The typical week for a Corps member is 2 days of Group Service, 2 days of an Individual Placement, and 1 flex day of either IPs or mini Group Service. Following are definitions of the primary programmatic elements that each member engages in throughout the week. Every Wednesday, the members of each house sit down to a group dinner to foster a positive environment in the residences, as well as to review the upcoming service schedule. House dinner is an opportunity for members to bond with each other, and to build a strong and inclusive community. The residential experience is designed to create a positive experience for the members, and to allow members to focus on service rather than paying the rent.
Group Service projects involve serving alongside your housemates and often with members from another residence to meet the needs of a Service Partner organization. Typically, these projects are focused on land management activities (such a removal of invasive plant species), aquaculture (assisting municipal shellfish departments with propagation and harvest of shellfish), or environmental education (teaching elementary and middle school students about water conservation).
The Individual Placement program places General Corps members with a specific Service Partner organization two or three days per week for the duration of the service year. Each member is assigned a placement based on the needs of a partner organization and the member’s background and interests. The list of Individual Placements varies each year based on community needs and includes a wide range of municipal and county agencies and nonprofits that work within one of ACC’s four focus areas.
AmeriCorps Cape Cod has four focus areas:
Natural Resource Management
Disaster Preparedness and Response
ACC’s efforts in the area of natural resource management include projects like shellfish propagation, invasive plant species removal, and community garden maintenance. In the area of disaster preparedness and response, Members help organizations like the American Red Cross and the Barnstable County Regional Emergency Planning Committee prepare for disasters like hurricanes, fires, and widespread power outages, and respond by staffing emergency shelters across the Cape. Our Members are also engaged in educating the public on many environmental and safety issues including fire safety, recycling, and vermicomposting. The fourth focus area, volunteer engagement, involves member-driven recruitment of volunteers for service projects throughout the year, including annual events such as Canal Cleanup and Martin Luther King, Jr. Day of Service.
Since 1999, AmeriCorps members have diligently addressed critical environmental and disaster preparedness and response needs within our community and expanded volunteering opportunities for our community members. In the past 16 years, members have participated in the following activities:
Environmental Conservation Projects – Completed 3,114 land and water based conservation projects
Environmental Education – Taught 2,124 environmental education activities to 52,565 students
Disaster Preparedness and Response Activities
• Taught 487 community disaster preparedness education classes
• Staffed each of the Cape’s 3 opened regional shelters as well as the Multi-Agency Coordination Center at Otis Air Force Base for the first 72 hours during 2013 winter storm “Nemo”
• Staffed each of the Cape’s 6 opened regional shelters during 2013’s Superstorm Sandy
• Deployed 6-person FireCorps to Liberty and Ellis Islands to clean up and rehabilitate the islands after Superstorm Sandy
• Participated in 24 disaster simulations including the 2012 and 2015 Barnstable County Mass Casualty Disaster Drill at the Barnstable Airport
• Responded to historic 2012 marine mammal stranding events affecting over 175 marine mammals
• Responded to 28 residential fires
Community Events - Organized and participated in annual events including: National AmeriCorps Week, AmeriCorps Cape Cod Week, National Volunteer Week, Mayor’s Day of Recognition for National Service, Arbor Day, Earth Day, Harwich Tour de Trash, Canal Clean Up, Barnstable County Hazardous Waste Collections, Boy Scout Emergency Preparedness Fair, Martin Luther King Jr. Day of Service, Coastsweep beach clean-up, Project WET Festivals, Chatham Media Swap, and Beautify Brewster.
Fostering an Ethic of Service
o Engaged 10,790 community volunteers in over 35,094 hours of community service
o Delivered 266 presentations about AmeriCorps, national service, community service and/or civic engagement.
Community Collaborations – Partnered with over 150 federal, state, county, and/or town departments; school, community groups, and non-profit agencies.
o 97% of AmeriCorps members have successfully graduated the program.
o 106 Corps members have stayed or returned to the Cape after graduation to live and work for a period of time. Forty are currently living and working on Cape, 22 are working for Barnstable County or a town department.
- From Sept. 1999 to July 2015, AmeriCorps Cape Cod members have served a total of 713,578 hours.
- Volunteers recruited, trained and managed by Corps members have served 35,094 hours.