By Maddy Alewine
It’s hard to put into a nice, neat paragraph how AmeriCorps impacts Asheville Habitat and in turn, the community. This year’s five AmeriCorps members- Mackenzie, Kaitlyn, Sydney, Billy, Nora- started their year with us jumping in head first, taking on each new challenge with gusto and passion.
Mackenzie works with our new house construction team. She has been helping finish up our Arden neighborhood and start a new 12-home community in Candler; another vital person to supervise volunteers and teach them new skills and tasks.
Kaitlyn interns primarily in the office with construction volunteer services, but really she does it all- recruiting much-needed home repair core volunteers, attending volunteer expos, coordinating visiting groups, and working on the new home construction jobsite with Mackenzie on Saturdays. Kaitlyn chose to do service with us because she had worked with Asheville Habitat as part of a Collegiate Challenge team a few years ago when she was a student at Saginaw Valley State University on MI. She had enjoyed her experience so much as a trip participant that she wanted to help others have a rewarding volunteer experience with Asheville Habitat.
Sydney, Billy and Nora are our Home Repair dream team increasing our Home Repair staff from two to five. While those numbers don’t seem impressive, more than doubling the team allows for them to divide and conquer- completing critical repairs for low-income homeowners from Barnardsville to Arden and everywhere in between. Not to mention, this is Sydney’s second AmeriCorps term with us! With a year’s experience under her belt, she and Nora have been spearheading our Aging in Place program- a specific grant that helps elderly, very low-income homeowners who receive fully-funded crucial home repairs.
We are so grateful to all of our past and current AmeriCorps members!