By Lindsey Bales
Last week, AmeriCorps members across Montana joined together for the ServeMontana Symposium. We started off the symposium with a service project called Doorsteps to Kid Packs where we collected non-perishable food items that would be used to create packs of food for youth struggling with food insecurity. Roughly 300 AmeriCorps members split up into teams of 6-7 where we collected food from grocery store donations and from the doorsteps of homes in Helena. My team was able to collect a trunk-load of food in our assigned neighborhood. While we were searching for food donations left on doorsteps, a snowstorm rolled in and made our goal of reaching every home an even more difficult task. However, we were quickly re-energized and motivated when we ran into residents who supported our cause and were so grateful for our service. On that day, AmeriCorps members collected 7,741 pounds of food and $17,345 in donations to help create packs for youth in need.
The next day after our service project, we were welcomed by Governor Steve Bullock who expressed his appreciation for our service and told us about his journey into public service. I enjoyed learning about his pathway to becoming Governor, and reflected on my own journey into AmeriCorps service and the pledge I took on my first day:
I will get things
done for America – to make our people safer, smarter, and healthier.
I will bring Americans together to strengthen our communities.
Faced with apathy, I will take action.
Faced with conflict, I will seek common ground.
Faced with adversity, I will persevere.
I will carry this commitment with me this year and beyond.
I am an AmeriCorps member, and I will get things done.
I nervously recited this pledge on my first day and the commitment I made started to sink in. It didn’t matter how cold it was or how much snow barricaded the sidewalks and doorsteps during the Doorsteps to Kid Packs project. We continued on. I made a commitment to serve America and to make our people safer, smarter, and healthier and I will carry this commitment through my term and on.