AmeriCorps NCCC looking for opportunities to respond to the COVID-19 Pandemic
You have likely heard of AmeriCorps, the voluntary civil society program whose mission is to meet the needs of communities around the nation. But how much do you know about one of their primary programs, the National Civilian Community Corps (NCCC)?
The National Civil Community Corps is a full-time residential program for people ages 18-26 wherein members are stationed in communities to provide service while developing their leadership through team-based work.
The NCCC is currently soliciting ideas for ways its members can aid in the response to the COVID-19 pandemic. If your community is currently facing hardships that have been exacerbated by the nationwide lockdown, economic standstill, and heightened health risks, we want to hear from you.
We have a few ideas of our own:
- Food Security
- Economic Development Opportunities
- Helping with Veteran Stand Down
- Blight/Beautification Projects
The NCCC is adept at working in a variety of environments on a plethora of projects. Requesting their help is a two-step process.
The first step is to complete an AmeriCorps NCCC Project Concept Form (PCF). This provides a general overview of your community or organization, its needs, and a potential method of addressing the issue. This informs regional staff as to whether the project meets basic requirements and fits within the scope of the NCCC. If the PCF is accepted, you will be invited to complete the AmeriCorps NCCC Service Project Application, where you will give a more in-depth explanation of your proposal.
Applications close based on the time period for which your organization is requesting to host an NCCC team.
The Southern Region operates in states throughout the South, like Alabama, Georgia, Florida, and South Carolina, but also provides services across the country, from Rhode Island to Puerto Rico. Their projects fall within five areas of focus: Natural and Other Disasters, Environmental Stewardship and Conservation, Urban and Rural Development, Infrastructure Improvement, and Energy Conservation.
Natural and Other Disasters
NCCC members believe in being involved in every step of the process when it comes to saving people from disaster. Members help build shelters and establish Continuity of Operation plans for nonprofits in preparation for difficult times. In the wake of catastrophe, NCCC members have responded by helping set up relief shelters, operating Volunteer Reception Centers, distributing food, and clothing, and coordinating with other teams to maximize effectiveness on the ground.
Devoted to long-term service, NCCC members build homes, from framing to finishing, and recruit other volunteers to support the rebuilding efforts. Their work reaches across the globe as well. Relief kits they have assembled are sent to other nations to aid in their reconstruction processes.
Environmental Stewardship and Conservation
The NCCC believes in the responsible use of natural resources. As such, among their objectives regarding the environment is reforestation, having planted hundreds of acres of trees in areas previously mined for coal. When not planting, they are using their specialized training to burn thousands of acres of forest to prevent the damage of future wildfires and maintain the vitality of the natural landscape.
Their preservation efforts can also be seen with their work on historic landmarks, builds, and monuments, where they often assist with museum curation and the educational mission of archeological projects. Park resources, like hiking trails and recreational grounds, are managed by NCCC members who make it their mission to ensure spaces are accessible for all to enjoy.
Urban and Rural Development
Building communities is a primary objective for NCCC. Its members are adept at constructing and rehabilitating affordable housing for people in the city and rural areas. This often includes working with municipal authorities to maintain homes for the aging.
Their work carries over into schools where they paint classrooms, build learning centers and repair playgrounds. They establish after school programs and parental support networks, as well as tutor youth and people of the community. This instruction can also include helping low-income families prepare their taxes.
Public facilities are an invaluable resource to much of the citizenry of every community. As such, NCCC believes the maintenance and improvement of these places are of the utmost importance. Members help clean parks, survey septic systems, and even repaint numbers on buildings to make it easier for first responders to find the right address. Invasive species have been cleared from public spaces and estuaries have been cleaned and revitalized to keep up a healthy appearance, all in the hopes of preserving the people's places.
With sustainable energy use becoming a more pertinent issue, NCCC members are helping families become more energy efficient. They have canvassed neighborhoods, sharing information about environmentally friendly alternatives to common in-home practices. Members even come into homes to install Compact Fluorescent Light Bulbs and weatherization enhancements.
Teams have led volunteers in the maintenance, construction, and rebuilding of energy-efficient homes. While under construction, members are keen on employing energy-efficient products, tools, and methods. Among these are biodiesel, which NCCC members help produce through the promotion, outreach, collection, and processing of used cooking oils, which can be converted into a fuel source for equipment.
For more information on how to get an AmeriCorps NCCC team to serve with your organization, please contact your state representative:
PLEASE NOTE: All of these projects were possible only with adequate training and daily supervision provided by the project sponsor. Our teams are fast learners and very enthusiastic, but they are not skilled labor.