AmeriCorps Week provides an opportunity for AmeriCorps members, alumni, grantees, program partners, and friends to shine a spotlight on the work done by members in communities across the country — and to motivate more Americans to join AmeriCorps or volunteer in their communities. The goal of the Massachusetts Service Alliance’s AmeriCorps Week Service Project Initiative is to increase awareness of the value of AmeriCorps service as a strategy to meet community needs in Massachusetts, salute AmeriCorps members and alums for their powerful impact, and thank the community partners who make AmeriCorps possible.
Past AmeriCorps projects include: construction of an 80-foot boardwalk at Taylor Bray Farm, construction and planting of a coastal mitigation nursery at Suni Sands in Craigville, and rehabilitation of a commercial-sized greenhouse at Meetinghouse Farm.
In 1994, Congress designated the Martin Luther King Jr. Federal Holiday as a national day of service and charged the Corporation for National and Community Service with leading this effort. Taking place each year on the third Monday in January, the MLK Day of Service is the only federal holiday observed as a national day of service — a “day on, not a day off.” The MLK Day of Service is a part of United We Serve, the President’s national call to service initiative. It calls for Americans from all walks of life to work together to provide solutions to our most pressing national problems. The MLK Day of Service empowers individuals, strengthens communities, bridges barriers, creates solutions to social problems, and moves us closer to Dr. King’s vision of a “Beloved Community.”
Examples of past AmeriCorps Cape Cod Martin Luther King Day of Service projects are the following: restoring homeless residences, organizing and executing a home winterization initiative for low-income homeowners, organization of a Cape-wide food drive, and rehabilitation of a low-income housing development.
Canal Clean-Up is an Earth Week volunteer event organized in partnership between the Army Corps of Engineers and AmeriCorps Cape Cod. Every year since 2000, over 200 volunteers come annually to walk along the banks of the Cape Cod Canal and pick up hundreds of pounds of trash.
The Cape Cod Canal is the widest sea-level canal in the world! It is 480 feet wide and cuts through about 7 miles of land, and makes Cape Cod technically an island. It is maintained and operated by the Army Corps of Engineers. Many people walk, bike, and fish along the Canal’s service roads and shores, and it provides many recreation opportunities for the Upper Cape community.
Canal Clean-Up is a great opportunity to serve the community, but it’s also a lot of fun! Past events have featured live music, environmental education booths, face painting, tie-dyeing, and refreshments for volunteers.