cats!

Join fellow Alums for a night of baseball in New Britain at AmeriCorps Night at the Rock Cats this Friday Night!

On Friday, May 13, members and supporters of AmeriCorps will celebrate AmeriCorps Night at the New Britain Rock Cats baseball game.

AmeriCorps Night takes place during AmeriCorps Week, a national celebration.You are invited to “Pitch in for America” by attending the May 13 Rock Cats game in support of AmeriCorps. Purchase a $5 general admission ticket through one of the event organizers and half the proceeds of the ticket will support non-profit organizations that sponsor AmeriCorps VISTA projects.

Game starts at 6:35 – be sure to arrive early to see the opening pitch from an AmeriCorps representative! Gates open at 5:00 p.m. The Rock Cats, the minor league affiliate of the Minnesota Twins, will take on the Portland Sea Dogs, the minor league affiliate of the Boston Red Sox. facebook event here.

Apr 28, 2011

Niantic native and AmeriCorps Alum heads to Panama with Peace Corps

Niantic's Emily Howell Heller is heading to Panama as an Environmental Education Peace Corps volunteer.

Previously Emily was a research intern and an AmeriCorps VISTA intern in Environmental Education. Read more here.
Good luck Emily!

Apr 24, 2011

CT AmeriCorps Alum Jason Donati honored by Ball State University as Environmental Leader

Jason Donati, a city-county stormwater educator in Muncie, Delaware was recently honored with an Exemplar award by Ball State University, and credits his environmental ethic while to his AmeriCorps service where he helped build a trail at a YMCA camp and removed invasive species from CT and Long Island wetlands. Read the entire story here. Congrats Jason!

Apr 17, 2011

Alum Alveena Shah writes for in support of AmeriCorps

Since 1994, more than 9,700 AmeriCorps members in Connecticut have contributed 12 million hours of service tackling our nation's most pressing issues!

Alveena writes "Thanks to AmeriCorps and Jumpstart, I was simultaneously able to learn valuable lessons about my own career path and help prepare children for success in school." Read more

Mar 30, 2011

Make the Call to Save National Service Again!

Thank You! You Made the call! Now Let's Save Service Again!

During the Tribute on March 21 honoring President George H. W. Bush and celebrating  the modern-day service movement, we met Rhonda Ulmer, one of 600,000 AmeriCorps Alums who have changed this country.

We also heard about the bipartisan heritage of the service movement and the critical role that voluntary action plays in overcoming the challenges our families, communities, and nation face in the 21st Century.

It is vital that we continue to take this bipartisan message to Congress.

We know that in February, the House of Representatives proposed the elimination of AmeriCorps and the Corporation for National and Community Service.  The latest short-term budget for the government expires on April 8th.  Before that date, Congress will have difficult decisions to make regarding federal spending for FY 2011.  We also anticipate this week that the House Leadership will release its FY2012 budget proposal.

For these reasons, I urge you to call your Senators by using the number 1-855-US-SERVE (1-855-877-3783) on Monday, April 4th and express your strong support for national and community service.  For more information and other action steps, visit

I asked for your help earlier this month, and you along with the nation delivered with 10,000 calls. Now we need you to deliver one more time. Show Congress that America cares about service and AmeriCorps enough to visit their offices and call in support….twice!

Connecticut Alums awarded AmeriCorps Week Grant!

AmeriCorps Alums has awarded 10 grants to help fund and facilitate AmeriCorps week events, including a grant for our Connecticut Chapter.

Stay tuned for future events, including happy hours, social and public outreach, service opportunities and more!

ServeNext profiles CT Chapter leader Katherine Jones

ServeNext, a grassroots action organization, recently announced it's list of 2011 ServeNext Organizers, which includes AmeriCorps Alums CT leader Katherine Jones, who has served with PACT as a program associate and as a heath center coordinator. For the rest of the story, and to meet the other leaders, click here.

AmeriCorps Youth Health Service Corps Coordinator presents at GoodGuides

Marcella Lawson was recently a guest presenter helping to increase awareness and knowlege of health careers to middleschool students and their mentors. The project was in cooperation of Goodwill Industries of Western CT and the Area Health Education Center. To read the entire story, click here.

Senator Blumenthal's responds to letter

CT Senator Richard Blumenthal recently replied to a letter I wrote expressing the importance of supporting AmeriCorps programs. Here is the letter in it's entirety:

Dear Mr. Brightman,
Thank you for your thoughtful message regarding proposed cuts to AmeriCorps. I appreciate hearing from you.
There is no question that our nation is in the midst of a fiscal crisis. We’re spending too much money and leaving the bill for our children and grandchildren. A recent report released by the Government Accountability Office (GAO) shows that waste and duplication in government costs taxpayers billions of dollars each year. We need to rein in excessive and wasteful spending, as well as work to eliminate fraud to reduce our deficit.
At the same time, we must ensure that we do not make indiscriminate cuts that will ultimately hurt our country. Programs such as AmeriCorps provide valuable services to those in need, and also train a new class of young leaders who will go on to serve important roles in our community.
Please be assured that as the budget is considered, I will fight to make sure that the spending cuts we make are smart cuts, and that we continue to invest in our future by preserving funding for worthwhile programs like AmeriCorps.
Thank you again for your message. I will certainly keep your views in mind.
Richard Blumenthal
United States Senator

If you'd like to contact Senator Blumenthal you can online here or call his Hartford office at 860-258-6940.

Mar 20, 2011

Cutting National Service would hurt leadership development

Max Klau, director of leadership development at City Year, writes in a recent article about the ways National Service creates and fosters leaders. Here's a sample -

"Among the many good reasons why national service should be preserved, here's one case that needs to be made clearly and powerfully: National service represents a critical pipeline for developing the next generation of effective, committed, inspired civic leaders."

To read the whole article click here.

Community HealthCorps releases Statewide Impact Report

As the largest health-focused, national AmeriCorps program, HealthCorps performed over 15 hundred hours of service last year in Connecticut, and will sponsor 26 full time service members in CT this year!

A PDF of the Community HealthCorps Connecticut 2009-2010 report can be found here.

Mar 14, 2011

Kick Off AmeriCorps Week with Rock Cats Baseball!

Come out and show your support for AmeriCorps!

Friday, May 13th is AmeriCorps Night at New Britain Stadium.

Tickets are only $5, the Rock Cats (Minnesota Twins) will host the Portland Sea Dogs (Red Sox).

AmeriCorps will be featured during the First Pitch, an on field ceremony and the night will wrap up with fireworks!

Gates open at 5:05 pm, and the game starts at 6:35.

Stay tuned for more info, see you on the 13th!

Mar 10, 2011

Public Allies Connecticut seeks Program Manager (Job Posting)

Public Allies Connecticut (PACT) is seeking a Program Manager to work with AmeriCorps members and other non-profits in and around New Haven, and the rest of the state.

From the web - "Public Allies CT seeks a dynamic, energetic, solutions-minded professional with a passion for working with emerging leaders and supporting capacity building initiatives within the nonprofit sector. We seek a candidate who is able to support the growth and development of civic leaders by providing individual and group support, designing and facilitating experiential-based learning opportunities, and by expanding career and educational networks for emerging leaders."

Read much more about the position and how to apply by clicking here.

Over Eleven Hundred in Connecticut Stand for AmeriCorps!

As featured earlier in our blog here, the proposed budget cut elimination of AmeriCorps sparked a national outrage among service members, alums and ordinary citizens across the country. Thousands of people signed an online petition through urging law makers to save AmeriCorps, including over 1,100 people from Connecticut! Way to go Nutmegger's!

Take 5 and Save Service March 15th!

On March 15th AmeriCorps Alums are being asked to gather their voices on behalf of service and
call each and every senator across the country as congress gears up to set the budget for the following year!

You can help by taking a few minutes out of your day and contacting Senator Blumenthal's office at 202-224-2823 and Senator Lieberman's office at 202-224-4041.

Remember AmeriCorps in on the chopping block and every voice counts!

Mar 5, 2011

Public Allies Connecticut featured in Beat Of The Street

PACT Class of 2011

Public Allies Connecticut or PACT, is a statewide AmeriCorps program which seeks to create "New Leaders for New Times", and was featured recently in the local Beat Of The Street publication.

The article describes a December meeting where several topics were discussed, including project ideas, homelessness, after-school programs.

Beat of The Street strives to keep a pulse on homelessness in the Greater Hartford Region.

Stay tuned for more info on Public Allies CT, Beat of the Street and future service projects, including a soup kitchen event this June!

Mar 4, 2011

Connecticut Native and Connecticut College Alum Serves in Lake Tahoe

Adam Zeender is putting his Environmentla Science degree to good work as an AmeriCorps Environmental Education Assistant in Northern California with SNAP (the Sierra Nevada AmeriCorps Parternship). Adam also leads teens on summer trips and has worked as a ski instructor. Good luck Adam!

Baby-Boomers, Grad Students and AmeriCorps service opportunities with ElderCare

ACES (AmeriCorps in ElderCare Settings) is partering with NYAHSA (New York Association of Homes and Services for the Aging) to provide services at elder care service centers around the State of Connecticut. For much more information, including how to get involved click here.

AmeriCorps Week Dates Changed to May 7th-14th

AmeriCorps Week, the 7 days each spring dedicated to spreading the word about AmeriCorps through recruitment, recognition, service projects and special events such as AmeriCorps at the New Brittain Rock Cats is scheduled for May 7th-14th, 2011.

Stay tuned for more information and events on the best week of the year!

Feb 28, 2011

Connecticut native volunteers in Arizona

Connecticut native and UConn alum Stephen Packard has been busy dodging lizards, scorpions and the heat while he's been building trails in Casa Grande Arizona with his NCCC team over the past few weeks, as featured in an article by the West Hartford News.

This is the first project for Team Fire Four, and up is work along with the Oklahoma Ranger District USDA Forest Service.

To read more about the project click here.

Connecticut native volunteers in Houston

Katie Hanchuruck of Connecticut is serving on an NCCC team (above) and recently volunteered at Houston's historic Olivewood Cemetery, clearing vegetation and restoring repairing plots. Click here for more on the project, or here for more info on AmeriCorps*NCCC.

AmerCorps VISTA members honored

VISTA service members were thanked for their service by NeighborWorks, an organization which seeks to Develop homes and Transform lives. The three Connecticut members ran a summer program for residents children, including recycling education, crafts, field trips and much more.

AmeriCorps supports Unified Theater

Unified Theater, a youth lead movement which fosters inclusion of all people including those with special needs into theater performances thanks AmeriCorps and the Connecticut Commission on Community service for their support on their website. The non-profit was founded by a Hartford's Micaela Connery and now has programs in 9 schools and community centers across the state.

The homepage has an inspiring video explaining the program, and also lists ways you can help out!

AmeriCorps Support letter to Senator Blumenthal

An AmeriCorps supporter from Madison has written a great letter in support of federal funding, and is featured on

Here's a sample -
"AmeriCoprps members get SO MUCH done for communities that really need it - while getting paid less than minimum wage! Talk about a bargain."

Remember, voting for your favored political representative isn't then end of your civic duty, make your voices heard by calling, writing or emailing your Connecticut Representative and Senators Blumenthal and Lieberman and tell them why AmeriCorps is so vitally important to you, the state, and our country!

VISTA Alum service opportunity

The Connecticut Campus Compact is looking for a VISTA alum to serve as an Events Manager, starting in June.

Some of the Leader's responsibilities will include:

• Recognizing the efforts and accomplishments made by Members, through media publications;

• Promoting information sharing and resource building amongst VISTA members and programs;

• Publishing quarterly VISTA newsletters and biannual CTCC newsletters;

• Organizing training opportunities that will provide Members the resources necessary to support the overarching goals.

Much more info, including term of service, qualifications, benefits and contact info can be found here.

Feb 27, 2011

Alums rally voices across the country!

When AmeriCorps Vista alum Caleb Jonas heard about House bill H.R.1 he decided to take action.

The bill, which passed the house and is now on it's way to the Senate, proposes to cut all federal funding for several services including AmeriCorps, City Year, and Habitat for Humanity. That's when Caleb decided to make his voice heard. He created an online petition, encouraged some friends and fellow alums to sign, and before long he had collected the names of over 100,000 people who support funding these important services.

The list of names accompanied a letter given to House majority leader Eric Cantor (R-VA). This demonstrates the passion, pride and commitment AmeriCorps alums as well as our support for well funded and essential national and local services.

Read more about Caleb's story here, make sure to keep an eye on H.R. 1, and call, write or email your Connecticut Representative and Senators Blumenthal and Lieberman and tell them why AmeriCorps is so vitally important to you, the state, and our country!

Feb 17, 2011

Stand for AmeriCorps!

AmeriCorps is on the chopping block! The United State Congress might vote to end The Corporation for National Service, thus ending AmeriCorps! We can't let this happen. Call your State Representative today and sign the petition below!

Feb 8, 2011

AmeriCorps Alums giving out $1,000 Grants for AmeriCorps Week!

Join us for Service! May 7-14th is AmeriCorps Week 2011 and CT Alums is looking to start off the Chapter with a bang! We are currently looking for alums interested in helping us develop, plan, and execute events during the week. Contact us today!

Looking for Bloggers!

Do you love to blog? Are you anAmeriCorps Alum living in Connecticut? Our Chapter Leader is looking for a alum interested in being our Social Media Guru. Think you have what it takes? Contact us!

Jan 10, 2011

Hey CT Alums!

The time has come for us to unite! I am the current Chapter Leader and would like to begin spreading the word about AmeriCorps Alums and building a state wide chapter. I will be searching the state looking for alums who are interested in getting back involved, so if that is YOU please contact me. It is my hope that we can develop a network to continue serving the state through service projects throughout the year and general meetings to stay connected. If you miss the AmeriCorps fun you have cherished through the years, shoot be an email to rekindle the love!!