We have been posted to Washington, IL for full-time tornado recovery efforts. We will be at the donation center located at Countryside Banquet facility (659 School St.). We are asking that those who want to sign up to help go through the Washington Chamber of Commerce. Thanks!
As Becca said in yesterday’s post, our annual Keepsacks for Kids project is coming up quickly. Now that we’ve started some of our new members (and brought back a few of our old ones) we’re gearing up for this awesome event. Since Becca explained the project already, I’ll just add our request for donations and help with hygiene kits.
Ideally, our hygiene kits will be specialized by age and sex. Our wish list for each hygiene kit includes shampoo/conditioner, liquid body wash, razors and shaving cream for adults, deodorant, hair brush/comb, lotion, face/body wipes, toothbrush, toothpaste, floss, mouthwash, wash cloth or hand towel, bandages, antibiotic ointment, cotton balls, tissues, pads and tampons for adult women, and hand sanitizer. Since donations and money are scarce, we know that we should have realistic expectations. Our most-needed items are listed in the graphic above, but we’ll happily accept any donations that come our way. We ask that items be unopened or unused, especially if they are hotel-sized travel items. Things that are individually packaged are best, but items in bulk that can’t be separated are always useful for large families or agencies that cater to many people.
We’d love for you to be a part in our Keepsacks for Kids project. On behalf of the hundreds of people who will receive a warm blanket and a hygiene kit this winter, THANK YOU!
- Victoria woman starts Totes of Love drive to help low income, homeless (victoriaadvocate.com)
- Taking Care of the Homeless! Blessing Bags for Homeless (donnareevesblog.wordpress.com)
- The Real Truth About Crafting For Charity (whileshenaps.typepad.com)
Hello, readers. It’s mid-summer, and since things are (kind of) quiet around here, I figured I’d give you something to do. First, I’d like to share a quote I recently came across from Jane Addams’ Twenty Years at Hull House.
I dreamed night after night that every one in the world was dead excepting myself, and that upon me rested the responsibility of making a wagon wheel. The village street remained as usual, the village blacksmith shop was “all there,” even a glowing fire upon the forge and the anvil in its customary place near the door, but no human being was within sight…
I always stood in the same spot in the blacksmith shop, darkly pondering as to how to begin, and never once did I know how, although I fully realized that the affairs of the world could not be resumed until at least one wheel should be made and something started. Every victim of nightmare is, I imagine, overwhelmed by an excessive sense of responsibility and the consciousness of a fearful handicap in the effort to perform what is required…
Something about this particular quote stood out to me (though the entire book, and anything by or about Jane Addams, is definitely worth a read). I think it resonated particularly clearly because I, and I’m sure anyone who has ever done service work, know that feeling well. The feeling of sensing just how large the task before you is, and having not a clue how to go about solving it. It can be overwhelming to look at something like poverty, or hunger, and feel that you could never hope to be more than a ‘drop in the ocean’ against it.
Even a small project can feel daunting when you’re staring it in the face. Last weekend, a member and I showed up at an East Bluff home armed with a plastic trowel, a rake, and a pair of gloves between the two of us, having been unable to round up any other members or tools. The yard we were scheduled to work in was overgrown, with weeds, saplings, rogue flowers, overhanging tree limbs, thorny plants…and me with a Dollar Store trowel. I felt a lot like Addams described above: overwhelmed, under-prepared, but heavy with the knowledge that it was up to me to get this done–alone.
Luckily for us, we weren’t alone. A community member had answered our call, and she walked over with tools and (more importantly) first-hand experience with gardening. Then, another member brought more tools and more knowledge, and with some teamwork we were able to fill two bins, four yard waste bags, and several bundles. We cleared the yard, pruned the bushes, transplanted flowers, cut down invasive plants, and even took down a tree limb or two. Together, we were able to complete the task that had been so overwhelming to one or two members. And together, even the big problems like hunger and poverty can be solved.
I’d encourage anyone who’s interested in service work to reach out. Talk to your friends and family, join a group (like AmeriCorps), or start your own service group…or, hey, start a blog! The important thing is not to get overwhelmed by the big problems, and one of the best ways to do that is to take them on little by little, and together.
On that note, I came across a local initiative to recognize and encourage service in Peoria: WWCT’s Neighborhood Heroes campaign. You can nominate someone who does work in and around Peoria who will be recognized by the radio station and Central Illinois Bank. It’s always nice to be recognized. If you see someone doing good things, reach out. Whether through a nomination or a simple “thank you,” it’s another way we can work together to Get Things Done.
Hi everyone I’m Alisha. I’m 20 years old and I’ve been with AmeriCorps for a little over a year. In that time I’ve worked on many projects, a few of them being: helping at the Midwest Food Bank, volunteering at the March Madness Access the Experience, and doing various preschool projects. At the Midwest Food Bank we packaged to be shipped to disasters areas. The March Madness Access the Experience Field Trip Day, is a day where they change the games for people with disabilities so that they are able to play them too. The game I helped at was called Driveway Knockout. At our most recent trip to the Urban League Preschool we read the book How Full is Your Bucket for kids and then helped the kids do a craft that I designed. The craft was to fill origami buckets with paper water droplets that had stickers of things that made the kids happy. Before we went to the preschool I had to teach all of the AmeriCorps members and Natalie how to make the buckets. My favorite thing about AmeriCorps is all the opportunities to go out into the community and help people. I also like that it gives us a chance to grow as people. I personally have seen changes in myself since joining AmeriCorps. In my free time (wait what free time?) I like to read, hang out with friends, and on rare occasions go horseback riding. My future career plans are to go into the social work field but I’m not sure what part of it. Well that’s me.
Anyone who needs Red Cross shelter assistance and those interested in volunteering on this relief effort should call their local chapter office at the number below.
- Canton – (309) 647-2040
- Champaign/Danville – (217) 351-5861
- Peru – (815)223-0922
- Peoria – (309)677-7272
- Quincy – (217)222-2477
- Macomb – (309)837-1594
When a Flood is Imminent
- Be prepared! Pack a bag with important items in case you need to evacuate. Don’t forget to include needed medications.
- If advised to evacuate your home, do so immediately.
- If there is any possibility of a flash flood, move immediately to higher ground.
- If possible, bring in outdoor furniture and move essential items to an upper floor.
- Turn off utilities at the main switches or valves if instructed to do so. Disconnect electrical appliances.
During a Flood
- Do not walk through moving water. As little as 6 inches (15 centimeters) of moving water can make you fall.
- If you have to walk in water, wherever possible, walk where the water is not moving. Use a stick to check the firmness of the ground in front of you.
- Do not drive into flooded areas. If floodwaters rise around your car, abandon the car and move to higher ground if you can do so safely.
- Do not touch electrical equipment if you are wet or standing in water.
After a Flood
- Listen for news reports to learn whether the community’s water supply is safe to drink.
- Avoid floodwaters; water may be contaminated by oil, gasoline, or raw sewage. Water may also be electrically charged from underground or downed power lines.
- Avoid moving water.
- Be aware of areas where floodwaters have receded. Roads may have weakened and could collapse under the weight of a car.
- Stay away from downed power lines, and report them to the power company.
- Return home only when authorities indicate it is safe.
- Stay out of any building if it is surrounded by floodwaters.
- Service damaged septic tanks, cesspools, pits, and leaching systems as soon as possible. Damaged sewage systems are serious health hazards.
- Clean and disinfect everything that got wet. Mud left from floodwater can contain sewage and chemicals.
Source: U.S. Federal Emergency Management Agency
Stay safe, everyone!
- Parts of Pekin to be evacuated due to flood waters (cinewsnow.com)
- Health official: Stay out of floodwaters (qctimes.com)
- Flood Waters Rise: Red Cross Services Expand (newsroom.redcross.org)
Join us this Saturday, April 20th for the Great American Cleanup. Go here to find out more!
Go here to learn more about National Child Abuse Prevention Month, as well as local and nation-wide initiatives to help put an end to child abuse and neglect.
Show your support!
Don’t forget: Tomorrow is HATCH (Hands Around The Courthouse) at the Peoria County Courthouse Plaza. Join us at 12:00, and don’t forget to wear blue!
- It’s Child Abuse Awareness Month (tellaboutabuse.wordpress.com)
- Free tattoos bring attention to child abuse prevention (ktvb.com)
Hello readers! Fresh from a successful night at the TBON Celebration Dinner, it’s back to work for PeoriaCorps. We’re getting ready for the Great American Cleanup (more on that later), but in the meantime we’d like to bring you the first of many “Meet the Members” installments on the blog. We’ve got about 20 AmeriCorps members in our group, working throughout Peoria. Then there’s Julie, our fearless leader and procurer-of-funding; Jeff, the big boss in charge; and Natalie, the one on the ground (that’s me!). While our members change every year, the three of us behind the desks stay pretty constant. I’m the one who usually posts here (though not always; I’ll introduce you to Becca later), and I spend a lot of time with the members planning and implementing our projects in the community. My job is basically to help the members grow through our service work, Civic Engagement activities, retreats, trainings, and educational activities. I’m lucky because I get to be a part of nearly all our projects in a hands-on way–I’ve worked side-by-side with the members for over a year now, and I love it.
So there you go–not quite a true “Meet the Members” post, since I’m not a member, but an introduction to our introductions. Now you have one face to match to what we do here, with more to come soon. If you see any of us, feel free to say hello! Just look for the AmeriCorps logo:
P.S. Here’s another introduction–meet Charles, our friendly neighborhood helper.
Please join us in supporting HATCH (Hands Around The CourtHouse) on Friday, April 19th at 12:00. April is Child Abuse Prevention Month, and we are committed to bringing awareness to the ever-increasing rates of child abuse in our area. We also want to remind people that there are many dedicated individuals working in and around Peoria to put a stop to it. Please come show your support by wearing blue and joining us at the Peoria County Courthouse Plaza.