Nearly 500 Emergency Response Initiative (ERI) members are officially in the field after participating in a virtual pledge ceremony last week. As they begin service in schools, community organizations, and nonprofits across the state, these AmeriCorps members will be a much-needed resource for communities steadily recovering from the pandemic’s harmful effects.
ERI members will support hundreds of organizations, such as Minnesota’s largest Latino-led nonprofit organization, CLUES, which provides a wide variety of services for youth, families, and elders. “One of the things we heard from our clients was how our AmeriCorps member not only addressed their immediate concerns but also followed up and provided ongoing support,” said Jennifer Galvan-Bautista, Volunteer Services Coordinator for CLUES. “That kind of attention has a really meaningful impact within our community.”
CLUES is one of hundreds of organizations supported by ERI members. Through serving a wide range of organizations, ERI has been able to respond quickly and flexibly to the pandemic crisis, and to the ever-changing needs that persist. Those needs shifted once again this summer – a greater portion of ERI members are serving as tutors to support students who experienced learning disruptions, many of whom will be back for in-person schooling in the fall.
Many ERI members are eager to start getting things done in the field. Led by Senator Zach Duckworth and Representative Ami Wazlawik in virtually reciting the AmeriCorps pledge, they have committed to “strengthen our communities.” When asked what they were most excited about, some new corps members answered: “working with students and serving my community,” “meeting new people,” and “being part of something bigger than myself.”
Though ERI’s recruitment deadline has passed, other ServeMinnesota AmeriCorps programs are currently recruiting. Visit our list of programs to learn more and apply.