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Kentucky AmeriCorps Launches New Service Year

November 9, 2009

FRANKFORT, Ky. - AmeriCorps members in Kentucky have taken a pledge to get things done in the state as they begin a year of service to citizens and communities across the Commonwealth. Members range in age from 18 to 73 and sign up for a year of work and training.

Dick Timmerman is an AmeriCorps member in Franklin, Ky., who builds and remodels houses for Habitat for Humanity. It's hard work, but the former construction manager says it's rewarding.

"You get to experience the relationships and the joy and the gratitude that they have when somebody gets to move into a new home."

AmeriCorps, a federal community service program, was created 1993. In all, members serve in 115 of Kentucky's 120 counties.

AmeriCorps members often use their experience as a stepping stone to jobs and careers. In Timmerman's case, as a more experienced volunteer, it's all about the assistance AmeriCorps provides to communities.

"We've got affiliates all across the nation. So you know that in every little county where there is an affiliate with AmeriCorps, somebody in that community is getting helped on a regular basis."

Kentucky Housing and Homeless AmeriCorps program director, Carrie Stith-Webster, says Kentucky members perform a variety of services in communities across the state.

"We have people helping in domestic violence shelters, in homeless shelters and in agencies that provide services to people who are homeless but are not sheltered."

Sometimes called the "domestic Peace Corps," AmeriCorps provides service opportunities to members on a full-time or part-time basis.

Bill Goodman, Public News Service - KY