Back to School, Back to School…

Many of our AmeriCorps members are currently students in college.  We have a few just beginning, a few half way done, and a few who are nearing the end.  Never the less, they’ve all gone back to the classroom, carrying books, listening to lectures, and doing homework.  Not only are they doing that, but they are beginning a new term here at AmeriCorps.  Soon enough the office will be back in full swing of things!  There will be members in and out of the office, up and down the stairs, and constantly on the phone setting up things for our team to do.  Lucky for all of you, that means it’s time for you to get involved with us.

We have many projects that are already looming closer and we’ll need plenty of help.  This Saturday there is a Special Olympics Bowling outing that always needs volunteers and there will be another one on October 12!  Also approaching very quickly is the United Way Day of Caring.  There are many things that you can do and you can look on line to see what your community is doing and how you can get involved.  Our AmeriCorps team will be at the Civic Center boxing up canned goods.  Which we will also be collecting until the 5th of September which is soon!  So if you are in the Peoria area, feel free to bring by canned goods to any of the Children’s Home locations!  In a couple of months, one of our biggest projects happens.  On October 19 we will all gather together in honor of the annual Keepsacks for Kids project and sort and make hundreds of blankets and hygiene kits to be sent out to all of the local shelters to help those in need.    The average age of a homeless person in Illinois is 9 years old!  Isn’t that heart breaking?  So when you’re all snuggled up in your warm bed in your home with a full stomach, think about those children who need your help and ask what you can do for them.  We would love donations of any kind, including fleece for blankets or any type of hygiene kits such as full size shampoo and body wash, tooth brushes, tooth paste, combs, brushes, tissues, etc etc.

The school season is the busiest time of the year but don’t forget that you can still help!

Our fearless leader Julie's son and a past member's nephew helping at Keepsacks for Kids!

Our fearless leader Julie’s son and a past member’s nephew helping at Keepsacks for Kids!

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

Robots in the Classroom!

Robots in the Classroom!

April is Autism Awareness Month! We would like to inform you that State Farm has a program that will be donating $25,000 to forty organizations, based on votes.  The Children’s Home in Peoria will be opening a new Autism school this  summer and could greatly benefit from that donation.  With that donation we would be able to purchase an NAO Robot which helps to engage autistic students in social interaction and many other positive ways.  Please take the time to vote for The Children’s Home Association of Illinois under Robots in the Classroom.

Thank you!