A-Podding We Will Go (Happy Earth Day!)

Photo from http://sacramentoscoop.com/wp-content/uploads/2009/04/earth-day-2009-sacramento.jpg

Happy Earth Day! (click through for photo source)

It (finally) feels like Spring in Peoria! We’re celebrating by spending the day outside collecting materials for our seed pod making party this afternoon. Together with a local after school program, we’ll be getting our hands dirty and celebrating Earth Day by making portable seed pods (sometimes called seed balls or seed bombs) for easy, effortless gardening.  Here’s a great guide to making your own seed pods. It’s easy and fun!

Wildflowers growing along a highway in Texas. Imagine how much nicer your morning commute could be with a few well-placed seed pods!

Wildflowers growing along a highway in Texas. Imagine how much nicer your morning commute could be with a few well-placed seed pods! (click for source)

Happy Earth Day!

 

“In the Spring, at the end of the day, you should smell like dirt.”

-Margaret Atwood

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Celebrate!

Some of our group at Monday's Take Back Our Neighborhood Celebration Dinner.

Some of our group at Monday’s Take Back Our Neighborhood Celebration Dinner.

Meet the Members…kind of.

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.

Here I am (on the right) at the 2012 National Conference on Volunteering and Service with one of our former members, Carla.

Here I am (on the right) at the 2012 National Conference on Volunteering and Service with one of our former members, Carla.

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:

AmeriCorps Background

-Natalie

 

P.S. Here’s another introduction–meet Charles, our friendly neighborhood helper.

Charles, waiting for his daily snack.

Charles, waiting for his daily snack.

Welcome to PeoriaCorps!

Welcome to the PeoriaCorps Community Blog—your source of information for services and opportunities in and around Peoria!

Meet the members:

We’re Fostering Transitions, an AmeriCorps group that is based out of Children’s Home on Knoxville.  We’re “professional volunteers,” people of all ages and backgrounds who have chosen to donate our time and energy to bettering our community.  We typically have about 20 members who serve all over Peoria, working with schools, organizations, and Peoria citizens to help those in need.  This is our program’s fourth year.

Our Mission:

AmeriCorps’ slogan is “Getting Things Done.”  We get things done all across the city, from low-income preschools to hot meals for the elderly.  Right now we’re focusing on the East Bluff, as that’s where our headquarters is located.  The citizens have identified a need, and AmeriCorps has joined with other local nonprofits to address that need.  Take Back Our Neighborhood (TBON) is an initiative is an initiative based in the East Bluff that brings residents, business owners, and local organizations to help rebuild and refresh the neighborhood.

There is a lot happening right now, all across Peoria. We’ll do our best to keep this blog updated, so check back often.  We hope that this can become a tool for all Peoria citizens to find out what’s happening in their neighborhoods, connect them with helpful information like job openings and volunteer opportunities, and provide a place for people to give feedback on the work that’s being done (and the work that needs to be done) all across the city.  Leave us a comment or suggestion on our posts, or send an email to AmeriCorps@chail.org and we’ll get back to you as we can.

Last, but not least: please keep in mind that we are your neighbors and while we work hard, we are not perfect.  Try to bear with us as we work out all the bumps and kinks on this new site.  If you have any questions or suggestions feel free to let us know as we would love to include you in what we do.

More to come soon!