Megan Lendman or Cassie Hall
West Michigan AmeriCorps Collaborative
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE: 4/14/2016
#GlamUPGarfieldPark for Global Youth Service Day!
Grand Rapids, Michigan – From 9am to 4pm on Global Youth Service Day, April 16, 2016, more than 90 young people, local students and national service members will come together to beautify the Garfield Park Neighborhood and surrounding area through the #GlamUPGarfieldPark project developed by the West Michigan AmeriCorps Collaborative. Projects include construction and planting at Urban Roots’ community farm, painting and maintenance at In The Image, installing benches designed and built by students at YouthBuild Grand Rapids, and neighborhood street clean up and tree mulching with Grand Rapids Public Schools and Friends of Grand Rapids Parks.
About West Michigan AmeriCorps Collaborative
Each year, roughly 250 AmeriCorps members complete their national service in West Michigan. The West Michigan AmeriCorps Collaborative exists to support these AmeriCorps members during their service term by providing resources, opportunities for civic engagement, professional development, and collaboration among AmeriCorps programs in the area. The Collaborative also provides engaging projects for AmeriCorps members and local volunteers during National Days of Service, including Global Youth Service Day.
Global Youth Service Day is an international event celebrated in more than 100 countries around the world. The purpose is to encourage civic engagement among young people, and to honor the hard work they are doing in their communities. AmeriCorps members dedicate themselves to a full year of volunteer service, with most members completing more than 1,700 hours of volunteer work during their term. For Global Youth Service Day 2016, the West Michigan AmeriCorps Collaborative is bringing programs together from across the city to celebrate our members’ achievements by joining in community wide service projects.
About Urban Roots
Urban Roots is a start-up nonprofit with a mission “to cultivate durable and resilient communities, families, and ecosystems through urban agriculture”. 2016 marks the inaugural year for their community farm located at 1316 Madison St SE. This urban farm will provide summer employment opportunities for neighborhood young people and a meeting space for neighbors, as well as a source for fresh, affordable, local, organic produce. In addition to providing Community Supported Agriculture shares which may be purchased using Bridge Cards, and Urban Roots is planning to operate a small farm stand on the property through the growing season. Volunteers for Global Youth Service Day will be supporting Urban Roots by doing some light maintenance, building planting beds, trellis building, and potting up plants.
About In The Image
Located at 1823 S. Division Avenue, In The Image links new and gently used clothing, household goods, furniture, and appliances with people in need in our very own community. The organization operates the Free Store, which is open for personal shopping appointments Monday through Saturday. In The Image is in desperate need of help brightening up their exterior image to align with their mission to offer resources with integrity, respect, and grace. Volunteers will help refresh the interior and exterior of the blue and tan building as they install benches for shoppers designed and constructed by students at YouthBuild Grand Rapids, install trash bins to help keep the property neat, create signage in the Free Store for shoppers to find what they are looking for, and complete interior painting projects.
About YouthBuild Grand Rapids
YouthBuild Grand Rapids is a seven-month program for low income young adults ages 18-24 that offers GED/High School diploma completion, vocational training, life skills development, and opportunities for personal growth. Since its inception, YouthBuild Grand Rapids has graduated 4 cohorts of students at a 70% graduation rate. To ensure their success is sustained, graduates are offered GED assistance, job coaching, resume building, job placement, interview etiquette, and leadership development. Those who wish to continue with higher education are given college enrollment assistance. To celebrate Global Youth Service Day, the students of YouthBuild worked with their construction instructor to design and build 4 benches that will be installed at In The Image.
About Friends of Grand Rapids Parks
The City of Grand Rapids currently owns 74 parks totaling approximately 1,210 acres of land. That is a lot of green space for a city to maintain. Through the Friends of Grand Rapids Parks, the city connects with volunteers, neighborhood leaders, and community partners to achieve their goal of protecting, enhancing, and expanding our community parks and public spaces. This Global Youth Service Day, the West Michigan AmeriCorps Collaborative is working with the Garfield Park Lodge and Grand Rapids Public Schools to complete spring mulching projects throughout our green space. Volunteers will follow important techniques to ensure proper rainwater drainage and tree-growth support.
How to get involved
Community members who wish to get involved on Global Youth Service Day will be able to visit our volunteer hub at In The Image, 1823 S. Division Avenue. West Michigan AmeriCorps Collaborative team members will be on hand to provide trash bags and plastic gloves for neighborhood street clean up.
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