Volunteering Across the Region


AmeriCorps is one of three core programs of the Corporation for National and Community Service, a federal agency that calls upon local communities for volunteer opportunities. AmeriCorps programs include disaster relief, anti-poverty efforts and general community support, as well as various state and local programs. Appalachia boasts numerous AmeriCorps service opportunities that benefit the greater community. Service terms offer a living stipend, and vary from part-time to full-time, and from seasonal to year-round. Below is a partial listing of some environmentally-focused AmeriCorps programs offered in central and southern Appalachia. To learn more about AmeriCorps opportunities throughout the United States, visit nationalservice.govE. Zupo

Project Conserve

Serve with nonprofits and community groups to support conservation and environmental stewardship in western North Carolina. This 11-month program focuses on land and energy conservation, water quality, local food and farmland. Member activities range from leading hikes and environmental education programs to weatherizing low-income homes, conducting water quality testing and assisting landowners who want to protect their land from development. Appalachian Voices, the publisher of this newspaper, also hosts two AmeriCorps Project Conserve members. Visit carolinamountain.org/projectconserve E. Zupo

Ohio Stream Restore Corps

To better serve the environmental needs of the Ohio Appalachian region, the former Rural Action Watersheds AmeriCorps program was renamed and expanded to include three new branches of service in 2011: Environmental Education, Zero Waste and Trail Maintenance/Access. Programs focus on exposing youth to outdoor learning, creating and improving trails, cleaning illegal dump sites and educating the public on local recycling options. Service terms last 12 months. Visit ruralaction.orgE. Zupo

OSMRE/VISTA Appalachian Coal Country Team:
As part of a partnership between AmeriCorps Office of Surface Mining Reclamation and Enforcement and VISTA programs, the Appalachian Coal Country Team serves in low-income communities struggling with stream contamination, depressed economies and other issues. Members serve at more than 37 sites throughout Kentucky, Maryland, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Tennessee, West Virginia and Virginia. Activities include grassroots organizing, supporting environmental stewardship and collaborating with local businesses. Service terms last 12 months. Visit coalcountryteam.org or call April Trent at 304-252-4848 E. Zupo

Appalachian Transition Fellowship
This program provides emerging leaders with the opportunity to help preserve the beauty and health of central Appalachia while promoting the economic transition of the region from harmful industries to sustainable practices. Appalachian Fellows live and work in host communities, providing outreach, mentoring and training while fostering partnerships that help develop economically just solutions. Fellowships are a year-long paid commitment, with placement potential in the Appalachian regions of Virginia, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Ohio and North Carolina. Visit appfellows.orgE. Zupo

Society of St. Andrews

Help those in need and curb food waste by joining the Society of St. Andrews’ gleaning network. Gleaning is the traditional practice of gathering leftover crops from farmers’ fields after harvest. The food is distributed to local food pantries. This idea is promoted in the Bible and inspires the mission of the society, but people of any faith are welcome to join. Volunteers of all ages accepted. Get involved! Visit endhunger.orgE. Zupo

Senior Corps

Senior Corps works to help citizens 55 years or older share their valuable life experience and skills with the community. Programs include: Foster Grandparents, which provides mentoring and tutoring to children and young mothers; RSVP, which includes assistance to those affected by natural disasters and mentoring troubled youth; and Senior Companions, which provides companionship to adults who have difficulty living independently. Get involved! Visit nationalservice.gov/programs/senior-corpsE. Zupo


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