Many of us know the saying, “If you need something to get done, just ask a working mom.” No matter how busy, working moms always find time to give just a little bit more. But we’ve recently discovered another niche volunteer population: young people.
At ages 18 to 24, the men and women from the AmeriCorps National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC) travel around the country and, basically, bump around from cool project to cool project. Whether supporting post-hurricane disaster recovery or maintaining hiking trails in national parks, NCCC members set their sights on having huge impacts on local communities.
Here in Denver, Veterans Green Jobs has benefited from two NCCC teams who have helped construct a new retail store. The Go Green Warehouse, slated to open this spring, is a discount home improvement store that will also house an energy efficiency education center. Income will support training and job programs for military veterans.
The NCCC teams have been an invaluable source of help in getting the store ready – from painting walls and putting up racking, to stocking shelves and cleaning up. Angela Young, a former NCCC team leader herself, coordinates the NCCC program at Veterans Green Jobs. She’s giddy about NCCC’s results.
“Their energy is amazing, and it’s fun to see so many young folks supporting our mission,” says Angela. “Getting volunteers in here is a first step to spreading the word to communities about the importance of this work – which is to help veterans.”
The amount of work one NCCC team completed in just eight weeks is astounding. For the Go Green Warehouse, they cut and installed 382 shelves, inventoried more than 4,000 items among 550 categories in a spreadsheet, and painted 700 feet of wall.
That’s not counting what they did to support Veterans Green Jobs’ home weatherization services department: scheduling 175 audit appointments, helping to weatherize 30 homes and audit 22 homes, and cutting 300 square feet of insulation.
What did the NCCC team think?
Kyla observed the importance of the Veterans Green Jobs mission: “Being here has opened my eyes to the veterans who risked their lives to defend our country, and come home to no support. Having Veterans Green Jobs to help them out is amazing.”
Rocky loved the cohesion: “I learned how to be more team-oriented. You need more than one person for each task. We’re all in it together.”
Razilee saw a potential new career path: “I learned how a new business starts – from acquiring donations, to getting permits and winning grants.”
And Anna felt the community impact: “I now understand the importance of Veterans Green Jobs services for people who can’t afford them. Weatherizing and insulating brings bills down dramatically; these clients will feel the benefits the most.”
So, if you want something done, just ask a young person. To volunteer, contact email@example.com.